The best and worst political journalism of the week

My week in tweets:

Lazy, smug, condescending and wrong

A friend of mine emailed me about this New York Times article by Jonathan Weisman and Maggie Astor. He was furious that it made the glib assumption that people in “roles that do not require college degrees” represent a constituency opposed to student loan relief.

Those roles “are filled with people who have college degrees or, more to the point, began attending college, racked up debt, and had to drop out to work to pay off their loans,” my friend wrote.

The article cited two prominent labor unions, but my friend noted that it “didn’t mention whether the union has a position on the bill.”

So I did some digging. And lo and behold:

Stupid stupid stupid

I actually don’t use that word very often, but my lord. The coverage of the newly-revealed DOJ memo was that and more.

The memo, which was released on Thursday, consisted of two Trump-era DOJ political appointees trying (and failing) to justify the decision not to prosecute Trump for obstruction – after special counsel Robert Mueller had laid out a helluva case to prosecute Trump for obstruction, but stopped short because he wasn’t sure he had the authority.

The whole reason the memo was released was that a federal judge ruled it wasn’t part of the “deliberative process.” Get that? The fix was already in. It was purely a post-hoc cover-your-ass memo, which was part of William Barr’s brilliant PR work in making it sound like Mueller found nothing.

Every news report I read took the memo at face value. The Washington Post, before they fixed it, said it “played a crucial role in the decision not to charge or accuse then-President Donald Trump of committing obstruction of justice.”

What a disappointment.

The Post did run an excellent analysis the next day – on the opinion pages.

Bravo! The must-reads of the week

Boo! Other garbage stories of the week

Will the woke panic never stop?


Leaving you with this thought



  1. Most Americans don’t realize that the problem of rightwingers undermining democracy is also a huge problem in the UK and elsewhere. The majority of the UK’s major print media outlets are owned by people on the right, including Murdoch who owns the London Times and the tabloid The Sun. One outlet, the Evening Standard is owned by a Russian oligarch, Evgeny Lebedev. Boris Johnson gave Lebedev a baroncy so Lebedev is now a member of Parliament’s House of Lords. Johnson did this over the objections of his own national security advisers.

    Unfortunately wealthy rightwingers have also been able to intimidate the coverage of the BBC. There was an uproar this past week after Emily Maitlis, a former presenter on the BBC’s influential Newsnight show, accused the BBC of pulling their punches when reporting on the Tories, using bothsides coverage, etc. She specifically named the appointment of the conservative Robbie Gibb to the BBC board by Boris Johnson’s government as a source of the problem. Gibb is a long time conservative communications guy who also helped Rupert Murdoch create his new right wing television network GB News:
    “Emily Maitlis says ‘active Tory party agent’ shaping BBC news output”

    BBC defenders have pushed back hard against Maitlis’s accusations:

    But now others are speaking out, backing up Maitlis’s accusations:
    “Ex-BBC executive says he was blocked from board due to ‘Labour background”


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