As one of the nation’s most competitive congressional races heading into 2016, national Republican political media operations are clamoring for the chance to catch Democratic CD-6 candidate Morgan Carroll in a gaffe they can use in a TV spot. America Rising PAC is one of the bigger “independent” message groups working on the GOP side, and they’ve detailed a tracker to keep tabs on Carroll at public events.
Unfortunately for America Rising, their first “scoop” on Carroll is likely to help her more than it hurts:
During a September 2015 “Listening Tour” in Douglas County, Colorado, Democratic candidate for Colorado’s 6th Congressional District Morgan Carroll attacked what she called the “mainstream media,” specifically calling out The Denver Post and two of its top journalists.
When discussing the need for strong grassroots support for her congressional bid, Carroll claimed that she and her supporters “can’t count on the mainstream media to do real reporting.” Carroll then launched a diatribe against The Denver Post Editorial Board and two of the paper’s top journalists – Politics Editor Chuck Plunkett and Editorial Page Editor Vincent Carroll…
Oh noes! You mean the same Denver Post that has seen its reputation on the left collapse in a heap after their perfidious endorsement of Cory Gardner? The same Chuck Plunkett who made an unfavorable story about Rep. Mike Coffman vanish completely after deciding he “hadn’t heard” something everybody else knew?
It seems there are some circumstances on the ground here in Colorado that America Rising would do well to bone up on–starting with the fact that Democrats in Colorado agree with Morgan Carroll. Here’s the heart of Carroll’s recorded remarks:
CARROLL: “See they get to reinvent themselves and when we don’t point it out, the problem is is that it’s almost being complicit in letting it stand as true. And we’re going to need help on social media so it’s not just ‘oh candidate said this and that,’ but part of what we’re going to have to do because TV is so expensive in buying is have folks that are willing to ‘friend,’ ‘like,’ ‘share,’ so when we need to do rapid response on fact check that we have a grassroots army of people that are willing to ‘like,’ ‘share,’ ‘forward,’ call it out. And eventually at this point the media, if anything might wag, and decide to pick it up. But we can’t count on the mainstream media to do real reporting.”
There’s no nice way to say it: the sum of our experience with the local Colorado political media, especially since the closure of the Rocky Mountain News in 2008 and the steady contraction of political reporting at the Denver Post and other local outlets, strongly agrees with Sen. Carroll’s assessment that the mainstream media can’t be counted on to reliably report the full story. In recent years, the traditional journalism dynamic has been turned on its head by blogs and social media, to the point where news routinely breaks first without any help from the mainstream media–which is often days late to the story now if they cover it at all.
Too often, the decision of what mainstream outlets cover is not made based on news value. But social media still can’t transcend social networks like a news story. In short, if this is what Carroll is telling her core supporters, she’s exactly right, and she needs to keep saying it. There’s not a single constituency this hurts her with, except for a couple of named Denver Post employees who most Democrats we know agree need shaming.
Besides, aren’t Republicans usually the ones harping on the “lamestream media?” Not in this town, we guess.