Accuracy in Media

There are war rooms and then there are war rooms, according to the Washington Post.

In “GOP war room blasts endless stream of criticism at Democrats, with Warren its latest target,” by Michael Scherer, we’re told in the lead the Republican Party’s research director hadn’t even gotten out of bed before he got “the GOP attack machine … whirring” against Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., after she failed her Native American ancestry test earlier this week.

Asked without having seen the story, adviser Kellyanne Conway had told reporters “’that just doesn’t interest me’ and Trump said: ‘Who cares?’” the Post reported.

But by 9:46 a.m., the story had changed. That’s when Mike Reed, the GOP research director, “blasted out his first email to thousands of reporters and allies, laying out new talking points for his side” – the most memorable of which was his quote, which “started showing up on Twitter feeds and in news stories across the country,” that “’Having as little as 1/512th Native American ties does not give you the right to claim minority status.’”

This was “just the beginning of a week-long anti-Warren onslaught that the Republican National Committee worked to orchestrate from its headquarters in Washington,” the Post noted.

“…And it was another trophy for a team of about 60 GOP researchers, bookers and attack dogs who spend their time churning out the information that conservative media and Trump supporters use daily to pummel the president’s foes.”

Two weeks before President Trump took office, the Post ran a story entitled “The Democratic Party builds a war room to battle Trump” by Philip Rucker.

There was no mention of attack dogs “churning out the information” that liberal media and Trump haters use daily to pummel the president’s foes. There was no mention of things being “orchestrated from Washington,” no talk of machines whirring.

No, this was a “new communications and research operation” to “pressure” – not attack – “the new Republican administration on a variety of policy matters and train a spotlight on Russia’s alleged cyberattacks to influence the 2016 election.”

It will be merely “one of several efforts from across the Democratic firmament to take on Trump.” There is no mention in the recent story of Republicans having a firmament of any kind.

It’s the same operation as the story described above, even down to the hiring of “two Clinton veterans who spent the campaign focused on Trump – researching his background, monitoring his statements and trying to drive negative media coverage of his candidacy.”

The Democratic National Committee was “in a state of flux” at the time, and interim chair Donna Brazile had decided she couldn’t wait to “stand up a campaign-style operation to take on Trump in the weeks leading up to his inauguration” so it could not necessarily attack Trump but rather “shine a spotlight” on his “conflicts of interest with his business enterprises as well as on Russia’s alleged interference during last year’s campaign.”

The Republican team that took on Warren this week has been producing a “relentless stream of carefully curated – and sometimes misleading – political hits [that have] been throwing Democrats off message for months while steadily stoking the daily fires of conservative outrage that power Trump’s political moment.”

As for the Democrats, the Post quoted from a release put out by Brazile. The Democrats are not stoking the daily fires of liberal outrage. They are “leveraging our resources and experienced team to assist with an independent and bipartisan congressional investigation of Russia’s interference in the election, hold Donald Trump’s feet to the fire as he forms his new government, and lead the charge in defending the achievements made under the Obama administration.”

Democrats are troubled by the Republican war room, the recent Post story says, because it is “focused on protecting Trump and attacking his potential challengers while Democrats have refocused their resources, for the moment on the midterm elections,” the story says.

It later quotes Josh Schwrein, a spokesman for the Democratic war room: “Democrats don’t have the benefit of the conservative media echo chamber emanating out from Fox News, so it will always look at bit different on our side.”

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