Well, yes and no. While I agree with Boehlert that the press "seems determined to keep portraying the Republican Party as a center-right outlet", I do not agree that the press does not know how to properly represent the Party of Trump. Because it does happen from time to time. But the few wealthy corporations who control the press do not want to offer a clear-eyed view of the far-right's authoritarianism and the increasing disintegration of the US. After four long years of contrary evidence, CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Associated Press, and others continue pushing the false narrative that Republicans are "honorable" public servants who are "deeply torn about Trump".
But there is simply nothing to support that belief. Just as the Republicans hurtle "down a path of denialism that has no precedent in mainstream American politics", the press are steadfastly in the business of "deliberately misinforming Americans". Boehlert describes
a four-year Beltway media obsession with trying to prop up the idea that the GOP remains deeply distressed by Trump's un-American behavior, and is privately aghast at his attacks on the democratic process. But last week's sham lawsuit that 107 members of Congress signed off on, including GOP leaders, obliterated that preferred media narrative.
Joe Lockhart, former Clinton White House press secretary, recently tweeted:
It's impossible to escape the fact the GOP no longer supports democracy. . . . They are not sliding toward fascism, they're already there.
[T]he Beltway media have been reluctant to change in the face of the Trump onslaught over the last four years. He arrived in Washington, D.C., as the most radical and dangerous president in our 240-year history, and the press made no wholesale changes in terms of how it covers the Trump White House . . .In terms of dramatically altering the way it deals with a chronic liar in the Oval Office, in terms of how it deals with an authoritarian figure who despises the democratic process, the Beltway press has made very few adjustments, and instead has often covered Trump as if he were merely an eccentric player — he's not an unstable, pathological liar, he's somebody who "traffics in falsehoods."We've seen the same whitewashing of the Republican Party. "Senior GOP lawmakers grow anxious over Trump's effort to overturn election results" read a recent CNN headline. But CNN could only find three Republicans out of more than 200 in Congress who were supposedly "anxious" and upset about Trump trying to overturn an election where more than 150 million Americans voted. Indeed, weeks later, more than 100 Republican members of the House supported an audacious lawsuit that asked the Supreme Court to throw out 20 million votes in four key states that cemented the president's loss. (Republicans were only concerned with supposed fraud in states that Trump lost.) A New York Times headline suggested those 100-plus Republicans were merely "playing" to the GOP "base," as if that political calculation made it okay to brazenly support the overturning on U.S. election results.
Still determined to portray the GOP as serious, honorable and deeply torn about Trump, CNN last week weighed in again, suggesting Republicans would soon be "ready" to acknowledge Biden's win, and were "struggling" with Trump's refusal to concede. That was depicted by CNN as Republicans trying to do the right thing. But the mere fact that timid Republicans, one month after Biden's obvious victory, were still just tip-toeing up to the acknowledgement line meant the CNN report should've emphasized how unhinged the GOP has become.It all fits into a four-year Beltway media obsession with trying to prop up the idea that the GOP remains deeply distressed by Trump's un-American behavior, and is privately aghast at his attacks on the democratic process. But last week's sham lawsuit that 107 members of Congress signed off on, including GOP leaders, obliterated that preferred media narrative.
Dan Froomkin (Press Watch) noted:
[C]onventional media coverage is already circumscribing Joe Biden's presidency by insistently positing extreme Republican intransigence and treating it as normal and inevitable — even before it has manifested itself. . . .As soon as Biden clinched his election victory, political reporters started warning him that he shouldn't pick people who might inspire Republicans' wrath. . . .Lisa Mascaro's recent story for the Associated Press . . . describ[ed] inexcusable conduct as if it were just normal politics, writing that "Republicans are swiftly signaling that they're eager to set the terms of debate and exact a price for their votes."She described the GOP’s plight quite sympathetically, as "suspended between an outgoing president it needs to keep close — Trump can still make or break careers with a single tweet — and the new one they are unsure how to approach."
Be prepared to watch Biden be criticized by the press for things they ignored when Trump did them (or did worse). They will probably let him enjoy the inauguration, but on January 21, the double-standard will kick in.