Ex-Obama Adviser: Democrats 'Are Losing the Messaging Wars' (Despite Their Shills in Liberal Media)

(CNSNews.com) – This may come as a surprise to those who follow liberal media outlets, but Democrats face a “huge challenge” in overcoming the messaging of the “right-wing media machine.”

So says Dan Pfeiffer, a former adviser to President Barack Obama who also served as Obama’s White House communications director. Pfeiffer is hawking his new book, and he appeared on CNN’s “New Day” to discuss the Democrats’ alleged “messaging” problem:

“When I worked in the White House, it was hard to get our message out because the media environment was so chaotic and hyperbolic, and there was this emerging right-wing media machine that was starting to drown out our message. That problem is exponentially worse now,” Pfeiffer said.

“The White House, even if you put aside all of the crises happening outside of their control, that are dominating the news, the presidential bully pulpit is small, and this is a huge challenge to Democrats, is that we are losing the messaging wars, because as I write in the book, Republicans have spent decades building this massive apparatus — it’s cable news, the digital sites, YouTube personalities, you know, Facebook messaging, that is pushing right-wing disinformation and propaganda at the expense of normal political conversation in this country.”

Certainly, President Biden has trouble getting his words out, never mind his message, but neither Pfeiffer nor host John Berman addressed that obvious fact. Far from going there, Pfeiffer said Biden’s “agenda is popular, his messaging is good.”


“But not enough people are hearing it,” he argued. The Biden White House is now “recognizing Democrats have to work extra hard to be omni-present in the political conversation because we don’t have an apparatus that’s going to do that for us, like President Trump did.”

Pfeiffer said the White House must use “every available means” to spread its message, including: “you’re doing late night with Jimmy Kimmel [which Biden plans to do tomorrow night], you’re doing op-eds, you’re traveling, you’re doing local television, you’re doing progressive media, all of those things have to be part of the mix. And I think we’re seeing a lot more of that from this White House now.”

Berman noted that Fox News will not air the first night of the January 6th committee’s prime-time hearings on Thursday. Many Republicans, such as Senate Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, say the committee has no legislative purpose and is purely a means to politically bash Donald Trump in particular and Republicans in general.

“It tells me that idea that Fox is some sort of quasi-right-leaning journalistic organization during the day and then right-wing opinion at night, is completely not true,” Pfeiffer said of Fox’s refusal to air the hearings.

“The entire operation at Fox, and it has now been amplified by a bunch of sort of Fox-like online versions of Fox” — the goal is to create a hermetically sealed information bubble to dictate, to give people a specific alternative version of reality, alternative facts as Kellyanne Conway would say, for the purposes of motivating Republican voters and winning elections. That is what it is, full stop.”

Pfeiffer said “there are no simple solutions” to overcome the alleged right-wing messaging machine: “We are decades behind the right wing here,” he said:

“But there are three things I think we have to do. One, as a party and a progressive movement we have to invest in progressive media, not at the expense of mainstream media, we’re not running away from it, it’s an and/both strategy, but we have to build up and invest in ways in which we can communicate with people and tell our story on our terms.

“Second, I think we have to radically rethink communications in this theater. Political communications is not public relations. It’s information warfare in the digital age. so We have to be on a war footing and build up a completely different operation.

“Last thing is, and I think this is the only way that Progressives are going to beat Republicans at this, is, we have millions and millions of Democrats around this country who are taking time out of their day to text and phone calls and call strangers on the phone. We have a great volunteer base. We need to turn them into a messaging army; we need to give them content and tools to spread our message.

“We should think of each one of them as an adjunct to the White House press secretary — they’re carrying our message.”


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