There is a place in marketing hell reserved for the genius who chose to name the new Democratic news site “The Missouri Download.”
More problematic, this site with its unpleasant, oddly scatological name has adopted the national Democratic strategy of scaring voters. Everything about the site is hyperbolic, anxious, apocalyptic even.
Although the site evolves fully around the fortunes of Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, now up for re-election, it rarely mentions her. The last article with McCaskill’s name in the headline–the benign “Local Veterans and Families Turn Out for McCaskill”–was posted on May 30.
If McCaskill is rarely in the headlines, her most prominent opponent, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, is there constantly, and he is inevitably doing something frightening and/or horrible. On one day, he “stands alone in backing family separation policy.” On another day, a lawsuit he filed “puts coverage for 2.5 million Missourians at risk.” On another day still, he draws fire for his alleged “refusal to investigate Greitens’ dark money group.”
To boost McCaskill’s chances, Missouri Download has also decided the one issue on which McCaskill can run is the alleged trade war that Trump is said to have launched. Headlines like “Across the State, Missourians Say Trump’s Trade War Is Hitting Them Where It Hurts,” sell only doom and gloom. Expect the major media to pick up this theme as the November election nears.
In years past, Democrats have resorted to scare tactics to rile up the base. This year, the base comes pre-riled. In the months immediately after the election of Donald Trump, the Democrats took some solace in thinking the Mueller investigation would lead to his impeachment. They had convinced themselves too that Trump would so alienate America that a blue wave in 2018 would wash away his pitiful legacy.
Neither has happened. The Russia-collusion story has collapsed, and the economy has kicked into high gear. Worse, Trump is appointing the kind of Supreme Court justices that he promised and that the Democrats most fear. The result is a base more angry, more anxious and more frustrated than it was even a year ago.
The absurdly myopic Missouri Download is hardly unique in feeding that anxiety. Alas, it has almost as much claim to being a “news” site today as the Kansas City Star or the New York Times.