The Media Really Want You to Know How Great Elizabeth Warren is Doing

Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonder and Home. Andrew is the host of Heard Tell podcast.

Related Post Roulette

34 Responses

  1. LeeEsq says:

    Warren is the preferred candidate of the liberal wonk sit because she speaks their language. The liberal wonk set is really not liking it that the real actual base of the Democratic Party loves Joe Biden, who seems to be a sort of bogeyman for them. They also believe that Biden would be a disaster as a President because he simply doesn’t understand the changes that occurred in politics with Republicans becoming a full white power authoritarian party.Report

  2. George Turner says:

    Buttigieg is likewise at the bottom with no African American support (at 1% or less). He may be the dream candidate for morning talk show hosts, but that just means he’s trendy with the chatty white liberal elite.

    Kamala Harris had a horrible week due to her helpless reaction to the PETA protester who grabbed her mic in California. It did not look remotely presidential.

    It’s a very weak field, and even past failed candidates like Howard Dean would probably dominate them.Report

  3. Jaybird says:

    That is a lot of coincidence. Either A) it’s really happening B) it’s a media conspiracy to push a narrative C) it’s a large group of folks who all talk to each other, read the same things, think in similar ways, all saying what everyone they know is saying.

    Is there any evidence of journalists colluding with each other to push narratives? If there isn’t any evidence of that sort of thing, it’s a lot easier to dismiss as a right-wing fantasy to explain away why the narratives they don’t like keep getting hold in the media ecosystem.Report

    • InMD in reply to Jaybird says:

      I know it’s prehistoric at this point but the Journolist thing comes to mind.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to InMD says:

        Did you ever read David Corn’s take on the Journolist?

        This is my favorite part:

        In years past, this sort of conversation would have happened in a restaurant or hotel lobby—presumably the bar next to the lobby—where reporters would gather. In this instance, it occurred electronically.

        He then talks about how the ideas kicked around in the conversations that happened, sure, made it to a lot of different stories. But that’s not a conspiracy.

        He goes on to mention that “Some Journolist refugees have started up Cabalist. (I’m not on it—yet.)”

        For what it’s worth, I’m sure that the new Cabalist is also a community, rather than a conspiracy.

        And any comparison that you might want to make to “journalists getting together to coordinate narratives” is… well, surely that’s coincidental.

        As Corn points out: “when we publish an exposé revealing new information or an article with a strong viewpoint, we hope that others in the media pick up on the ideas and information. We do want to affect the national debate. Just about every journalist does.”Report

        • InMD in reply to Jaybird says:

          Maybe I’m naive but I’d like to think Andrew has it right. I see less coordinated conspiracy and more a class clique of similarly educated people of a particular part of our culture who just happen to have a really big megaphone.

          I do think a better journalistic class would be more circumspect about it if for no other reason than that it would make them better at their jobs. Right now they seem happy to remain oblivious.Report

    • I put my thoughts in the next paragraph but although there may be some, like Journolist years ago, the truth is like-minded people who all marinate in the same circles and same friends and same general beliefs will have something of a herd mentality. Same with folks immersed in conservative media, probably also true to some extent to us on OT when we agree on things. I dont think it’s a conspiracy as much as it is human natureReport

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

      It just be a conspiracy, because, it’s crazy that people in the same profession would enjoy talking to each other.

  4. Doctor Jay says:

    A president needs a strong media presence. It’s a job requirement. Warren does ok in certain settings, but not in others. I think she is better as a Senator where she can focus more on oversight and crafting legislation. She knows what those people are up to, and knows, mostly, how to stop them.

    This is a take slightly less focused on narrative than Andrew’s but it isn’t that different. And to be fair, I had similar feelings about Obama, and he proved me wrong. I thought he was too intellectual to connect at an emotional level with voters, but that turned out not to be true. Maybe Warren will figure it out, too.

    For what it’s worth, I think “I trusted what my family told me” is a reasonable response. It’s transparent, and demonstrates a virtue – family connection – that we can all relate to.Report

  5. Saul Degraw says:

    Disclaimer: Warren is my preferred candidate of the moment. Win it with Warren! (This is why I am not hired to write campaign slogans).

    Biden has run for President twice before and both times he self-destructed in quite spectacular manners. He is popular and I like him but history might not repeat but it rhymes. We saw he needed to reverse himself on the Hyde Amendment this week.

    Basically, I think it is Biden’s to lose and there is still a fair chance he does it based on past and present performance. He seems to be learning but maybe not enough.Report

  6. Ken S says:


    You quote Chris Cillizza and Harry Enten as saying that “Warren is back in the top four in this week’s CNN 2020 rankings.”
    This is a fact. And this far out from the election, fourth is “in the race.” The other sources you cite as evidence of groupthink are a New York Times op-ed (one of many, but the one that conveniently fit your narrative), Slate (hardly a msm source) and the Daily Show (ditto). Not much of a msm consensus in evidence here.

    I get that you would prefer that Warren be judged as Pocahontas rather than a thoughtful candidate, but the fact that the others choose not to follow your narrative doesn’t confirm the “liberal media” silliness that posts like this one repeatedly claim.

    I dislike what has become of election coverage, too. I hate that it starts a year too soon, that it’s all about strategy and the horse race, and that serious consideration of policy proposals from the right, left and center are all but absent. This doesn’t prove that msm is “liberal.” It proves that its lazy and stupid.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Ken S says:

      Yeah, I’m getting pretty tired of all the horse race stuff too. Every election season we decry it and then focus on little else.Report

    • Andrew Donaldson in reply to Ken S says:

      I get that you would prefer that Warren be judged as Pocahontas rather than a thoughtful candidate, but the fact that the others choose not to follow your narrative doesn’t confirm the “liberal media” silliness that posts like this one repeatedly claim.

      If you got that it was from your own imagination and not the piece, since no where is the term liberal media used, nor is the slander “pocahontas”.Report

      • Ken S in reply to Andrew Donaldson says:

        More nonsense. No, the P name was never explicitly used, but the repeated claim that the ethnicity issue deserves to dominate Warren’s campaign (“The answer to something fundamental about you, as a person, cannot be a wonky proposal.”) is the same thing in politer terms.

        Similarly, the post never explicitly uses the L word. But please tell me another plausible way to interpret the title “The Media Really Want You To Know,” as opposed to the claim actually supported by the evidence, “Two guys from CNN and a comedian want you to know.”Report

        • Andrew Donaldson in reply to Ken S says:

          Those two thing are not, in fact, anything like each other. Your interpretation is yours to make, clearly you think very highly of Elizabeth Warren and are not open to criticism of her, measured or otherwise. Thank you for reading.Report

          • Ken S in reply to Andrew Donaldson says:

            Now it’s my turn to ask — how on Earth do you get “Warren is not open to criticism” from anything I have written? Yes, I think the P issue is a red herring, but I haven’t said a word in support of her or her candidacy. (Pardon me. I called her “thoughtful,” a word that I would apply to nearly every presidential candidate in every recent election, with one glaring exception. You can probably guess who that is.) In any event, as I read your post it wasn’t really about Warren at all, but rather about the way she is covered. And I’ve explained why I don’t think you have made the case for your claims about that.Report

    • PD Shaw in reply to Ken S says:

      Andrew quoted the authors at length, who were describing a dynamic, not simply a single poll, in which Warren had “put the Native American flap behind her (again).” They wrote: “Mission accomplished.”

      The Breakfast Club video is painful to watch. First, she falsely states that the DNA test did not demonstrate that she had Native American ancestry. Second, the host summarizes the discussion as Warren being like “a white woman pretending to be black,” which she appears to embrace by saying she learned it from her family.

      She’s either very poor at interactive discussions, or the issue raises a number of confounding problems that nobody could navigate. She will probably receive no primary delegates attributable to African-American votes.Report

  7. Pinky says:

    I googled CNN rankings, and it looks like they”re “power rankings” produced by Chris Cillizza and Harry Enten. I don’t frequent CNN’s site, but the term “power ranking” on sports sites denotes the author’s hot takes, not necessarily supported by statistics.Report

  8. PD Shaw says:

    Wow! The main thing about that CNN poll is this first question to Democrats:

    “I’m going to read a list of people who may be running in the Democratic primaries for president in 2020.
    After I read all the names, please tell me which of those candidates you would be most likely to support for the
    Democratic nomination for president in 2020, or if you would support someone else.”

    The pollster proceeds to randomly read twenty-some names w/ titles. Imagine what that feels like.

    I like answering polls. If that was the first question, I’d probably hangup.Report

  9. Warren is basically this generation’s Al Gore. She has a talent for repeating progressive talking points back to them, which causes them to proclaim her a genius. It’s kind of the inverse of Trump, who repeats conservatives’ YouTube comments back to them. But for all of Warren’s supposed genius, every plan revolves around a massive expansion of government power, all paid for by the “rich” (not you, your’e not rich, other rich people). And it tends to fall apart when real experts examine it.Report

  10. Mike Dwyer says:

    Fivethirtyeight’s podcast this week talked about how Warren keeps getting ‘humanized’ by the media and they seem to really want to show her as a regular gal in most of the coverage she gets. They also said the media keeps trying to drag Harris in that direction as well but she keeps pointing back to her accomplishments and not her personal story. Their overall point was that female candidates are typically forced to share more of their personal stories than males.

    I think Warren is going to have a lot of canned lines ready for the debates and it’s going to get old fast. I don’t expect her to do very well in the primaries, but this race is so hard to handicap at the moment.

    As an aside – they also suggested that if Trump just played golf and stayed off Twitter for the next year he would improve his chances for reelection because the people that are going to vote for him have already made up their minds and he can only hurt himself between now and November 2020.Report

  11. Here;’s a poll published today in the Des Monies Register that has Biden ahead at 24% followed by Bernie, Warren, and Mayor Pete in pretty much a three way tie between 14% and 16%. The Iowa caucuses are eight fishing months away. Does anybody think that’s too little time for Joe Biden to blow himself up and leave the race wide open?

    TLDR: It’s still really early.Report

    • Mike Dwyer in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      I expect this to be similar to a WWE Royal Rumble. The various candidates are going to agree to go after the Big Show (Biden) and try to clear him out so they have a fighting chance. If they start giving him the elder statesman kid glove treatment they are signaling they either aren’t actually willing to fight for the nomination or they think the optics of tearing him apart will look bad.

      I wish I had better recollection of how Obama slowly moved to the top during the 2008 run-up. I can’t remember if he started emerging during the debates or if his ascendancy was more of a primary phenomenon.Report

      • I found this graph of poll averages:

        Basically, during the month of January, Obama went from well behind to even.Report

        • Two things about Obama v Clinton in 2008 that I think make it unique and not very applicable to other races. 1) historic nature of Obama, along with his political talent, is something that is not replicatable 2) we now have another data point on what a terrible candidate HRC is, which in hindsight makes it apparent folks were longing for another option and once Barack Obama showed he was viable the switch was massive and permanent. Specifically to the 08 race, when the African-American community became convince Obama could win (I believe this was SC but can’t look it up right at moment so forgive me if it’s off), they then turned out at something like 97% for him. You probably will never see movement like that again.Report

          • Mike Dwyer in reply to Andrew Donaldson says:

            I was thinking SC was really when he became inevitable. The question is whether a Cory Booker or Harris could pull that support. Iowa may be Biden’s to lose, but that’s not a bellwether IMO. All they ever seem to pick is which candidate has the most support among center Left Democrats.Report