Republicans, especially those running for president in 2024, know how to get treated “respectfully” by the mainstream media: denounce or at least distance yourself from former President Donald Trump. Former Vice President Mike Pence has learned that lesson and is being treated much better than he previously was by the media. Expect Mike Pompeo, Chris Christie, Larry Hogan, and Ron DeSantis to follow in Pence’s footsteps. But, for now, Pence, who has written a book, So Help Me God, that highlights what the media describes as his “split” with Trump, has earned what the great Tom Bethell in this journal called the “Strange New Respect Award.”
Bethell used the award to describe once-reliable conservatives who supported or adopted liberal policies. Today, it describes once-reliable Trump allies or supporters who have turned against the former president. Previous winners include John McCain and Mitt Romney, both of whom the media disparaged until they turned against Trump.
Back in December 2017, CNN mocked Pence for his slavish loyalty to Trump.
People magazine ridiculed Pence for “fawning remarks” about Trump, and noted that Twitter exploded with criticism of Pence, including tweets by CNN’s Chris Cillizza, who remarked: “‘You are the single greatest human in this galaxy — nay in any galaxy.’ — Mike Pence on Trump, basically.” Commentary’s John Podhoretz piled on: “Mike Pence=Larry Miller in ‘Pretty Woman.’” Wired magazine’s Steve Silberman called Pence’s praise of Trump “stomach-churningly uncomfortable to watch,” and a “ritual submission and exaltation” that “is nearly pornographic.”
The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer wrote a hit piece titled “The Danger of President Pence.”
Expect other major networks and media outlets to follow suit. But Pence should be aware that if by some miracle he were to capture the GOP nomination in 2024, that very same media will turn on him just as they turned on McCain and Romney when they dared to challenge media favorite Barack Obama.
The media will likely initially portray Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as a reasonable alternative to Trump in 2024, but should DeSantis emerge as the GOP candidate, the media knives will be out — just as they would be for Pence, Pompeo, Christie, Hogan, or anyone else who runs against Biden or some other Democratic candidate in 2024. That is because the media is effectively an arm of the Democratic Party — and that is nothing new. CBS’ Walter Cronkite, the “most trusted man in America,” was very liberal.
The writers of the popular television show All in the Family had Archie Bunker refer to Cronkite as “Pinko Cronkite” for a reason. And Cronkite wasn’t alone. He was like most of the other news anchors in the so-called “heyday” of American television journalism. But today, the media anchors and writers don’t even pretend to be unbiased or neutral. They favor Democrats and liberalism. They hate Trump.
Americans, even those who don’t like Trump, should at least be grateful that Trump has exposed the mainstream media for what they have always been — pro-Democrat, very liberal, disdainful of conservatives and conservatism, and willing to destroy or attempt to destroy politicians who fail to pay them homage. They destroyed Nixon’s presidency. They attempted to destroy Reagan’s presidency. They used forged documents on 60 Minutes (remember) in an effort to boost John Kerry’s campaign against George W. Bush. Previous GOP presidents pretended to respect the media. Trump did not. He repeatedly voiced what so many conservatives believed about the “fake news” media. The media had never been confronted like that before, so they went after Trump with even more zeal than they went after Nixon with.
Any Republican who gets the party’s nomination in 2024 will face a mostly hostile media. So Mike Pence and the other hopefuls should beware the media’s strange new respect and embrace. It won’t last.