Dean Baquet, the executive editor of the New York Times, considers journalistic "objectivity" -- as his newsroom currently practices it -- a “core value” that he intends to guard as long as he remains in charge. So be prepared for more credulous, both-sides stenography.
Wesley Lowery's terrific op-ed made me think about how transformative it could be if reporters and editors started visualizing their audience as widely diverse, rather than as one imaginary white guy whose politics are exactly half-way between Democrats and Republicans.
The real outrage is that “his people” couldn’t necessarily slow things down if he asked them. That's because Trump has repeatedly refused to stand up anything like an actual national testing program, or the massive federal effort to develop supply-chain capacity to test more Americans that public-health experts say remains desperately needed.
In Friday's New York Times, chief White House correspondent Peter Baker tut-tutted the “normalization” of Donald Trump’s profoundly aberrational presidency. But it's not the public that treats Trump like he's a normal president. It's Baker and his colleagues. I have the receipts.
There are a lot of other things going on out there, but our top news organizations still need to keep a singular focus on the Covid-19 pandemic and the Trump administration’s calamitous response. And they need to be relentless in holding Trump personally to account for the suffering and death that could so easily be avoided.
The millions of protesters expressing their rage and suffering in the wake of the agonizing videotaped police killing of George Floyd have made something almost magical happen in this country. They’ve reminded a super-majority of Americans that we are better than this.
Publicly revealing the reason for publishing each essay would allow opinion editors to maintain – even clarify – their moral and journalistic values while at the same time exposing readers to the full range of the sometimes appalling public discourse, rather than protecting them from it.
The spectacles understandably catch the eye. But journalists covering the protests shouldn’t just be watching, they should be listening. And they should be taking the protesters’ message straight to officials in a position to respond -- and demanding to know what those officials intend to do about it.
Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger defended the publication of Tom Cotton's controversial op-ed, noting: "We don't publish just any argument -- they need to be accurate, good faith explorations of the issues of the day."
And that’s the whole point. By publishing the op-ed, the Times was vouching for its accuracy and its good faith, and was validating its topic as a legitimate issue, worthy of serious debate.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.