Yearly Archives: 2020

Get political reporters off the coronavirus story because they don’t distinguish between right and wrong

One of the many ways the public is ill-served by the White House chokehold on information about the coronavirus crisis is that it gives way too big a role to the White House press corps, which sees everything through a political lens – and a warped political lens, at that. But this story is too damned important to be covered as a two-sided battle over who’s winning the narrative.

Trump’s dangerous ignorance ought to be a top story

Donald Trump’s profound cluelessness about what’s involved in fighting a pandemic was on such blatant display Monday that it should have been one of the top stories of the day.

What should Trump be doing differently about coronavirus? Elizabeth Warren has some ideas

In an alternate universe where campaign coverage focused on ideas and where White House coverage focused on what the president is doing -- rather than a cleaned-up version of what he is saying -- we would all be talking and writing a lot about how the government should be responding to this crisis.

Mike Pence’s coronavirus gag order is an act of war against the media, which needs to return fire

A government-wide gag order during a public-health emergency is classic authoritarian behavior. The press needs to fight back with outrage and aggressive reporting, and by encouraging a massive wave of whistleblowing.

Big media is covering up Trump’s terrifying incoherence in a time of emergency

Just look at some of the things he said. Wednesday’s briefing was arguably the most abnormal moment yet in a profoundly abnormal presidency. But top news organizations, rather than accurately representing Trump’s alarming behavior, made it sound like nothing untoward happened at all.

ABC News’s David Wright spoke the truth about the political media, and his corporate masters suspended him

A sneaky video from a group that tries to delegitimize the reality-based media has uncovered a truth-teller about how badly TV networks skew the news -- not toward making things up, but toward turning it all into shallow, value-neutral entertainment. His bosses didn't like that.

Trump, unbound, escalates his blustering attacks on the courts – and reporters do stenography

What political reporters (and, perhaps more importantly, their editors) need to realize is that when Trump says something this ridiculous, what he said exactly isn’t as important as that he said it.

Three wake-up calls for a somnolent, shambling political media establishment

With Trump unbound and Sanders rising, leading media thinkers make powerful arguments for urgent reconsiderations of how our dominant media organizations practice political journalism.

Warren reduced Bloomberg to rubble, but elite political journalists remain focused on stopping Sanders

If the elite political journalist mindset is that the big question is how can Sanders be stopped, and Bloomberg is the only hope, then of course you can’t dump on Bloomberg without dumping on Sanders, too. Regardless of the actual facts.

No room for skepticism on the Washington media’s Barr-Trump breakup watch

In a sign of how clickbait values have triumphed over journalistic skepticism, a rumor that Attorney General William Barr told some people that he was thinking of possibly resigning over President Trump’s Twitter habit was eagerly spread by the city’s top political journalists Tuesday night.

Pete Buttigieg attacks a straw-man version of Bernie Sanders and the media indulges him

Buttigieg portrays Sanders as a "my way or the highway" absolutist who turns away anyone who doesn’t agree with him "100 percent of the time" and rejects any progress short of revolution. But the only people Sanders is spurning are billionaires and influence peddlers.

Suckers for theatrics: The political press sets a new low Barr

Even after a real-time public scolding from their peers, reporters at major news outlets persisted in taking Barr's plainly disingenuous comments at face value, playing up an imaginary breach between the attorney general and the president who are in fact actively colluding in the perversion of justice.

Political journalists are sounding the alarm. They mustn’t stop.

A major pillar of our democracy -- equal protection under the law -- is crumbling under Donald Trump’s increasingly brazen assaults. And it’s the free press’s job to sound the alarm, expose the damage, and champion its restoration. Some journalists are doing just that.

Bernie Sanders only gets partial credit from the elite political media

if it had been anyone but him, the headlines would have been less grudging. Instead, as far as the Washington Post and the New York Times were concerned, it was only a partial victory – of the Democratic left.

Bloomberg’s outrageous defense of police harassment of young black men gets picked up by the New York Times, sort of

Progressive podcaster Benjamin Dixon posted the audio on Monday afternoon, explaining how Bloomberg’s “racist explanation and justification… shows that he operates from a deeply troubling framework,” and calling for its widespread dissemination. It worked.