Accuracy in Media

CNN published an analysis on how Joe Walsh’s primary challenge against President Donald Trump could impact the 2020 presidential campaign.  The analysis, entitled, “How Joe Walsh could make some real trouble for Donald Trump,” was penned by CNN analysis Chris Cillizza, a former Washington Post fact-checker.

Yet, Cillizza debunked his entire argument in his opening line when he said, “Let’s start here: Joe Walsh isn’t beating Donald Trump in the 2020 Republican primary.” But he continued to analyze how Walsh could make a significant impact on the 2020 presidential election, despite admitting from the start that Walsh will not win the Republican Party presidential nomination.

Walsh’s strategy is to “get in the President’s face every day” and mostly through cable television appearances. Cillizza approved of this strategy and said that Walsh’s political strategy could unnerve Trump during his re-election campaign and create distractions. Cillizza’s main four points are as follows:

  • Walsh won’t raise any significant money,
  • Walsh will be on cable television a lot,
  • Trump obtains his information from cable television, and
  • “Trump is incapable of letting an attack go unanswered, no matter where it comes from.”

Cillizza said that if Walsh follows through on his strategy, “he could have an influence” in the 2020 elections. Also, Cillizza said that the president cannot resist fighting back against vocal critics and therefore, Walsh’s strategy will stir the pot and will lead to the president lashing out at Walsh.

But Cillizza never outlined what kind of impact Walsh will make on the 2020 presidential campaign. He focused on Walsh’s strategy, but outside of that, there is no substance to the analysis. It could be feasible to think that Walsh’s strategy could damage Trump’s re-election if Trump responds on Twitter or in a stump speech, as Trump’s statements tend to be well-publicized and negatively portrayed by the mainstream media. However, Cillizza never nailed down what the impact of a Walsh campaign could be outside of attempting to provoke the president.

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