Yearly Archives: 2020

Trump, unbound, escalates his blustering attacks on the courts – and reporters do stenography

What political reporters (and, perhaps more importantly, their editors) need to realize is that when Trump says something this ridiculous, what he said exactly isn’t as important as that he said it.

Three wake-up calls for a somnolent, shambling political media establishment

With Trump unbound and Sanders rising, leading media thinkers make powerful arguments for urgent reconsiderations of how our dominant media organizations practice political journalism.

Warren reduced Bloomberg to rubble, but elite political journalists remain focused on stopping Sanders

If the elite political journalist mindset is that the big question is how can Sanders be stopped, and Bloomberg is the only hope, then of course you can’t dump on Bloomberg without dumping on Sanders, too. Regardless of the actual facts.

No room for skepticism on the Washington media’s Barr-Trump breakup watch

In a sign of how clickbait values have triumphed over journalistic skepticism, a rumor that Attorney General William Barr told some people that he was thinking of possibly resigning over President Trump’s Twitter habit was eagerly spread by the city’s top political journalists Tuesday night.

Pete Buttigieg attacks a straw-man version of Bernie Sanders and the media indulges him

Buttigieg portrays Sanders as a "my way or the highway" absolutist who turns away anyone who doesn’t agree with him "100 percent of the time" and rejects any progress short of revolution. But the only people Sanders is spurning are billionaires and influence peddlers.

Suckers for theatrics: The political press sets a new low Barr

Even after a real-time public scolding from their peers, reporters at major news outlets persisted in taking Barr's plainly disingenuous comments at face value, playing up an imaginary breach between the attorney general and the president who are in fact actively colluding in the perversion of justice.

Political journalists are sounding the alarm. They mustn’t stop.

A major pillar of our democracy -- equal protection under the law -- is crumbling under Donald Trump’s increasingly brazen assaults. And it’s the free press’s job to sound the alarm, expose the damage, and champion its restoration. Some journalists are doing just that.

Bernie Sanders only gets partial credit from the elite political media

if it had been anyone but him, the headlines would have been less grudging. Instead, as far as the Washington Post and the New York Times were concerned, it was only a partial victory – of the Democratic left.

Bloomberg’s outrageous defense of police harassment of young black men gets picked up by the New York Times, sort of

Progressive podcaster Benjamin Dixon posted the audio on Monday afternoon, explaining how Bloomberg’s “racist explanation and justification… shows that he operates from a deeply troubling framework,” and calling for its widespread dissemination. It worked.

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.