With about a week left before the November 2023 elections, the available data and trends spelled out that it was increasingly likely that the Democratic Party would sweep all of the competitive elections: Kentucky Governor, Ohio referendum, and the Virginia State Senate and House of Delegates.
The media largely refused to admit that the Democrats were on track for a potential sweep of the competitive races, and instead kept singing doom for the Democrats. But at the same time, the media spent that final week weirdly and baselessly hyping the Mississippi Governor race as if it were competitive, when there was never any data or evidence that said it would be.
At the time, the cynic in me thought that the media was falsely hyping that Mississippi Governor race as being competitive, just so they’d have a “disappointing loss for the Democrats” to point to after the Democrats swept everything else. That way they could spin an overwhelmingly great night for the Democrats into a mixed bag, thus allowing them to continue with their fictional “Biden is doomed in 2024” narratives. But instead of assuming as much, I wanted to give the media the benefit of the doubt and see how they characterized the 2023 elections after the results came in.
Sure enough, Meet The Press host Kristen Welker asserted this morning that the Democrats had “mixed results” in this past week’s elections. Mixed results? This isn’t just misleading on Welker’s part, it’s a straight up lie. The Democrats swept the elections that everyone agreed going in would be competitive and determinative. The Democrats didn’t lose any elections they were supposed to win. The Democrats didn’t lose any elections they were supposed to be competitive in. The Democrats didn’t win any elections by smaller margins than expected. There is no basis for referring to the outcome as even slightly mixed.
But because the major media outlets spent the final week of the election falsely hyping the one sided Mississippi Governor race as being competitive, knowing the Democrats would lose it handily, the media was then able to falsely characterize a perfect Democratic Party sweep as a “mixed” bag.
This is an unfortunate reminder that the mainstream political media in general is at an all time low in terms of honesty and credibility, and that Meet The Press specifically has devolved into pure ratings-driven disinformation.
But it’s also a reminder of something else. Whenever the media tries to falsely hype a particular race as being competitive for the Democrats when the numbers say it isn’t, we need to push back against that, rather than getting sucked in by it. When the media does this, it’s only so it can then turn around and claim that the Democrats had a disappointing night.
It’s never that difficult to look up the expert race ratings and see which races are actually on track to be competitive. The tricky part is avoiding TV political news altogether, so you can’t get sucked in by the false claims and false information that they promote in the name of keeping their preferred ratings-driven narratives going.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report