Do Democratic candidates for president really have a complaint about the liberal media? Except for whether they get enough gushy publicity? On Friday, David Rutz at the Washington Free Beacon flagged MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace telling failed Texas Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke that he receives "very snarky national media coverage." He does? What was all that fawning stuff he received in 2018? What about the gooey Vanity Fair cover story?
It sounds more like Wallace is complaining about the internal banter among Democrats, not the external publicity that the rest of us witness.
NICOLLE WALLACE: Just listening to you, it's clear that you have that thing that not all politicians have. You remember people's names, you remember where you were when you met them, and you remember their stories. You get very snarky national media coverage. Where's the disconnect?
"BETO" O'ROURKE: I don't know. I tell you what, I spend very little time on Twitter right now because when I'm meeting people and you're eyeball to eyeball and connecting in the most raw, honest, authentic way, there's something powerful and magical about that. It's how you bring people together.If this country has never been more divided, never more consumed by the digital devices we hold in front of our face, it can be absolutely powerful to be together and to connect.
That's some real campaign-trail goop: We're meeting face to face! It's powerful and magical! It's raw, honest, and authentic! But Nicolle was eating it up, nodding along at almost everything he said, like she was a teenage volunteer on his campaign.
The media self-critique continued. "Play media critic. What can we do better as those of us trying to cover your candidacies from very far away, from where the first votes will be cast in Iowa and New Hampshire? Don't hold back," she said.
"This is a good question," O'Rourke said. "It just is what it is."
"It doesn't have to be," Wallace replied.
O'Rourke talked about hosting an "incredibly powerful town hall meeting" but a reporter covering the event then asked a horse race question "that does not connect to the lives of the people."
Welcome to the world, candidate! Reporters obsess over the horse race...in part because that's one of the first questions the audience has: Who's gonna win? That's going to be even worse this time, with 23 horses in the race. Are their stands on the issues really different? Or do they all seem to agree on most things?
Wallace then told Beto to grab MSNBC reporter Garrett Haake—who covered O'Rourke's Senate campaign—and "tell him what's on your mind" as he campaigns. "If you don't like what's covered, you can change that," she promised.
The main challenge for Democrats will be just getting a fraction of the media attention. Donald Trump was granted the vast majority of the air time in 2015, and most of the other 16 Republican contenders could barely get a word in edgewise. When the media laments those supposedly stupid people who made Trump president, they ought to look in the mirror.