Yearly Archives: 2019

Desperately seeking best practices for covering the trauma of Trumpism

Wide swaths of the American public – especially, but not only, the people he has directly threatened and maligned -- are essentially traumatized by Trumpism. But that trauma is not reflected in the attitude of our elite media. And most importantly, it’s not reflected in the news coverage.

‘Open borders’ is a right-wing talking point, but it’s leaching into mainstream coverage

Julian Castro was right to bristle when a debate moderator’s question implied that his proposal to decriminalize undocumented immigration would effectively lead to open borders. "Open borders" is a politically toxic phrase that Trump and others wield like a club.

Jonathan Weisman, deputy Washington editor for the New York Times, reveals his own toxic political geography

Weisman essentially asserted that urban areas -- not just Detroit and Minneapolis, but Atlanta, and Austin -- are not a part of America's geography at all. What's even more telling is that he obviously thought this was non-controversial -- even self-evident.

Biased or Lazy? New York Times Traffics in False Dichotomies About Democrats

The progressive vs. pragmatic, head vs. heart dichotomy is an insidious one. You are presuming an awful lot when you call something “pragmatic”; you are presuming that it will be effective -- indeed more effective than the alternative. Your are also presuming that the candidate calling for less radical change is the pragmatic one, and therefore a safer bet when it comes to electability. But that’s not necessarily pragmatism; that’s caution, or even timidity.

Three new broadsides against American political journalism

One of the main reasons I am planning to launch a project constructively critiquing American political journalism is that I have been struck by how many super-smart people out there have super-useful things to say about what's wrong with our political coverage -- and how it could be better. Here are three cases in point.