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Stuff You Should Consume - Jan. 27, 2023
Welcome to this week’s edition of “Stuff You Should Consume,”— a weekly compilation of interesting political content for Message Box readers.
“2023’s Biggest, Most Unusual Race Centers on Abortion and Democracy” by Reid Epstein, New York Times (Please consider donating to the Wisconsin Democratic Party)
In 10 weeks, Wisconsin will hold an election that carries bigger policy stakes than any other contest in America in 2023.The April race, for a seat on the state’s evenly divided Supreme Court, will determine the fate of abortion rights, gerrymandered legislative maps and the Wisconsin governor’s appointment powers — and perhaps even influence the state’s 2024 presidential election.
The court’s importance stems from Wisconsin’s deadlocked state government. Since 2019, Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, has faced off against a Republican-controlled Legislature with near-supermajority control thanks to one of the country’s most aggressive partisan gerrymanders, itself approved last year by the Wisconsin justices.
“‘Fox News in Spanish’: Inside an upstart media company’s big plans to impact the 2024 election” by Natalie Alison, Politico
Americano Media, which launched in March, is embarking on an aggressive expansion plan to shape center-right Hispanic opinion during the upcoming election cycle. The network has hired more than 80 Latino journalists and producers, are expanding their radio presence to television, and by the end of the year will have studios in Miami, Las Vegas and D.C. with reporters covering the White House, Congress and embedding in 2024 presidential campaigns. This month, Americano is launching a $20 million marketing campaign to draw in new viewers.
It’s the latest development in an arms race to reach and win over the nation’s second-largest demographic group, one playing an increasingly critical role in election outcomes
“Trump and Facebook’s Mutual Decay” by Charlie Warzel, The Atlantic
And yet there is something underwhelming—stale, even—about the news. The story of Trump’s deplatforming feels cryogenically frozen, a 2020 narrative that seems to have lost part of its relevance now that it’s thawed out. This is partly because close observers of the story anticipated today’s development: In 2021, after a ruling from its independent Oversight Board, Facebook announced that Trump’s suspension would be lifted after two years, “external factors” permitting. (The company said at the time that it would assess “instances of violence, restrictions on peaceful assembly and other markers of civil unrest.”) And some of the thunder was stolen by Twitter, which reinstated his account late last year, although Trump hasn’t resumed posting there.
“A Ban isn't a Plan” by Anand Giridharadas, The Ink
Being mad at Trump and wanting to ban and indict him isn't a strategy.
We need to build a movement like we never have before: attractive, fun, substantive, visionary, tomorrow-oriented, rooted in people's lives, open-armed, fiery, merciful.
A movement that understands the emotion and psychology and anxiety that are at the heart of politics. The right gets this; the left largely doesn't. We need a new movement that does.
“Republican 2024 Candidates Might Have To Step Outside Their Right-Wing Media Bubble” by Charlotte Klein, Vanity Fair
The early talks follow the GOP’s underwhelming 2022 midterm performance, as both the Times and Semafor note. It was a look-in-the-mirror moment for Republicans on multiple fronts, including messaging, because while some Republicans who iced out mainstream media found success (Florida governor Ron DeSantis), others lost badly (Pennsylvania state Senator Doug Mastriano). “There are plenty of Republicans who consume their news just from the major networks,” David Bossie, the chairman of the GOP’s presidential debates committee—who, along with McDaniel, is leading the conversations with TV executives—told the Times. Bossie also noted that Republicans remain “incredibly skeptical that our presidential candidates can get a fair shake from what we consider the biased mainstream media.”