A deliberate new Republican strategy to embrace conflict with journalists as a tactic to do well in the 2018 elections has been criticized by NBC's Chuck Todd.
He wrote on Twitter:
The purpose of the GOP strategy is to convince voters that midterm races are as much a referendum on the media as they are on Trump as a way to deflect criticism of his performance as president and to feed off of disdain for the media, McClatchy reports.
David Woodard, a political consultant for South Carolina Republicans said the old adage:
"'Never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel' is no longer relevant [because] if you pick a fight with them, I think it kind of helps you, and I don't think many people care," since the media is held is such low regard by the public.
An impetus for the strategy was apparently the aftermath of the incident in which Montana Republican candidate Greg Gianforte was charged with assaulting a reporter the day before the special election but won anyway.
A Republican observer of the campaign said the conservative base was energized by having more of an enemy than the Democratic candidate.
"Hillary Clinton is not on the ballot so you have to have something else to run against, and the media is perfect," said former conservative talk radio host Charlie Sykes.
The GOP strategy idea is that alleged media bias will be a vital element of campaign discussions, and not as has been the norm in previous elections, a sideshow to the main issues of jobs and the economy.
Boston University advertising expert Tobe Berkovitz, who advises election campaigns, said there are some people, especially Trump supporters who feel that media coverage of him has been very unfair and think this new tactic is the media's "comeuppance: 'You've been strutting around with no accountability and maybe you should be held accountable.'"
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