Not exactly who coined the term “Liberal Media” but it has become the most believed lie in history. Richard Nixon blamed all his problems on the liberal news media as did Reagan and Bush Jr. Any time there was a negative story about republicans it was just blow off as “there goes the liberal media again” no matter how factual or damning it didn’t matter because the media “hated” conservatives.
From 1992-1994 conservative “think tanks” spent over 200 million dollars transforming the media as we know it and molding it into a more conservative group. We saw the rise of “conservative radio” which now dominates the air and even on cable news there are often more conservative views than liberal and when a negative story does break they return to the old “liberal media” witch hunt.
How did this conservative movement become so big and so powerful while “liberal” became a bad word and un-American? It started after Bill Clinton won became president and the money in the republican party came up with a new strategy, while rich democrats spend their money on issues like the environment, poverty and AIDS the conservatives went on the war path pooling their money with one single purpose - bringing the GOP to power again.
This program started small under President Ronald Reagan who used former CIA agent Walter Raymond Jr. to become the conservative propagandist. In 1982 he developed a plan to bring the media over to conservative way of thinking and harnessing the wealthy individuals on top of this the administration spend hundreds of millions of dollars helping implement this plan. This new conservative group used their money and power to help tamp down blowback on Reagan for things like Iran Contra, Beirut arms deals and more.
By the time the Clinton scandal broke the conservatives had their media in place and forced other outlets to pull right or lose the headlines, instead of asking real questions we were left with once legit news outlets reporting speculation and rumors as facts. This is when we saw the rise of Ruport Murdoch and the rebirth of conservative media.
The news media, including the “liberal” media put their weight behind George Bush in 2000 and helped him into office. Shortly after 9/11 the media believed and was the number one cheerleader for the Bush administration and he could do no wrong. This love fest helped us get into Iraq with the media in the presidents pocked no tough questions were asked and everything that was told was believed. The media finally started to turn on the president as the Iraq war went south but when negative stories like torture were reported it was a “liberal” media conspiracy.
To this day republicans still use their money to buy power and influence while relying on the message while democrats still use their money to try and make America better. When groups the GOP don’t agree with like ACORN or Planned Parenthood they immediately destroy them and often with the help of the news media. At the same time right wing groups like ALEC are writing laws and the Heritage Foundation has more power than anyone in Washington any liberal group is immediately squashed.
When America started to turn on the republicans after George Bush ruined the brand the money machine and media quickly created the Tea Party as a conservative alternative to republicans. The Koch brother alone, through their many right wing groups, invested hundreds of million of dollars to help create and promote the Tea Party while Fox News not only supported the movement but joined the Koch brothers as co-owners first promoting them on TV then holding rallies of their own.
The tea party is just one in a long line of republican incarnations we’ve went from Reagan Republicans to Christian Conservatives to Tea Party but this time something happened they were not counting on. The movement they created to help keep republicans in power started biting the hand that fed them and instead of helping the republicans they started to hurt the movement. First they ran candidates against republicans who were safe but the new Tea Party candidates couldn’t win the general elections and now that small faction has managed to shut the government down. If you notice the tea party is usually on the back seat in republican media reports and of course they still can’t be called republicans so you will see a lot of people instead call them self “Conservatives”.
It’s time for liberals and democrats to stop being afraid of being labeled “liberal” and start fighting back, instead of spending all their money fighting for the environment, poor people and good causes it’s time to create a liberal version of “heritage foundation” or a truly liberal media outlet like Fox News. When there is a huge liberal movement like the conservative movement of late 90’s then we can do more from the inside like help the environment, end wars and feed the poor. Until Democrats start to fight the liberal media lie and stop being scared of reporting the truth republicans will continue to own the story.