Yearly Archives: 2020

Storming of peaceful protesters for a photo op shakes even the most jaded journalists

One gets the sense that we are entering the final phase of something – possibly Trumpism, possibly democracy. So it's entirely appropriate for the press to stop acting as if it’s just business as usual.

An overdue shift of perspective, as journalists become the victims of police violence

It’s a shift from watching the protests through the eyes of the police to watching the police through the eyes of the protesters. It’s a shift from seeing the police primarily as sources and protectors to seeing them as subjects and aggressors.

While you weren’t looking, Donald Trump lost Hong Kong

With the news cycle spinning with so many other, juicier stories, the Hong Kong news has gone largely unnoticed by the Washington media. But Trump’s political contortions and confabulations have now taken their toll not just at home, but abroad.

Trump’s coronavirus failure is an ongoing tragedy, not a thing of the past

Trump may have turned his attention to other matters, but journalists need to continue stressing that every day that goes by is another day that he fails to lead and that the federal government fails to take the steps that could save tens of thousands more lives in the weeks and months to come.

How to cover Joe Biden’s failures without a repeat of 2016

The lesson of 2016 is not to ignore the failings of the Democrat running against Trump. It’s to cover them with some sense of proportion. And at this point, Biden's considerable flaws have gotten too little coverage, not too much.

No, the mainstream media shouldn’t give up on persuading Trump supporters of the truth

Hey! Someone at the Washington Post actually responded to media criticism! Unfortunately, he oversimplified some key points.

The critical subtext for Trump’s rage against mail-in ballots is that he wants the minority to rule

Political reporters from our top news organizations aren’t falling for Donald Trump’s transparently deceitful campaign to demonize mail-in voting. But they're not putting this latest attempt at voter suppression in its essential context: as part of a massive Republican program to create the possibility of minority rule.

When Trump takes a step toward autocracy, journalists need to call it out

Even as Donald Trump and members of his administration have asserted greater and more unilateral executive power, our top news organizations have tended to interpret those moves narrowly and naively – giving too much credit to cover stories, marginalizing criticism as just so much partisan squabbling, and leaving the accurate, alarming description of what’s really going on to opinion writers.

New York Times health reporter Donald McNeil deserves accolades, not a scolding

After sounding off on the dismal federal response to the coronavirus on CNN, McNeil didn't deserve to be scolded by the Times for going “too far in expressing his personal views.” He did exactly what more journalist desperately need to be doing right now. He expressed himself with authority, and passion, and alarm.

Trump tries to fend off charges of hypocrisy with lies – but the press corps smells blood

It’s not just hypocrisy – it’s Hunger-Games-level hypocrisy, with ample testing for the ruling class while the rest of us fight for scraps and are forcibly enlisted as “warriors” in a battle to restore the rich man’s economy.

Trump blocks desperately needed national testing program, says tests make things “look bad”

Our major news organizations should have been all over Trump's highly revealing comment. It should have been the news peg for angry lead stories about Trump’s ongoing, calamitous failure to save American lives. But there was barely a peep.

Ring the alarm bells! The media needs to respond to Trump’s calamitous failure with urgency and activism

New projections of mass death in the United States should be prompting the country’s major news organizations to abandon any complacency in their government coverage and instead use every opportunity to sound the alarm about the extraordinary threat to the nation posed by Donald Trump’s continued failure to effectively respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

New press secretary: Who you gonna trust, me or your lying ears?

New White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany's first briefing was thick with misrepresentations and misinformation, from her bald attempt to rewrite what Trump said a day earlier about the origins of the novel coronavirus, to her wildly dishonest quoting from FBI notes.

Trump’s outrageous new campaign to demonize China is another ploy to change the subject

Wow does Trump's new campaign to demonize China ever need to be put into context. It's irresponsible rhetoric intended to change the subject from his own incompetence, shift blame, and further inflame his base with nationalistic fury. And the only thing that will come of it is more hate crimes against Asians.

Bring back the briefing – but not with Trump

At a time like this, we need information – daily. We need updates, and explanations, and reassurance. We need to know the plan. We need to know the future. We need a daily briefing. But it needs to be the right kind of daily briefing.