Media Outlets Continue To Portray Pro-Biden Lincoln Project as 'Republican' Organization

The Democratic super PAC is best known for enabling a sex pest and engaging in neo-Nazi cosplay

March 7, 2022

The Lincoln Project is a scandal-plagued super PAC dedicated to supporting President Joe Biden and helping Democrats win elections. In October 2021, for example, Lincoln Project operatives dressed as neo-Nazis crashed a Glenn Youngkin campaign event in a misguided effort to besmirch the Republican candidate for governor of Virginia. (It didn't work.)

Nevertheless, mainstream media outlets continue to portray the Lincoln Project and its senior members as "Republicans" or "right-of-center" pundits whose opinions actually matter, or are substantively different from those of a generic liberal pundit. (They aren't; they don't; they aren't.)

Last month, the Hill published an article about how "Republicans are reveling in their hatred of Joe Biden." It includes several quotes from Lincoln Project adviser Stuart Stevens, who is described as a "prominent GOP consultant." Stevens, who wrote a book renouncing his former party, does not even consider himself a Republican. He has compared Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler and Republican politicians to the genocidal maniac's Nazi enablers.

Stevens told the Hill that Republicans oppose Biden because they view him as a "race traitor." Insightful stuff. The so-called GOP consultant went on to suggest that Biden "supported" the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. (He did not.) The article has since been corrected, noting that "An earlier version of this story included a quotation with incorrect information."

The most recent episode of Left, Right & Center, a weekly podcast produced by KCRW, a National Public Radio member station, featured Lincoln Project senior adviser Tara Setmayer as the guest representing the "right" point of view. Before joining the Lincoln Project, Setmayer was a flack for former Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R., Calif.), one of the most outspoken supporters of Russian president Vladimir Putin to ever serve in Congress.

Asked to provide her assessment of Biden's State of the Union address, the so-called Republican operative praised the "brilliance" of Biden's speech and described it as "a win" for the president. "I think he over-performed. He looked extremely presidential, in command," she said. "I was struck by how bipartisan, which is Joe Biden's signature—his willingness to work across the aisle—how bipartisan the speech was, and I thought it struck the right tone."

This is the sort of "right-leaning" analysis the mainstream media find most palatable. In fairness to Left, Right & Center, the show occasionally invites actual conservatives (Ross Douthat of the New York Times, Tim Carney of the Washington Examiner, among others) to provide the "right" perspective. Mainstream news outlets, however, continue to invite Setmayer and other Lincoln Project members on as guests to provide "expert" commentary on the GOP.

The Lincoln Project rose to prominence in 2019 as an "anti-Trump" super PAC, raising almost $100 million from liberal billionaires and Democratic activist groups, and using that money to enrich its founders and help them pay off mortgages and overdue tax bills. In the months following the 2020 election, the group became engulfed in scandal amid reports that Lincoln Project cofounder John Weaver had engaged in sexually inappropriate behavior with dozens of young men, and at least one 14-year-old boy.

Fortunately for actual Republicans, the Lincoln Project's efforts to elect Democrats—including the neo-Nazi debacle in Virginia—have been spectacularly unsuccessful.