Yearly Archives: 2020

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."

Outside Washington, people are doing amazing things to revive American democracy

In his new television documentary, “Democracy Rebellion,” legendary journalist Hedrick Smith travels outside the Beltway to find populist, grassroots campaigns that have given up on Washington solving their problems, and are taking on money in politics and voter suprression themselves.

What the press needs to do to stop the march to war in Iran

Lessons that should have been learned from Vietnam were forgotten in the rush to invade Iraq. And now, as Donald Trump provokes war with Iran, it’s abundantly evident that the lessons that should have been learned from Iraq haven't been learned at all. So at the risk of stating the obvious, here are some of what those lessons were for journalists.