Dancing with the liberal media
There's one thing that all conservatives can agree on: we don't get a fair shake from the liberal mainstream media. Our positions, concerns, and opinions are continually and intentionally misrepresented and sloughed off by the liberal media in their ongoing campaign to paint all conservatives with the broad brush of prejudice, racism, homophobia, and intolerance. The liberal media are little more than a transparent shill for the Democrat party.
I live in the Boston, Massachusetts media market, one of the country's most ardent bastions of liberal thought.
It is very difficult being a conservative in Massachusetts. While there is actually close to a 50-50 liberal/conservative split in the smaller outlying towns, the major cities like Boston, Worcester, Springfield, Cambridge, etc. are so overwhelmingly liberal that Republicans face an almost insurmountable hill to climb in every election. And in those contests where the conservative seems to have a real shot at victory, the result on election night always comes in at 8:03 p.m. at 62%-38%. And despite the obvious questions concerning fraud and vote-fixing, our Democrat secretary of state predictably refuses to investigate anything. Our State House is 129-29 Democrat, and our state Senate is 37-3 Democrat. Our governor, Charlie Baker, is the dictionary definition of a squishy RINO. The House easily overrides any "for-show" veto the governor sheepishly puts forward.
The national liberal media are well known: the major broadcast networks (ABC/CBS/NBC), CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and the big newspapers, the New York Times and the Washington Post. Right behind the Times and the Post in national profile and outlandish liberal bias is our hometown paper, the Boston Globe.
This, then, is the political and media landscape in Massachusetts. Not exactly a friendly place for conservatives.
Imagine my surprise, bordering on shock, when the Boston Globe called me a few weeks ago, out of the clear blue sky. "Your name has been recommended to us as a well-known local Republican writer who can clearly and logically articulate a conservative viewpoint on a given topic. The Globe has a feature that we call 'The Argument' where we pose a question of local interest and present a Democrat and Republican response to that question. Would you be interested in writing the conservative position?"
Sure, I'd be happy to. The gentleman from the Globe was a perfectly pleasant, courteous individual, who didn't seem to have any personal dismissiveness or disregard for my conservatism. He told me what the topic was (a proposal to drastically increase State welfare payments to make up for the discontinuance of some federal COVID-19 benefits) and sent me a link giving me the specifics and background information.
I wrote a logical response as to why attempting to use state money to permanently keep people out of poverty was a bad idea, one that would have the opposite effect of what the do-gooders intended. But knowing my audience (the Globe readership), I took extra efforts to not use any pejoratives like "do-gooders" or any other terms that might be considered offensive to the DEI crowd. I also slathered my argument with effusive praise for the "compassionate intent" of past liberal efforts, so as to give them their self-congratulatory affirmation. As I said, I know my audience.
Nonetheless, I made my points directly and unapologetically: do not raise state welfare payments to make up for federal shortfalls, since this will only promote waste, fraud, and abuse, and it does nothing to permanently better the situation.
I submitted the piece. My Globe contact thanked me for doing it so quickly (overnight) and said he'd be back to me with his edits within a day or so.
Edits? What edits? The piece was airtight as far as grammar and style were concerned. In perfect candor, I am a professional writer, and the amount of grammar/style edits needed for my writing is minimal. Content edit? Can't be — after all, this was an opinion piece, so what's to edit?
Well, it was content. The Globe wanted to soften a few sentences, to the point that I felt it changed their meaning and diminished their impact. I pushed back and politely refused to agree with the changes. I wanted it to read the way I'd written it. I got the feeling that no one ever questions the Globe's editing procedure. ("All submissions, even mine, have to go through the paper's editing process!" my contact told me.) But when I respectfully objected and pushed back, guess what! They relented. My original phraseology was restored.
Apart from feeling somewhat flattered that the Globe proactively sought me out, this was a very instructive, firsthand experience in dealing with a major liberal media player. To me, the lesson is this: be respectful and engaging in your communications style, ever mindful of your audience's proclivities and predispositions. But...don't give in, don't compromise, and don't fold. Too many conservatives surrender at the first sign of resistance, and they fail to make their point.
There is a reader's poll after the article. Our side is getting 43%. Considering the Globe's readership and the fact that in Massachusetts elections, conservatives never seem to reach above 38%, I consider this a win for our side.
Image: Boston Globe.