In January 1997 when I worked on Captiol Hill and Newt Gingrich was up for a second term as Speaker of the House, we received word in our office that one TV network (as I recall it was NBC) would feature on its evening newscast (and/or its Sunday talk show) any Republican member who voted against the Georgian’s reelection.
In other words, the supposedly unbiased network would reward any dissension from GOP unity with free air time.
As I read Jim Hoft’s post on what he terms the “Double Cross” of the three Republican Senators who voted for the Democrat’s spendthrift “stimulus” package, I wonder if Â the prospect of favorable media treatment impacted their decision to buck their party (and their principles). Â By turning on their own party, Republicans almost always earn the accolades of an otherwise hostile (to Republicans) news media.
No wonder, as Jim observes:
At those critical moments, when Democrats need party discipline, they are unanimous. The GOP on the other hand, has a few familiar faces who can be counted on to betray their party time after time.
It seems the media helps reinforce Democratic Party discipline while rewarding Republicans who break ranks.