One of the most unique proposals that we’ve included in the foundation of our new conservative party is to include journalists in the mix. We’re not just talking about getting interviewed or asking them to help spread the message. We want them to participate.
Some would say that this goes against their professional principle of being unbiased, reporting only what they see and sticking to the facts. Today, that notion is hogwash. Perhaps it always was. There’s an agenda at play in the vast majority of “reporting.” On top of that, commentary has risen to comprise a much higher portion and prominence for most news outlets.
Today’s journalists aren’t just reporting the news. They’re formulating how we respond to the news.
With that out of the way, there are clear reasons why many journalists are ideally positioned and enlightened to be active participants in policy decisions.
They know more than lawyers and scholars
There’s only so much you can learn in college. Moreover, there’s only so much you can learn at the meeting table. The best journalists are immersed in the news of the day, the effects of actions taken or not taken by politicians, and proposed alternatives. In general, they read, watch, and listen to more of what is needed to stay on top of things than other professions.
That’s not to say that the world of politics is no place for lawyers and scholars. However, the politicians and think tanks can only do so much. Journalists get to see the world through a different lens.
The people talk to them
If you want to get an anecdotal view of the heartbeat of America and the reactions to what’s happening in the world, read the comment sections of articles or listen to callers on talk radio. One has to admire the ability of journalists to get abused daily and continue to wake up in the morning. Even when what they say is agreeable, there are always dissenting views that can offer a crisper perspective to journalists.
Most politicians that I know barely read their emails, let alone listen to how real people are responding to their actions. They have a staff to filter through the concerns and cherry-pick the ones that could have a direct effect on a politician’s popularity. The base concerns are rarely ever known by politicians because if they’re not representing a threat or opportunity, they’re pushed aside by the staff as unimportant.
Journalists, by their nature, thrive on reading, hearing, and responding to comments. That gives them insights that standard politicians can never have.
They have an avenue through which to press policy
This is the no-brainer, but imagine if Mark Levin or Ben Shapiro had access to the information that Congress has. Imagine if they had a seat at the table on a Senator’s advisory board. Imagine if there was a policy that needed to be promoted. Who better to promote it than those who already have an audience?
Would Gang of 8 had made it as far as it did if Erick Erickson was part of the discussion? It wasted millions of taxpayer dollars on a (thankfully) failed attempt to promote broken legislation. With journalists at the table, something like Gang of 8 would have been quashed early on as it should have been.
It is also through journalists that the realities of our situation can come to light. At The Federalist, Georgi Boorman makes an astute point to conservatives: we’re the RINOs now. It’s these types of insights that you would never hear from a politician.
They’re communicators, not salespeople
Don’t get me wrong. I know that journalists are no more honest than anyone else. However, there’s a difference between how Mitch McConnell or Donald Trump lay out policy, and how Jonah Goldberg or Glenn Beck would.
The most important hidden trait of successful politicians is salesmanship. The most important not-so-hidden trait of successful journalists is communication. In today’s world of mass media I’d rather hear about things happening in DC from a journalist than a politician.
We want to put journalists at the front of the table. Many of them have what it takes to guide politics and policies much better than those who are doing it today. With their perspective in clear view, we will be more successful as a party and a country.