“No one has clean hands at this point, and mainstream media sources of every stripe are far too focused on pushing an agenda rather than providing information.”
House Republicans have unveiled a new website, simply titled “Did You Know.” The site can be found at DidYouKnow.GOP and focuses on publishing the Republican side of “their story.” Over the past several months, tensions between mainstream media sources, such as CNN and the New York Times, and Republicans in Washington have intensified. This website is meant to be a response, an effort to cut through the chatter and alleged misrepresentation to prevent GOP views.
The new website is one of the most direct attacks on “the media” in recent memory and follows Attorney Jeff Sessions’ threats to take on the mainstream media as well. The website opens with a simple:
“House Republicans aren’t distracted by the newest countdown clock on cable news or partisan sniping in Washington, D.C.
You don’t care about those things. You care about finding a good job, taking care of your family, and achieving the American Dream, and so do we.
We’re focused on issues that matter to you. And our record proves it.”
As of right now, the rest of the website, quite frankly, lacks details or anything beyond platitudes and the same old talking points. The site says that Republicans worked to repeal Obamacare and to replace it with something better, for example. Those repeal efforts, however, failed, and there is a strong argument that the replacement plan would have been worse for most Americans.
The GOP website also lauds replacing Dodd-Frank with the Financial CHOICE Act. This act repeals many of the regulations placed on Wall Street after the 2008 financial crisis. It has been passed by the House, and a corresponding bill is being discussed in the Senate.
While I am generally wary of regulations, the 2008 calamity suggests some regulations are needed to avoid the excessive risk-taking that nearly destroyed the global economy. If Republicans have a better solution than Dodd-Frank, by all means bring it forward, but the Financial CHOICE Act repeals without much replacement, and that seems dangerous.
Still, even if I disagree with some of the GOP’s current policies, their new website is an interesting attempt to bypass the media. Given the amount of gaslighting on all sides, I don’t blame them for trying to cut to the chase. The website is new and thus the jury is still out, but hopefully this site will be used to present actual information and detailed arguments, not just more talking points. Both the political realm and the media are filled with enough unsubstantiated talking points as it is. The American people don’t need more; what we all need are fact-based, logical, and well-thought arguments.
Is Partisan Media a Problem?
The past several years have seen partisan tensions between Republicans and Democrats increase dramatically. Along the way, tensions between left- and right-aligned media sources have also increased. Fox News has become more staunchly conservative. CNN, the Washington Post, and the New York Times, among others, have become more liberal. Meanwhile, numerous new “conservative” media sources, such as Breitbart, have exploded in size and number. Liberal media sources have emerged but as of yet don’t seem to rival their Conservative counterpoints.
What should we make of all of this? Honestly, getting back to the truth, in general, seems to be the most important point. No one has clean hands at this point, and mainstream media sources of every stripe are far too focused on pushing an agenda rather than providing information. The more skewed media becomes, the more difficulty everyone has, regardless of political leanings, discerning the truth.
Is the Republican website going to offer any better or less skewed information? Honestly, I doubt it. It’ll be a partisan website by nature. That’s fine; as a political group, it’s their right to be partisan. When it comes to media sources, however, it’s time to get back to being objective and presenting facts.