CPAC’s main events get live coverage on C-SPAN, but they are hardly the only discussions taking place at the annual event. The conference features many breakout sessions on a variety of topics, from grassroots organizing to policy details, and more. Yesterday, Townhall hosted a “CPAC conversation” with Guy Benson, Katie Pavlich, and myself about the challenge of coverage and commentary during the new Donald Trump era, both in mainstream media and for New Media outlets as well. One of the attendees uploaded the entire discussion to YouTube, and this will give readers a taste of what CPAC is like besides the C-SPAN coverage.
Be sure to catch Katie’s response to the strange and disrespectful reaction to her straightforward approach to covering presidential press conferences:
For my part, what I see in coverage in all mediums is a strong inclination to defend the prior narrative — the positions taken by people and media outlets in the prior cycle. If an outlet was NeverTrump or a Hillary Clinton supporter, everything is covered through the prism of “I told you so.” On the other hand, those adamantly pro-Trump outlets tend to excuse every legitimate faux pas as “fake news,” helped in large part by the Trump antagonists’ tendency to create missteps where they haven’t yet occurred. Rather than putting the election behind us, many in the media seem intent on relitigating 2016 for the next four years.
NRO’s John Fund and I discussed this tendency in the halls of CPAC, and his advice is sterling: Take each thing as it comes, and keep context in mind. In fact, John passed me this quote that he got directly from a DC politician years ago. “Ideas properly understood will seldom disappoint…politicians properly observed usually will.” Wise words to recall in the next four years.