MR. DRISCOLL: Brent, this question is going to take a bit of setup, so bear with me for a moment.
Between the 47 percent quote, and Candy Crowley’s freakout at the second presidential debate, the Romney campaign seemed to go into prevent defense mode in the last weeks of the election, with Romney refusing to bring up Benghazi in the closing weeks of the election. This was very much reminiscent of John McCain refusing to bring up Obama’s connections with Rev. Wright in the last weeks of 2008, for fear of being dubbed racist.
In both cases, it meant that the Republican candidate was letting the media decide what was appropriate to discuss. What did you make of such timidity when the country’s future is on the line, and when is a GOP candidate going to push back against the MSM?
MR. BOZELL: Mitt Romney is the only candidate in my lifetime that I’ve known to deliberately go into a prevent defense while losing. And if I never see again, I’ll be a happy man. But why did he do that? Why did John McCain do that?
Because the one entity they fear is the Washington press corp. Why do they fear them? Because they want to be on the A-list. They want to be accepted. They want to be part of the in crowd. And to do things like question Reverend Wright is just not the right thing to do with the powers that be, so you don’t do it.
With Mitt Romney, it was the idea of not rocking the boat in the least, not doing anything that might upset the enemy.
Now, consider Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan did the exact opposite. Ronald Reagan took on the press with aplomb and with a gusto and with a smile on his face, and just sprayed them in the process. So that when they — you know, they would call him the Teflon president, because nothing would stick. And the reason nothing would stick is because the enemy — my enemy is my friend. People knew the hostility the media felt towards him, so every time they attacked him, the public was just simply reinforcing their support of Ronald Reagan.
This is a strategy lost on moderates. Moderates don’t like to — to do conservative things. The late great Henry Hyde had this great term for conservatives in the eyes of these moderates. It was “the great unwashed”. And as long as you’re dealing with the great unwashed, you need them for the votes, you need them for the money, you need them for the activism. But if you win, you don’t need them ever again.
MR. DRISCOLL: When you founded the Media Research Center in 1987, it was pretty much your firm and Reed Irvine’s accuracy in media that were alone in documenting the lies and distortions of the liberal media. Today there are thousands and thousands of bloggers and Tweeters who have joined the cause. Does having these additional eyes help to push back against the excesses of the MSM?
MR. BOZELL: No question. They — we are leaving the news era and we’re into the information era. The days of the established media dominating the news are coming to an end. The good news is that they’re — you know, you hear the media talk about the low approval rating of Congress. What they won’t tell is their own approval rating, which is at seven percent, according to Gallup. I mean, they’ve got a lower level of approval than the United States Congress.
And what does that tell you? The public isn’t believing them. They’re leaving them. They’ve left fifty percent of the — of the audience has left the nightly newscasts. The New York Times is a shadow of its former self. NBC — Newsweek sold for a dollar and even that didn’t work. So the carcasses are mounting out there.