Yearly Archives: 2020

The folly of writing that Trump ‘hits back’

How do you normalize something as appalling as Donald Trump’s purge of truth tellers? If you’re a star reporter at the New York Times, you make it sound like he’s just fighting back.

Oscar coverage glosses over how ‘Parasite’ is an expression of rage at income inequality  

Director Bong Joon Ho’s movie is profoundly angry. But the media coverage of its stunning triumph at Sunday night’s Oscars focused mostly on less controversial things.

With Trump off his rocker, there’s no excuse to let him go off the record

Almost every day, he publicly demonstrates that he's not capable of holding anything back. Meanwhile, he treats the media as the enemy. So why would self-respecting journalist let him go off the record?

The profoundly abnormal state of the union

Nancy Pelosi decided the whole thing was abnormal enough that she did something overtly transgressive. So yeah, debate among yourselves: Is it time to be transgressive? I would certainly argue that it is.   

The big takeaway is obvious: Republicans cannot be trusted to hold members of their own party accountable

Our nation’s top political journalists are going to great lengths to avoid this obvious but very partisan-sounding conclusion.

Dean Baquet interview demonstrates why bothsidesism is alive and well at his New York Times

Talking to Michael Barbaro on the Times’s “The Daily” podcast, Baquet refused to in any way condemn a recent Times article that was widely and appropriately cited as a canonical example of bothesidesism, and instead reiterated that Times reporters will not be “taking sides” -- even when one side is the truth and the other side is a lie.

Peter Baker at the New York Times finds it amusing that Democrats want a despised neocon to testify about what he saw and heard

An article about how Democrats and Republicans have turned themselves “upside-down” when it comes to their views of John Bolton is a master class in false equivalence. Democrats don't suddenly like him, they just believe hist testimony could help arrive at the truth.

Corporate Democrats and never-Trump neocons are leading the media charge against Bernie Sanders

There are lots of legitimate concerns about Bernie Sanders as the Democratic standard-bearer, but so far, at least, his most outspoken critics are people with questionable standing.

One brave political reporter raises the bar for her timid colleagues

At a time when too many political reporters choose maintaining access over pushing back, NPR's Mary Louise Kelly asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tough questions and called him out when he answered with lies. Then after he summoned her to his office and yelled at her, she went public.

Adam Schiff’s plaintive cry for truth and justice is also an indictment of political journalism

Too many elite journalists have kept a distance from the issues Schiff raised, preferring to simply present two sides, sometimes even falsely equated. So his words made them uncomfortable. And they damned near ignored him.

CBS hiring of Reince Priebus reignites debate about paying liars to defend Trump on TV news

The corporate-media position that it’s so important to have pro-Trump voices represented on air that it’s worth paying known liars to lie is really ticking off some viewers.

Democrats lay out an epic narrative that the Trump team cannot rebut

We heard a compelling, evidence-packed story Wednesday about how Trump's sordid plot played out step by step by step. If Trump’s team simply responds with invective and shrugs, will news organizations realize that's not a real rebuttal?

Big Journalism completely fails to impart the Big Picture

Here's the story the mainstream media didn't tell you: The first real day of the impeachment trial of Donald Trump was an epic exercise in raw political power. Members of the Trump team, effectively led by Mitch McConnell, put forth no plausible arguments to support their position. But they didn’t have to. Because they had the votes.

Three things the media should be telling you about Mitch McConnell

Mitch McConnell is not a hard guy to figure out. Indeed, countless, extensive profiles of him have concluded the same thing: that he is singularly uncomplicated. His only ideology is power.

Why is the mainstream media so gentle to Joe Biden?

A profoundly weak front-runner should be the ultimate in big game for our top political reporters. But instead, mainstream journalists in the best positions to demand answers – during sit-down interviews and televised debates – have been remarkably soft on Joe Biden.