Opinion: The Media Is Eating Crow on Abortion and I am Here For It

They refused to hear us. They told us we didn’t matter. They said the country cared more about crime and inflation than it did about our right to live.

They were wrong.

For months the mostly male political press has been telling us that abortion doesn’t matter and that Democrats were “wrong” to have gone “all in” on abortion.

Now they are eating crow. And no, acknowledging that doesn’t make us petty. After all, abortion rights are the right to live, to be a full person. We do not need to apologize for being angry that our rights were treated like political football and that women and girls have had their health and lives put at risk by Republicans on the Supreme Court.

Revel in your power. You matter. They didn’t listen and that sucked and it still sucks. They were wrong.

Voters told NBC in an exit poll that inflation AND abortion were their top concerns, edging out crime. All of that crime Fox News pushed and told Republicans to push — it flopped. Fox News flopped in messaging. That’s kind of huge. You are bigger than Fox News messaging.

The NBC poll shows Democrats care most about abortion rights, while Republicans are most concerned about inflation. So Democrats were right to hammer abortion rights. Let’s say that again: DEMOCRATS WERE RIGHT TO HAMMER ABORTION RIGHTS. It turns out, voters care about abortion rights and democracy.

Gosh. To think women want to live is a real shock. Said no one who is even mildly in touch with humanity.

We heard for months that Democrats had failed by prioritizing abortion. There’s plenty more where this came from, although the search results are quickly being replaced with very different takes now that voters have been heard:

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This morning, the political press is singing a different tune after months of smug dismissal of women’s basic rights:

To which Dean Baker replied:

Abortion being a basic human right didn’t even rise to worthy of mentioning as a top issue by the political press before.

But this morning, a new day is here.

The reckoning has begun, and no, it won’t end in an understanding of what really went wrong and why they keep getting this stuff so wrong, because that would require that they leave New York City and D.C. and talk to actual voters — a thing I actually do all year, in three different states. (That is how I knew the voters wanted Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the Democratic ticket when the beltway press was telling you that Joe Biden was a failed primary candidate.)

Meanwhile the New York Times is keeping it real by focusing on Republican wins in an election that is actually by any honest person’s accounting a disaster for the Republican Party given the expectations and history:

We have a political press that does not listen to certain voters. It has become so insular and self-congratulatory and self-important that it is failing this country in a huge way. Political coverage shouldn’t be ego driven, it shouldn’t be only about data, it should also take into account real voters. Human beings. People. People who do not live in an elite bubble of beltway insiders keeping the club doors firmly locked to actual voters.

I’m not the only one who can see this:

The press treats white Trump voters like the forgotten voters who deserve extra attention, but in reality the real forgotten voters are minorities, people in urban cities targeted by Republicans for disenfranchisement, women, people with disabilities — Democrats. Democrats are the forgotten voters. Because Democrats are largely not the “elites” Republicans and media paint them as. Democrats are a big tent, with many forgotten voters who do a lot of heavy lifting every election cycle.

The press is sooooo out of touch that their next move will be to quickly pivot to how Democrats messed up this as of this moment incomplete but still miraculous midterm result. We will get takes on how their messaging sucks and should have focused on the size of caterpillars in Nebraska because a Trump voter once cited the importance to a reporter who flew in first class to have a 15 minute “conversation” with the most important people in the country, the minority, the Trump voter.

These same people do not fly into Detroit to interview Black Democratic voters to ask them what they think about being disenfranchised by Republicans and harassed and threatened or spend time seeking out women voters to ask how they feel about being 2/3 of a person who can be forced by the state to carry a pregnancy to term, or even die for the Republicans’ (misguided) religious beliefs.

This is reminiscent of the political press obsessed with finding flaws in the Affordable Care Act website, such that they thought people who were dying because they couldn’t afford healthcare would reject Obamacare. Most journalists don’t make much money, but the ones you hear from the loudest – the smirking set – often live in a very cushy bubble where things like health insurance have never been an issue. That shows.

What this moment is really about is the beginning of the end of allowing ourselves to be gaslit by sneering cynics with nothing at stake.

Own this moment, because you made yourselves heard and it is sending a ripple of vague awareness to the press, but more importantly, maybe it’s time we stop giving them so much attention since they refuse to focus on the things that actually matter as they chase the Trump cash.

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Welcome to the new day in which we get to watch the political press try to figure out how they missed that women and girls like to live.

My only question: Can you hear us now?