Here’s a secret the mainstream media should know about Republicans, conservatives and Trump supporters. Disjointed alliance that they are, they all have this is common – they love you.
Admittedly, you would never know it from the way they talk about you. They claim to revile you. But let’s be honest, they can only get so passionately angry at something they truly care about.
Most of them grew up infatuated with you. You’re their first love. They were told that newspapers like The Washington Post, The New York Times and a handful of others are the “newspapers of record,” the most esteemed chroniclers of history as it unfolds.
If it’s in the Post or the Times, it leads the national broadcast news programs. Even conservatives can’t help but put you on a pedestal. Secretly, they love you, your influence, your power, your ability to shape the narrative.
Sadly, it’s unrequited. They feel jilted. They watch with envy as you lavish liberals with love, but treat conservatives like party crashers. So one-sided is your love and affection for the left that conservatives are hurt, taken aback, even confused, and so they lash out. But they don’t really mean it. They just want to be loved back.
Oh sure, Fox News loves them. But Fox has to love them. They’re grateful Fox is there, but they want to be courted by different suitors, instead of feeling like betrothed maidens, pledged to Fox by their fathers. And all they really need are a few flirty gestures in their direction.
C’mon, Anderson Cooper, give an eye roll to a liberal once in a while. It shouldn’t be hard to do. The next time Chuck Schumer or Nancy Pelosi tell you with a straight face that there’s nothing political about the Russian allegations and that it’s all about ensuring clean elections, just roll your eyes a teeny bit. It doesn’t have to be the full-blown, exaggerated Michelle Obama-style roll that you gave Kellyanne Conway. Just enough to show you care.
Same with you, Rachel Maddow. The next time you start a sentence on Monday that doesn’t end until Wednesday, just use your qualifiers and digressions as daggers aimed at the left, winding your way to a positive conclusion about President Trump — not a compliment wrapped in an insult, but a shrewd nugget of unqualified praise. You’re clever, Rachel; conservatives just wish your snarky putdowns weren’t always reserved for the right. Spread the sarcasm a little more equally.
And how about you, Chuck Todd and George Stephanopoulos? How about once a month having maybe two Trump defenders on your Sunday morning roundtables? There are weeks that Trump supporters wish for even one. No one is going so far as to suggest the 5-to-1 ratio you had every week in favor of presidents Clinton and Obama. But could you make your shows at least watchable for the right? They really would like to tune in and enjoy, just like the left can do.
And hey, mainstream media fact checkers, how about siding with Trump now and then? Yes, everyone knows how much Kellyanne was ridiculed for saying there are “alternative facts.” But what she meant to say is there are “additional facts,” and she was right. Fact checkers are not unbiased gods of truth; they’re human beings swayed by their own politics and prejudices, first picking what statements they fact check, and then choosing facts they like, ignoring facts they don’t.
If President Obama was in office and declared the sky is blue, the fact checkers would exclaim, “Of course. Everyone knows the sky is blue.”
If Trump declared the sky is blue, the fact checkers would say, “We looked into President Trump’s claim that the sky is blue. To be accurate, it was necessary to account for cloudy and hazy conditions, as well as the 8-12 hours each night when the sky is black. When all those factors are considered, the sky is only blue about 15 percent of each year. Therefore, we rate President Trump’s claim that the sky is blue mostly false.”
Even here in flyover country, conservatives are waiting, mainstream media, just hoping to be wooed. They’re yours for the taking. They’re sitting by the door in their best prom outfits, corsages in hand, peeking through the curtains, waiting for the limo. They’re checking their phones and Twitter feeds yearning for a winking emoji.
They wish they could quit you, mainstream media. But they can’t. They’re hoping that frankly, my dear, you give a damn. They want to be covered, and often, and by someone who knows how. You could have them at hello.
Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.