Rep. Kevin Cramer on Media Bias Questions: “I Just Want to Know Whether They Even Care”
Since before election day North Dakota Congressman Kevin Cramer has been saying he wants to do something about left wing media bias in broadcast news.
That something has now taken the form of questionnaires he’s sent television broadcasters about media bias. “I just want to know whether they even care,” Cramer told me during our weekly open phones segment today.
In an article my colleague Sam Easter quotes a member of the Poynter Institute (a journalism school in Florida) who suggests Cramer’s questionnaires are just a publicity stunt.
“This is a way for him to get some press without saying very much except ‘We all know you have an agenda, and I’m on top of it and I’m watching you’,” Easter quotes Al Tompkins as saying.
“The one thing I don’t need more of is press,” Cramer said when I read those remarks to him.
“The media is going to beat me up over this because they don’t like being criticized,” he continued.
On Sunday my print column was about how the 2018 Senate race, probably between Cramer and incumbent Democrat Heidi Heitkamp, seems to have already begun. I noted that Democrats, and Democrat-allied groups, had been ramping up their attacks on the Congressman, and I wrote that column before someone in Democratic circles began leaking Heitkamp’s fundraising numbers to the press.
I asked Cramer if he felt the race had begun. “Evidently it has for them,” he said. “Clearly they want to soften me up a little bit,” he added.
“I don’t know what I want to do,” he said when I asked him if he was going to run for the Senate.
One persistent attack Democrats have launched at Cramer is the suggestion that he doesn’t support an investigation into the allegations of an improper relationship between President Donald Trump, his campaign, and Russian interests. The Democrats, through their “Real Kevin Cramer” platform, tweeted this shortly before the Congressman’s appearance on my show today:
Call in and ask @repkevincramer anything you want, like why he loves a good investigation, as long as it's not about #TrumpRussia https://t.co/tnUpNuzsA9
— Real Kevin Cramer (@realkevincramer) April 5, 2017
“We have one,” Cramer said when I asked him if he supports an investigation. “They’re doing a full investigation,” he added, noting that there is disagreement over the scope of the inquiry. Cramer said Republicans want it to include things such as the allegations of the Obama administration initiating some level of spying on Trump and his staff, while Democrats want it limited strictly to the Russian question.
Here’s the full audio:
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