MSNBC “Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough used a discussion on the program this morning to segue into an article about the “conservative echo chamber,” and how he thinks it is hurting the Republican party.
Scarborough argues that while conservatives once had a valid complaint about how they were treated in the media, the current habit of turning to outlets with a clear conservative bent have not been helping them win elections. Rather, those outlets reinforce preexisting beliefs.
His proof? Republicans have done very poorly in elections since conservative-friendly media like Rush Limbaugh and Fox News burst onto the scene:
Why is Rush Limbaugh batting one for six in presidential races? Why is Fox News one for five? Perhaps it is because two decades later, what many of us once considered to be an important balance to left-wing media bias have become the only outlets conservative politicians and thought leaders consider legitimate. That has proven to be a terrible calculation.
This assumption has now become so widespread on the right that any news analysis or media poll that runs counter to Republican interests is dismissed by the right as biased and irrelevant. This mindset took firm hold in 2012 so that the echo chamber syndrome that once made fools of left has now come back to undermine the right. Not only does this approach distort political reality by only reinforcing pre-existing worldviews, it also stifles intellectual debate inside the party. This in turn creates the kind of stale political environment that has been criticized of late by conservative thought leaders like Bill Kristol, John Podhoretz and Pete Wehner. Mr. Wehner wrote a column today in “Commentary” calling for the “intellectual unfreezing” of the right.