‘If anger has an algorithmic bias, then Donald Trump is the captain of that ship…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) Democrats are pointing fingers after their latest impeachment ploy helped President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign to surge in fundraising.
Among their top targets is social media for giving Trump and his campaign digital media director, Brad Parscale, an unfettered platform to spread negative attacks and alleged falsehoods.
After failing last week to bully several media outlets into pulling Trump’s campaign ads, whining Democrats continue to use sympathetic left-wing outlets like The New York Times in their effort to ‘work the refs’ and scapegoat their own political miscalculations.
Radical far-left websites like Vox seethed last week when social media companies, as well as mainstream cable networks like Fox and MSNBC, scoffed at the demand to pull a Trump ad linking candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter to Ukrainian corruption.
On Sunday, the Times bemoaned that the more Democrats and their media allies tried to smear the president through traditional outlets like liberal news reporting, the more he capitalized on those attacks by running online campaign ads of his own against them.
“Even seemingly ominous developments for Mr. Trump become fodder for his campaign,” said the exasperated reporters.
“When news broke last month that congressional Democrats were opening an impeachment inquiry, the campaign responded with an advertising blitz aimed at firing up the president’s base,” they wrote.
Punishing the Messenger
In retaliation against Facebook for refusing to pull Trump’s ad, the Biden campaign responded by funneling more of its own advertising budget into television.
The company also became the subject of an array of attack stories and even a hashtag campaign seeking to discredit the social media giant, long reputed for its anti-conservative slant.
Companies such as Google previously have been exposed for programming into their search algorithms an underlying bias that favored left-wing websites.
Even so, leftist tech wonks tried to spin it as a way to counteract a naturally occurring bias that favored their distorted idea of conservative messaging.
Shomik Dutta, a left-wing operative whose Higher Ground Labs functioned as an “incubator” for Democratic start-ups, told the Times that Trump was simply better at leveraging the outrage that his base felt toward the other side.
“There’s an algorithmic bias that inherently benefits hate and negativity and anger,” Dutta claimed. “If anger has an algorithmic bias, then Donald Trump is the captain of that ship.”
Techies to Luddites
Where Democrats previously congratulated themselves during the Obama era for their media-savvy outreach plan, they now appear to have done a full reversal, claiming they are far too policy-oriented to communicate their message effectively on the philistine Web.
“While the Trump campaign has put its digital operation firmly at the center of the president’s re-election effort, Democrats are struggling to internalize the lessons of the 2016 race and adapt to a political landscape shaped by social media,” said the Times.
Even President Barack Obama, once branded by his campaign sloganeers as the “first Twitter president,” recently took a shot at his successor’s bully-pulpit of choice, Twitter.
None batted an eye at the sophisticated network of online databases deployed by Obama’s campaign—which, later converted into the nonprofit activism group Organizing for Action, was recently folded into the operations of Eric Holder‘s National Democratic Redistricting Committee.
But similar efforts by Parscale, Trump’s digital media director, to leverage online platforms have been derided by the newly Luddite Left with something of a conspiratorial air.
“He is at the helm of what experts described as a sophisticated digital marketing effort, one that befits a relentlessly self-promoting candidate who honed his image, and broadcast it into national consciousness, on reality television,” the Times said grimly.
“The campaign under Mr. Parscale is focused on pushing its product—Mr. Trump—by churning out targeted ads, aggressively testing the content and collecting data to further refine its messages,” the Times continued. “It is selling hats, shirts and other gear, a strategy that yields yet more data, along with cash and, of course, walking campaign billboards.”
In other words, it is doing what a campaign is supposed to do, only with President Trump as its candidate.
The Curse of ‘Civility’
By contrast, Democrats—longtime giants in fundraising through corporate mega-donors, who routinely trumpeted their warchest advantages during the 2018 election—were cast by the Times as a scrappy underdogs in the 2020 race.
Trump “is like a supercar racing a little Volkswagen Bug,” said Laura Edelson, a political advertising researcher at New York University.
The Times bemoaned the Democrats’ insistence on taking the ‘high road‘ with innocuous ads geared toward courting crossover votes instead of launching more negative attacks against the president that may risk offending prospective backers.
“It’s true that anodyne messaging doesn’t turn anyone off,” said left-wing operative Elizabeth Spiers of the firm Insurrection. “But it doesn’t turn them on either.”
She said the Left must somehow push through its overwhelming desire to heal the country and bring consensus, since that was not a winning strategy.
Republicans are “not messaging around unity and civility, because those things don’t mobilize people,” Spiers said. “… [N]obody takes time off work, gets in their car and drives to the polls to vote specifically for that.”
The Democrats’ claims that they are resisting negative campaigning fly counter to some reports.
Would-be candidates have complained that powerful party leaders, such as Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-NY, are shunning primary candidates who want to engage voters in favor of those who will sit in a “windowless room” making calls to donors.
Schumer reportedly said he plans to spend 90 percent of the money raised on negative ads to attack vulnerable GOP candidates in states such as Iowa, North Carolina and Maine.
Of course, the Left is still quick to tout its fundraising advantages when it can. A recent article from The Hill noted that a Democratic challenger to incumbent Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, had slightly out-raised her for the third quarter.
“It’s clear that the momentum and energy is on our side to flip this Senate seat,” said Democratic candidate Theresa Greenfield, boasting of a fundraising operation that was largely online driven.
Greenfield raised a little more than $100,000 more than Ernst for the quarter, though neither had been raking in the big bucks.
“I’m so proud of what our grassroots campaign has already been able to accomplish to lay the groundwork to win this race next year,” she said.