Yearly Archives: 2021

Political reporters are hurting America, so how about getting rid of most of them?

Jay Rosen says political reporters will never change, so we should just have fewer of them, and have more subject-matter reporters instead. I like the idea, but I think it's the editors who really need to go.

Capitol Police officials who failed to mobilize on Jan. 6 say memo warning that ‘Congress itself is the target’ wasn’t specific enough

A still-secret inspector general report cites a "lack of consensus" among Capitol Police officials about whether there were "specific known threats" -- as if that was why they failed to protect the Capitol from a pro-Trump mob.

As voting issue gets white-hot, political reporters try to duck the moral implications

With Republicans making voter repression their top goal, political reporters are under pressure not to "take sides." But is the moral stench too much, even for them?

At Biden’s first news conference, it wasn’t the president who was out of touch

“Look, I don’t know where you guys come from,” Biden told CNN’s Kaitlin Collins as she became the second reporter at Thursday's press conference to ask about the 2024 election.

How to get Joe Biden to tell us something new (because there’s a lot we don’t know)

The press corps will soon have a chance to push Biden past the scripted talking points and get him to reveal more about what's really going on inside his head -- and his White House. (But they'll probably blow it.)

The biggest political story behind every big political story is our damaged democracy and how to fix it

For political journalists, democracy reform is far too earnest to be sexy. But they should be writing about H.R. 1 every day because the wounds it aims to heal are the underlying cause of the political dysfunction they report on every day.

Departing Washington Post editor’s comment on listening to staff is everything that’s wrong with the current generation of newsroom leaders

The Washington Post, like other elite news organizations, has long resisted constructive criticism from within as well as from without. And in his victory lap, Marty Baron unwittingly explained why: Because the leaders don’t listen.

Right-wing media is stoking anti-immigration hysteria again. The rest of the media needs to fight back this time.

In 2016 and 2018, our finest newsrooms let right-wing demagogues frame immigration as a story of nonwhite invasion. This time around, let's kick the political reporters off the story and have immigration-beat reporters tell the real story.

It wasn’t an ‘intelligence failure’ that left the Capitol Police unprepared – it was racism

Steven Sund, the former Capitol Police chief, was explicitly warned in a Jan. 3 memo that thousands of desperate, violence-prone Trump supporters were planning to target Congress on Jan. 6, encouraged by the president himself. But he waved it off. Ask yourself why.

Limbaugh obituaries show the mainstream media still fawning over the people who poisoned politics

Our newsroom leaders still cannot bring themselves to declare that the hysteria and conspiracy theories that once inhabited only the lunatic fringes of our political discourse – until Rush Limbaugh, and then Donald Trump, came along – don’t merit respect, but banishment, rejection, and denial.

Washington Post editor Marty Baron grudgingly admits failure to be ‘forthright about Trump’s mendacity’

To those of us hoping for a journalistic reckoning in the post-Trump era, it's disheartening that the first admission of fault from a senior newsroom leader amounts to little more than a "whatever."

What the next generation of editors need to tell their political reporters

Abandon the failed, anachronistic notions of objectivity. Recognize and reject establishment whiteness, Find dramatically more effective ways to create an informed electorate. For starters.

After obsessive focus on Trump, White House reporters need to zoom way out

It’s hugely important for our major news organizations to break themselves of the habit of obsessively focusing on what the president says – and instead devote themselves to exploring much more broadly what the White House is doing, and how, and why.

The biggest mystery remains: Why was the Capitol left unguarded?

Reporters should be aggressively pursuing this story, and operating under the assumption that Capitol Police leaders either were too racist to see the threat posed by Trump supporters, or looked the other way on purpose.

It took thugs roaming the halls of Congress for the media to speak the truth

It wasn’t until they could point to a guy with face paint and bison horns and a bunch of spittle-flecked bros waving flags that they could bring themselves to say something they were unable to say of people in power.