"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Today's Must-Read: The Press vs. The Clintons, Part ?

I've lost count. Digby's been on this, and comes up with another post today, taking off from this article by James Fallows. The concern is not just the bias of the press, but the effect it's having on our whole political process:

Twenty years ago I published a book called Breaking the News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy. The Atlantic ran an excerpt as a cover story, called “Why Americans Hate the Media.”

The main argument was that habits of mind within the media were making citizens and voters even more fatalistic and jaded about public affairs than they would otherwise be—even more willing to assume that all public figures were fools and crooks, even less willing to be involved in public affairs, and unfortunately for the media even less interested in following news at all. These mental habits of the media included an over-emphasis on strife and conflict, a fascination with the mechanics or “game” of politics rather than the real-world consequences, and a self-protective instinct to conceal limited knowledge of a particular subject (a new budget proposal, an international spat) by talking about the politics of these questions, and by presenting disagreements in a he-said/she-said, “plenty of blame on all sides” fashion now known as “false equivalence.”

I think one root cause is simply that, while liberals expect people to be honest and act responsibly, conservatives know better: they know they can feed bullshit to the press and the press will swallow it because controversy generates ratings. Fact-checking? What's that?

Digby brings up a good point:

But what he says about all this making people jaded is very important. It's not just the press, of course. We're in the middle of an epic hangover from the economic crisis and people are still feeling the pain. It takes a while to work that out an the political ramifications of big jolts like that can be huge. So, a lot of this is real --- or it's sincerely felt anyway.

But the way the media is covering this campaign is making things worse. And, as usual, they seem not to give a damn.

Of course they don't -- they've got their six- and seven-figure salaries and access to any Republican they want to talk to. Why should they care?

Digby also gives links to more must-reads.

 Paul Krugman: Hillary Clinton gets Gored

Josh Marshall: About as clear cut as they get

And this, from some months back from Jonathan Allen: The Five Unspoken Rules for Covering Hillary Clinton

That last link may be the most important. This isn't some crazy partisan delusion. It's real.

I'd say, also, be sure to read Krugman's piece, if you haven't already. It's up to his usual standard.

No comments: