Aug 26, 2020 - Economy

Republican convention speakers target the media

 US First Lady Melania Trump looks on after addressing the Republican Convention during its second day from the Rose Garden of the White House August 25, 2020, in Washington, DC.

First Lady Melania Trump after addressing the Republican Convention during its second day from the Rose Garden of the White House on Tuesday. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Many of the 2020 Republican National Convention's speakers have gone after the media, blaming outlets for targeting Trump supporters and bias against conservatives in its reporting.

Why it matters: The many mentions of the media at the RNC illustrate that media bias remains an important theme that party leaders believe will resonate with their conservative base ahead of November's election.

Members of Trump's family, as well as government officials and others, attacked the media at the convention on Tuesday.

  • Melania Trump, talking about addiction, said, "So often headlines are filled with gossip. I want to take this moment to encourage the media to focus more on the nation's drug crisis ... You in the media have the platforms to make that happen."
  • Eric Trump said in his speech in the 10 p.m. hour that the media mocked Trump supporters in flyover states.
  • Tiffany Trump referenced the media when describing her father as "the only person to challenge the establishment."
  • Nick Sandman, the teenager who settled a lawsuit with the Washington Post in July and with CNN in January, opened his Tuesday speech by saying, "I’m the teenager who was defamed by the media.”
  • Gov. Kim Reynolds of Iowa said the media didn't cover the "derecho" storm that ripped through her state's farmland, while crediting the president for his help.

On Monday, Trump allies and advocates reiterated that the media is biased against conservatives.

  • Rep. Matt Gaetz, describing the president, noted, "That’s the side of Donald Trump that the media will never show you."
  • Rebecca Friedrichs, a school choice advocate, said that the Obama administration "argued against us (teachers) at the U.S. Supreme Court" and that "their comrades labeled us spawns of Satan and slandered us in mainstream media."
  • Amy Ford, a registered nurse, said "I don’t want the media taking my personal story and twisting it."
  • Andrew Pollack, a school safety activist and father of a girl who died in a school shooting, said, "The media turned my daughter’s murder into a coordinated attack on president Trump, Republicans and our second amendment."
  • Mark McCloskey, who with his wife pointed guns at Black Lives Matters protestors outside their home in St. Louis, Missouri, said "the mob spurred on by their allies and the media will try to destroy you."
  • Catalina Lauf, a former Republican congressional nominee in Florida, said, "We come from Hispanic descent and we’re millennial women, and that’s not what the media wants."

The big picture: The president and many of his conservative allies have spent years framing the media as the "enemy of the people" and the Republican Party. Those efforts have created an environment where it's now the norm for conservative lawmakers and leaders to bash the media publicly.

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