Accuracy in Media

National Review writer Jim Geraghty called out StrikeForce, the subject of an active Department of Justice investigation, however, he is indiscriminate in his further coverage and gives credence to one-sided articles that sought to attack outside groups for being outside groups.

National Review uncritically accepts the reporting of Politico, which often ignores the value of political activity that is not contributions or independent expenditures, or that such work is expensive and time-consuming.

The RightWing News article was biased and badly misread data. The Great America PAC mentioned by Geraghty reportedly spent more than 82.5 percent of its $28 million on independent expenditures and contributions. It existed to support POTUS and did so largely through independent expenditures. The PAC continues to spend the lion’s share of revenue on such programs, as well as others like supporting Gorsuch & Kavanaugh nominations, which are not independent expenditures.

The groups National Review lauds are conservative “Establishment” groups funded with large sums of money from large donors – the cost per contribution is a vastly lower percentage.  The article fails to consider the cost of building a grassroots organization from the ground up. It assumes the magical efficiency of the political establishment, but they are simply better at raising large sums of money; they are in fact often far less efficient in terms of what they pay the vendors they use. After all, Jeb Bush raised some $100 million during the 2016 campaign cycle, and look how well that fared.

There are bad actors, but uncritically attacking anti-establishment groups to advance anti-Trumpism doesn’t do anything about it. And the notion that the establishment could somehow spend their way to success is laughable – Allen West had millions of dollars left in his campaign account before he lost re-election.

The problem isn’t giving more money to those who hate President Trump and want to win to spite him – which is the strategy of virtually every lost seat the 2018 congressional cycle – the problem is that the people supporting these groups have no reason to trust the establishment and are making the best call they can on who they can trust. Responsible journalism that delves deeply into it would be far better than simply “give the establishment more money because they know how to win and you’re too stupid to know better” dicta.

** Story update: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Paul Jossey was sanctioned by the D.C. bar.

Jossey was investigated by both the D.C. and Virginia bar for alleged misconduct related to complaints that he publicly attacked former clients, in breach of confidentiality. Jossey PLLC is not listed as receiving any funds to date during the 2020 federal election cycle, according to Federal Election Commission searches, and received just $9,010 during the 2015-16 federal election cycle. Those funds were from the “SuperPAC For Reason,” which reportedly made no independent expenditures and no candidate contributions. In the 2017-2018 federal election cycle, Jossey PLLC received just $9,000 from the “Proven Conservative PAC,” which supported failed Senate candidate Roy Moore.

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