Mitch McConnell totally caved on this past week’s debt vote. Chuck Schumer won big. We all watched it happen. There’s no debating how this played out. Schumer called McConnell’s bluff, and Schumer got everything he wanted.
But instead of just saying so, some mainstream media headlines are now suggesting that McConnell actually won the debt vote. The media is pushing the narrative that Schumer’s victory speech offended McConnell so much, McConnell has decided to go ahead and win next time. No really, this is the logic being presented by the media.
It boggles the mind how this fiction somehow passes for journalism. And yet this happens every time there’s a showdown in the Senate. For years, the media has been locked into pushing the narrative that McConnell always wins no matter what, because he has some kind of magic wand he can just wave at will.
Of course the facts don’t bear this out at all; McConnell in fact caves pretty often – especially now that he’s the Minority Leader, and he has a much smaller bag of procedural tricks for trying to gain any leverage. But one thing McConnell can always count on is that even when he loses, the media will always find a way to spin it as a win for him.
Why? It’s simple: the narrative that Mitch McConnell is all powerful, and always wins, is good for ratings. It scares and outrages liberal activists, which is the key to keeping them glued to their screen, whether it be the TV screen or the computer screen.
In fact the media pushes the “McConnell always magically wins” narrative so obsessively, most liberal activists seem to believe it – even though they’ve watched McConnell cave and/or lose plenty of times with their own two eyes. It’s the danger we run when the media is so intent on chasing ratings, it simply decides on a narrative regardless of what’s actually happening. The media won’t stop behaving this way until audiences stop blindly accepting it.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report