Credibility Death Spiral: Too Little, Too Late for Mainstream Media


With the government now fully reopened, one of the most important aspects of the “shutdown” debacle is how mainstream media undermined its own credibility. Accusations thinly veiled as questions were asked of Republicans and conservatives almost hourly. At the same time, Democrats were hardly seen, and never asked to justify their runaway spending stance. Consider just four examples:

Republicans were accused of harming federal employees, the American people, the credit standing of the United States, etc. Yet only Dana Bash of CNN had the courage to ask Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) about his hardline “all or nothing” stance on government funding.

Second, senior White House staffer Dan Pfeiffer told Jake Tapper of CNN that the President would not negotiate with terrorists – not actual terrorists in Iran (with whom the President is negotiating), but Tea Party activists and our allies in Congress. Tapper immediately rebutted Pfeiffer, reminding him the President had opposed raising the debt ceiling as a Senator.

Last week, Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) noted only one person in the media asked liberal Democrats “why it’s okay to extend [exemptions] for corporations but not for individuals.” It was Jon Stewart, a comedian on Comedy Central. He also pointed out Republicans lost this fight because they were unable to get the message out about fairness, and the media magnified this failure by not asking Democrats the question Mulvaney brought up.

Finally, it was pointed out by several conservative Members of Congress that the House voted for several different versions of Continuing Resolutions. Each version was different, offered Democrats a more moderate position on Obamacare than the last. Each and every Continuing Resolution was ignored by the Senate. Until the final deal was passed, the Senate literally took no votes for over two weeks while the “shutdown” was in effect.

Somehow, the media reported Republicans as intransigent, stubborn, and unreasonable.

A majority of Americans have little to no trust in mainstream media sources. This shutdown will not improve those numbers, making MSM sources look more and more like a horse and buggy in a NASCAR world.