As Super Tuesday results rolled in, one thing became abundantly clear: The media completely blew it yet again. Clustered in their urban high-rises, coastal political commentators couldn’t pick a likable candidate nor discern an average American’s predispositions if they tried. And they certainly couldn’t persuade anyone to vote for their leftist of choice — anyone but crazy socialist Bernie Sanders, who they didn’t take seriously, or tired, white Joe Biden. Oh, how the tables turn.
Ever since an endless supply of Democrats began announcing their presidential ambitions last January, in what has been arguably the longest year of our lives, the media has bounced from candidate to candidate, fixing their lips to the keister of whatever fleeting progressive poster child they fancy at a particular moment, until the chosen woke contender inevitably picks up his ball and goes home. The funny thing about press attention is that it doesn’t actually translate to cash flow, and you can’t run a campaign without real supporters buying in — unless you’re Michael Bloomberg.
Hillary Clinton couldn’t lose to Donald Trump, until she did. Kamala Harris was the intersectional queen, until everybody found out she was a cop. Beto O’Rourke was so fresh, until it turned out he was a robot. The cycle is endless. When will legacy media learn?
We Watched the Media Pendulum Swing
The best part about political media advocacy is that its perpetrators are so unabashed in their support and condemnation. One never need wonder about the media’s presidential preference because the pendulum swings fast and hard.
When Harris was the momentary savior, the press worshipped the ground she walked on. Debate moderators gave her an uninterrupted lane — “Hey guys, you know what? America does not want to witness a food fight; they want to know how we’re going to put food on their table,” Harris lectured, crucifying Biden with the media’s help for his busing policies and 1994 crime bill.
The press would usher Harris all the way to the Oval Office, and bury Biden as a brutal racist, or so they thought. As it turned out, however, Harris was wildly unlikable in a manner that resembled Clinton, if Clinton had also put lots of people in jail. So the media pivoted.
Remember O’Rourke, media darling? He was Barack Obama reimagined in a cool blue button-down, the perfect blend of chill rockstar energy, “Hispandering,” and disdain for law-abiding gun owners. And he was so relatable — don’t you know Beto goes to the dentist and gets the flu shot?
Despite the media doing his bidding with wall-to-wall coverage, O’Rourke couldn’t even defeat Ted Cruz for a Senate seat, but as for a presidential run, he was “born to be in it” — that is if you ask him and Vanity Fair, which plastered the Texan on its magazine cover. Francis Wilkinson, in a Bloomberg opinion article titled “Beto O’Rourke Matters Even If He Loses,” praised O’Rourke’s “extraordinary political success” (huh?) and “defiant optimism.” Surely he would make a good president. Wrong again.
Oh, how the media adored Elizabeth Warren, who skyrocketed to the top of the polls in October before her decisive plummet. She had it all as the wokest of the woke. The mainstream press was enamored by her plans and “big ideas,” earning her a spot on the cover of Time magazine.
Worried about “reproductive rights”? She had a plan for that. Hate rich people? She had a plan for them too. What persistence. After all, who doesn’t love a beer-drinking, Instagram-living, selfie-line fake minority?
Let’s not forget the New York Times’ absurd dual endorsement of Warren and the other female in the race, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Given Warren’s elitist persona, D.C. journalists truly couldn’t help themselves from fawning. In an ode to both Warren and himself, David Byler, writing in the Washington Post, confirmed the Warren media hive mind:
Maybe most significantly, Warren also matches an upscale cultural image of who the president should be. Many in the media followed a specific academic and professional path: We did our homework, took tough classes, competed on the high school speech and debate team, maybe went to an elite college, got a white-collar job and earned institutional validation all along the way. Warren and Buttigieg are the real-life images of that version of success, in which ambitious, academically accomplished, culturally refined people work extremely hard within institutions to achieve ‘meritocratic’ recognition.
That leads to boy wonder Pete Buttigieg, another Obama remake the media embraced after the fall of Warren and the rise of Sanders. If the feminist elitist couldn’t quite cut it, the male version and Biden alternative would have to do, especially after Buttigieg’s surge in the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries.
“There’s no dirt on this guy. Like, nothing,” gushed Trevor Noah, host of “The Daily Show,” over the former mayor’s resume. Other media outlets fell over themselves to remark about Pete’s “historic” candidacy, noting his “raw political talent,” “vast potential,” and “political savvy.” When Buttigieg dropped out, which the media lauded as a noble sacrifice to thwart Sanders, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough likened him to George Washington and Frank Sinatra. Seriously.
The Media Pivots to the Man They Clobbered
So now what? Harris? Out. Pete? Gone. Beto? Adios. Warren? Fading fast.
Despite Bloomberg’s half-billion-dollar advertisement spending spree, his abysmal Super Tuesday showing is sure to lay his campaign to rest in the next day or two. Warren didn’t do too hot either, unable to seal the deal even in Massachusetts, the state she represents. That leaves Sanders and Biden, two rich, old, white, male boomers vying to be the nominee in a party moving farther left by the day.
It seems the media and Democratic establishment will do whatever it takes to stop Sanders. The press considers him disastrous for the party and unelectable. “No party nomination, with the possible exception of Barry Goldwater in 1964, has put forth a presidential nominee with the level of downside risk exposure as a Sanders-led ticket would bring,” wrote Jonathan Chait in New York Magazine in January. “To nominate Sanders would be insane.”
That leaves only one option in the media’s ongoing war to undo the 2016 election and unseat the bad orange man in 2020: hype up Biden. After a year of knocking him down in favor of anyone else, the media must face the music.
No amount of sucking up could secure their intersectional elitist candidate of choice. And if they want to defeat Trump in 2020, they’ll have to walk back their criticisms of the former vice president, trading them for praise, and come to terms with the fact that nothing they do now can stop an old white man from occupying the Oval Office come January.