A snarky tweet in response to a really good column has me rolling my eyes.
A large percentage of GOP voters wouldn't care if every journalist to the left of Fox News was imprisoned, meanwhile, said journalists are mad because people dare point out their shitty reductive journalism.
Harkening back to your prior posts on AI, horse race journalism would be the easiest journalism to replace with AI.
Facets of this also feel like a sisyphustic slog up hill because it appears the right don’t care about journalistic integrity or honesty, they’d rather it not exist at all. So all journalists reporting inaccuracies in right wing media or even “left wing” media are often unheard. Folks on the right won’t hear your rebuttal/correction, and will use your rebuttal only when it justifies their agenda. Then it breeds further distrust from folks on the ground who don’t know that Fox News isn’t a serious News Corp and will treat them with the same regard as investigative journalists.
The fight is worth it. The people deserve accurate news. But accurate, well researched, well sourced media doesn’t make money. That’s why community funded options like this site are so important IMO. I miss classical newspapers and publications but it’s clear that for as long as shareholders are a concern independent journalism seems to be the most important format for modern media.
Wow, and I thought I had thin skin. Somebody should pay Farhi more money, otherwise he might be too afraid of being canceled to state what he really feels about the plebs.
I feel like this is a conversation we've been having for 20 years, since the early days of the blogosphere. At one extreme there was Judith Miller and her acceptance and elevation of "Curveball" as a reputable source on what was happening in Iraq, in spite of the fact that no one corroborated him. At the other was the willingness of mainstream media to simply accept at face value and unskeptically the slurs of the "Swift Boat" people against John Kerry.
People have been complaining about Chuck Todd's ridiculous interview tactics since at least 2011. And since Trump appeared on the scene, all I feel is despair over the fact that none of the very intense criticisms directed at people like Jeremy Peters, Maggie Haberman and Peter Baker have been heeded. And why should they? They're getting paid to keep on doing what they do, as per that famous Upton Sinclair quote. The Times even got rid of the public editor position BECAUSE of how little they cared about being held to account.
I'm still hopeful that this too shall pass, but I fear by then it will be too late, because we will be governed by an actual autocrat, who will put people in jail for doing journalism (imagine the small-town police chief in Georgia, who raided his local newspaper because they were working on a story about charges of sexual abuse lodged against him at his previous job, being a governor, or the President). I'd love to be proven wrong.
I feel that we can't really look to the big media outlets to do the hard work. I am quite willing to say that anybody who supports what Trump and his followers did on Jan 6, hell, anybody who doesn't freely condemn it, is an enemy of this country, and all I hold dear about it.
Thing is, is anybody listening for whom this would matter? I think there is. However, it's also why I cultivate relationships with some conservatives, and engage in "horse whispering" with them. One such program, a very long term project, is now starting to bear fruit as the commentor in question is now having a fairly sane discussion with me. And that's after I told him that his insistent request for more evidence in regard to Ruby Freeman was "garbage". (Full quote: "I have tried to take you seriously, but this is garbage. Trump had his day in court and came up with nothing at all.")
All of which to say, Parker, is let your voice be heard.
There is a desperate need for more writers writing articles like this AND which receive wide distribution. It's not hyperbole to state that this nation is in deep trouble and that next year's election might be the last.
The deluded who yearn for strong-man rule will sooner, rather than later, experience (in a personal manner) its downside (pro-tip to those wishers for authoritarianism: don't attempt to storm the nation's capitol when you get your dander up, it won't be pretty) but alas, schadenfreude can't fill an empty belly for those of us sitting in an internment camp.
It is almost like American legacy media don’t even wan’t to try. Jon Stewart told the stupid dudes at Crossfire years ago that they were hurting America; the show was cancelled but the dudes went on to hurt America some more, and for bigger paycheques too.
A French teacher once told me that in France, students learning English are taught to look for English equivalents of French words that *don't* resemble the French word. So, instead of learning "expert" as the translation for "expert(e)," she was taught the word "pundit." When she said that, I realized that my brain in no way associated "pundit" with expertise because I'd only ever seen that word used to refer to news commentators. In my head, "pundit" meant something closer to "odds-maker."
I canceled my NYT sub long ago when it became clear what they were. Genuine question - Is WaPo bad enough to cancel now? I also supported The Guardian but if the news media is largely going to continue failing in their coverage then I no longer want to support any of them
I’m pretty mad about those WaPo failings now bleh
Farhi is a hack, and a big part of the problem. I dropped my WaPo subscription, because under Sally Busbee the paper's credibility as a news source has tanked, Farhi is now the typical sour propagandist she prefers to employ. As an example the paper won three journalism awards last year, two of the authors had left by the time they were awarded.
I have nothing to add to your excellent piece, except to say that I love your reply and wish more people would say it 💗
Ouch, but so depressingly true. But that means we need to hear it, over and over again.
As you note, the "news media" is not a monolith. So, while there is lots to criticize, there are good examples, too. As with everything, easier to complain and it gets more clicks. But, as others have noted, the problem has been around and things don't seem to be getting any better.
So, while I cannot, unfortunately, suggest you write "the news media is doing a great job", perhaps "here are some members of the News Media doing a great job".
A movie critic doesn't go to the latest Star Wars movie (do they still make those? I haven't kept up, I'm sorry) and then say in their review, "Well, physicists know that faster-than-light travel is impossible, so flying from Tatooine to the Ice Planet of Hoth would take Luke approximately two thousand years..."
And that's political coverage in a nutshell. They're covering a show. Does it work for the audience? Does the audience get caught up in the thrill-a-minute action? Did they laugh at the jokes? Cry in all the appropriate places? It would be bad taste to point out the lies, like all of this is real and that it matters. How tiresome of you to do so.