Cato's Pilon: Forget Fox, What about Bias of Mainstream Media?

Monday, 12 Nov 2012 12:33 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Asking whether the Republican Party should cut its close ties with Fox News and radio talk show king Rush Limbaugh in the wake of last week’s election results is the wrong question, says Roger Pilon, vice president of legal studies for the Cato Institute.

“One could as easily ask, ‘Does the Democratic Party need to loosen ties with the mainstream media?’" he writes on Politico. “But that's not asked because the denizens of that media . . . are the dominant cocoon, where insularity is every bit as real as at Fox News -- no, more so, because of that dominance.”

Some pundits believe Republicans need to act more like Democrats. “Why?” Pilon asks rhetorically. “If voters want what Democrats are peddling, they'll buy the real thing. Republicans took that course in the 1970s. They became ‘the permanent minority.’"

Changing principles isn’t a good idea, he says. “To what? Tax the rich? Pretend that entitlements aren't bankrupting us? Or that Obamacare will succeed? If we're going to hell in a hand basket, let's have one party explaining why.”

Republicans didn’t suffer landslide election losses. And “it was less the message than the messengers,” causing the losses, Pilon says. “Let's face it, given the alternatives, the party ‘settled’ on Mitt Romney.”

Romney simply didn’t adopt a consistent message, Pilon says. And tactical mistakes were many. “The endless primary debates, the unanswered attacks last summer, and the reliance on ‘old media’ are just a few.”

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