That’s some liberal bias ya got there

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Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 22/01/2022 - 2:30am in

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Eric Boehlert and Dan Froomkin have been all over this topic, but Magdi Semrau yesterday concisely summarized the press fascination with the exotic, right minority. It is a habit of mind (or myopia) that in practice marginalizes the mainstream majority of voters who do not support the Lyin King or his authoritarian party.

The Republicans’ abjectly anti-democratic behavior is accepted as a baseline, rather than abnormal & worthy of intense inquiry, but Republican voters’ loyalty to this abnormal behavior is worthy of extreme curiosity. So we get a lot of “Trump voters still love Trump” stories.

Meanwhile, Democratic politicians are messy for attempting to participate in democracy. Democratic voters, in contrast, are treated as bores. The press largely ignores them. What’s interesting, after all, in being committed to a party that’s actually trying to be democratic?

This creates a situation where the GOP’s bad behavior gets obscured, but support for their behavior is entrenched in the public’s mind. Democrats’ pro-democratic behavior gets derided & voters’ support for this behavior is ignored. No “Biden voters still love Biden” articles.

It’s important to recognize these asymmetries. We know from psychology that hearing about a person or party’s popularity will either entrench that popularity or increase it. Hearing about a person or party’s unpopularity has the same effect, basically creating a doom spiral.

We’re in a bad spot when anti-democratic behavior is treated as normal, but support for that behavior is treated as ~fascinating~. This situation is rendered worse when pro-democratic behavior is treated as hopelessly messy & support for this behavior is treated as a snooze fest.

Bush II once complained of “the soft bigotry of low expectations.” For Republican leaders, low expectations is not bias, it’s camouflage.

Democrats haven’t mastered the whole “look, shiny” thing.

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