Reporters covering the debate shouldn't gloss over the personal irresponsibility Pence is exhibiting simply by being out of his house. He is modeling behavior that could kill tens of thousands of Americans.
When was Trump's last negative test? Why no contact tracing? When did he get his Regeneron cocktail? Trump’s team is fighting to obscure these facts -- presumably because they would depict his astonishing lack of personal responsibility with even more resonance than usual.
Sports-style debate coverage fundamentally equates the two candidates. It suggests that they are playing the same game, when they are playing entirely different games. It casts them as competing on an even playing field, when they are nor playing by remotely the same rules.
It took arguably the most outrageously anti-democratic statement by an American president ever – and nearly a whole news cycle – but major news organizations are finally responding with the strong headlines and alarming rhetoric that the moment requires.
People who know and care about elections and democracy frantically sounded the alarm on Wednesday as Donald Trump’s intention to steal the election became undeniable. But the leaders of our nation’s top newsroom went about their business as usual.
The breathless horserace coverage about the fate of Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court risks normalizing as just another partisan squabble what is in fact an epic clash between two starkly different visions of America.
Donald Trump has failed to protect the country against the pandemic in too many ways to count. But this one really hits home: The U.S. Postal Service was about to send five face-masks to every household in America – in April! -- until someone at the White House nixed it. I can’t think of any one act that might have changed the pandemic timeline more than that – and we were so close!
Trump's latest obviously delusional fantasy is that every person in America will be able to get a vaccine “very soon”. Why did something so nutty make it into an Associated Press headline? Will they ever learn?
The nation's political journalists face a moment of reckoning: Will they continue to treat this like a normal election, acting as if both sides have equally compelling claims on the American voter? Or will they sound the alarm, and make it clear in every story precisely what is at stake for the country?
The webcam-scaled Democratic National Convention is showing us something that, it now becomes very clear, has been sadly missing from the wall of noise that is modern American political coverage: ordinary Americans, miserable and desperate for change.
Some of the print reporting on Trump sabotaging the mail and reengaging in birther lies was admirably blunt. But on the major network evening news shows – with their huge audience of lower-information voters – obfuscation still rules.
Maybe in a few weeks, it will become conventional wisdom that Trump’s vow to cut the payroll tax was an outrage, an act of impetuousness and malice and lunacy, a gift for his grifter friends. But for now, the news reports won’t tell you what you need to know.
A major new survey of public opinion about the news media is being misinterpreted by its sponsors to suggest that Americans don’t think there’s enough objectivity in journalism anymore. I think it shows the opposite.