Politico’s VandeHei Has ‘Faith In Humanity’ Because Outspoken Republicans Are Disappearing

Politico co-founder Jim VandeHei showed up on PBS’s Charlie Rose Wednesday night, and from the comfort of Rose’s pitch-black studio he tossed aside his journalistic objectivity and aired out his own political opinions – particularly his disdain for Republicans.

Rose had asked his guests -- Politico’s Mike Allen was there, too -- what it would take to fix the country economically and whether Washington was capable of doing it. VandeHei used this as an opening to take a shot at some of the left-wing media’s favorite targets:

 

"I will say, I have faith in humanity, I have faith in America in that if you think about a lot of the most controversial figures who've gotten big platforms in politics -- Michele Bachmann today announcing that she retired, Steve King not running for Senate in Iowa, Allen West in Florida, Herman Cain, Sarah Palin -- all these people who were the most bombastic voices on the Right, who were political celebrities..."

 

Rose could see where this was going, so he jumped in and drew the conclusion himself: “Either defeated or walking away.” VandeHei agreed: “They're gone. They have been discredited. The market, the market being the voter, the market does react. It takes a while.”

So the decline in prominence of some notable Republicans gives VandeHei faith in America and humanity? This is coming from the editor of a news organization that focuses on national politics. The bias doesn’t get much more transparent than that.

The thrust of VandeHei’s claim was that voters, or the “market,” have discredited these outspoken Republicans by forcing them out of office. But of the people VandeHei mentioned, West is the only one who was voted out of office, and he narrowly lost -- within one percentage point. Palin walked away from the Alaska governorship of her own accord. Bachmann is also choosing to step aside. Cain suspended his presidential campaign before the primaries began. King is still in Congress.

Liberal media outlets, including Politico, have played a major role in trying to discredit these “bombastic” Republicans lest their conservative ideas should catch on with the general public. Notice that VandeHei did not mention any controversial Democrats. Have the disappearances of Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, Barney Frank and Howard Dean given VandeHei faith in humanity?

The Politico executive editor made another eyebrow-raising comment during the course of this interview. While discussing President Obama’s relationship with the press, VandeHei declared, “There’s never a good relationship between the White House and the press.”

Excuse me? The mainstream press helped tilt public opinion in Obama’s favor in 2012, allowing him to win reelection. They have cheered his proposals at almost every turn. If that is not enough to build a good relationship, I don’t know what is. The press seems to be fine with the Obama White House, so maybe it’s the administration that is not satisfied. But they should be. They should be thankful that they have journalists like Jim VandeHei to attack the other side for them.

Below is a transcript of the exchanges:

JIM VANDEHEI: I will say, I have faith in humanity, I have faith in America in that if you think about a lot of the most controversial figures who've gotten big platforms in politics -- Michele Bachmann today announcing that she retired, Steve King not running for Senate in Iowa, Allen West in Florida, Herman Cain, Sarah Palin -- all these people who were the most bombastic voices on the Right, who were political celebrities.



CHARLIE ROSE: Either defeated or walking away.

VANDEHEI: They're gone. They have been discredited. The market, the market being the voter, the market does react. It takes a while.

***

ROSE: So what about his relationship to the press? Is it different than previous administrations? Do they believe that they don’t need you like other administrations have believed that the press was essential to convey their message?

VANDEHEI: Let’s be clear. I’ve covered a couple of presidencies. There’s never a good relationship between the White House and the press. Reporters by their very nature are a – we’re a very whiny, needy group of people. So there's always significant tension in that relationship.

Paul Bremmer
Paul Bremmer is a Media Research Center News Analysis Division intern.