Yearly Archives: 2020

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.

Wolf Blitzer was jonesing for the rhetoric of war; Democrats made the case for peace

Rather than rise to CNN’s bait and argue about who is tougher and more aggressive, the candidates – collectively, and without exception – laid out a compelling case against rash U.S. intervention and going to war under false pretenses or without congressional approval.

Acknowledging a media failure, Washington Post reporters set their sights on Trump’s business secrets

Three reporters publicly announced five unanswered questions they intend to explore, with the ultimate goal of determining whether Trump is “exposed to problems — such as struggling properties or debts coming due — that would put private pressure on a man with immense public power.”

Here is how our top news outlets cover Trump simply making stuff up

Trump can say whatever he wants and he still gets the kind of coverage normal presidents get when they say something controversial, rather than the coverage that a compulsively lying president ought to get when he says something that’s obviously made up.

Crucial context that ought to be in every single article about Trump and Iran

Official explanations have thus far been insufficient and lacking in credibility. There’s no evidence of a normal deliberative process. Reporting suggests Trump made his decisions impulsively, rather than strategically. Other than Trump supporters, pretty much everyone agrees this was a very bad, inflammatory decision. And he had an obvious ulterior motive.

Bill Greider’s advice for political journalists: ‘Talk straight out to the people instead of to the assholes who are in power’

The late Bill Greider once told me that the ideal public posture for political reporters was: "We're the troublemakers standing with the people and we don't take any position beyond that."