Reversal of Fortune: Progressive Media in a Democratic White House

Turnabout is fair play, no?

CNN’s Brian Stelter apparently shares my concern about the excessive influence of the Fox News Channel on this administration, noting this morning that Rupert Murdoch’s creation is directly responsible for Donald Trump’s decision to deploy National Guard troops to Mexico:

Yes, the nexus between Fox and the Trump administration is profoundly scary. However, if a future Democratic president were to be influenced by, shall we say, media entities that reflect the views of the reality-based community, would that necessarily be a bad thing?

Here’s something to consider. Let’s say a Democrat defeats Donald Trump in 2020, or becomes President in 2024. Once that Democratic President takes office, would there be any harm in that president taking into consideration the views of say, MSNBC hosts Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes and Lawrence O’Donnell, progressive radio hosts such as Thom Hartmann, and podcasters such as former Sen. Barbara Boxer and the creators of Pod Save America before making critical decisions on major national and international issues?

No, this is not to suggest that a future Democratic President should be as much of a media addict as the fellow currently in the White House is. However, would it necessarily be inappropriate for a future Democratic President’s aides to factor the views of progressive media entities into policy decisions?

So long as those progressive media figures don’t deviate from facts in their arguments, would it necessarily harm the national interest to give such figures a de facto seat at the table when it comes to policy preferences on health care, climate protection, gun control and criminal justice reform? Should a future Democratic president take their views under advisement when it comes to foreign policy?

Remember how the right freaked out in 2009 when Barack Obama had a off-the-record lunch meeting with, among others, Maddow and Keith Olbermann? If a future Democratic President decided to have off-the-record meetings with prominent progressive media figures, right-wingers would freak out again–but would anyone else care?

If a future Democratic administration could be as influenced by progressive voices to pursue policies to benefit the many as this administration is influenced by conservative voices to pursue policies to benefit the few, it’s hard to see the potential risk to the country. So long as those progressive voices keep their egos in check, their sway over a future Democratic administration could help to rebuild most of what Trump and his conservative media allies have destroyed, no?

D.R. Tucker

D. R. Tucker is a Massachusetts-based journalist who has served as the weekend contributor for the Washington Monthly since May 2014. He has also written for the Huffington Post, the Washington Spectator, the Metrowest Daily News, investigative journalist Brad Friedman's Brad Blog and environmental journalist Peter Sinclair's Climate Crocks.