Media Failing Democracy

December 14, 2021

People and events in the news and how they are portrayed to the American public is one of the reasons this country is probably up shit creek without a paddle.

Beyond the media roar from last night when the House select committee read aloud text messages sent to Mark Meadows on Jan. 6 from all sorts of assholes, from Congresscritters, Fox News shitheels, even Donnie Junior, and the scene made for some dramatic TV time — and again this morning, Liz Cheney read some more texts showing the entire Republican apparatus is deep in the scaredy-cat-lying shits — the simple, but hypocritical cruel activity of the GQP shown in full showcase is downplayed by the press, even to the point of obvious blind-eye prejudice.

An excellent example here:

In this day and age, there’s a pure-no ‘both sides do it’ in American politics. One party tries to work for the people, the other wants nothing but power, and will lie, cheat, steal, threaten children, anything to get it. A pure-ass fact: The entire Republican party has nothing but empty, hot air to offer this country. There’s no legislation, no governing in their entire agenda, just complete, emotionally-false rantings to stir-up the nasty few (yet some 21 million people), and while gerry-riggig the election process where voter-turn-out doesn’t really matter. Next year and 2024 could be the end-shits for the Amerian experience for decades.
Due to the browning of America, the GQP’s hold on power can only last so long until the weight of Hispanics, African-Americans and other peoples of color start to fill the voting booths even in re-districted areas. However, before that day, there’s 20/30 years of some nasty shit. Especially grueling will be with the chief, number-one quickly-coming, long-range horror problem: climate change. Republicans will easily allow sparking an end to the livability of our planet (nothing heavy). for power and profit.  Yet that goes along with just plain day-to-day bullshit when a government is operated/controlled by a crowd of incompetent, cruel assholes.
We’re most-definitely on the precipice.

Combating the wing-nuttery is not helped by a media working way-behind the times, as well-illustrated by the tweet above, which reveals stupid shit that’s not only one-sided, but a reverse lie — saying the GOP ‘could force the whole investigation to end early,’ is exactly correct, as Mark Meadows, Steve Bannon, et al., are hoping to run out the clock until after the midterms when (despairingly) Republicans win back the House and Senate. A for-real thingie.
Media, here’s looking at you, MSM, need to call the real game, not action from in days of old.

As I’ve expressed in the last couple of posts, mainstream journalism has to step up and start laying the real shit out to the American public. A national emergency requires it.
In this context, Eric Boehlert in his PressRun newsletter (a must-sign-up — most-excellent) from last week looked at the press coverage of Joe Biden vs the T-Rump — media is covering Joe worse than the orange-faced liar:

Despite the loud claims from journalists that news outlets were tough on Trump for four years, it’s not true. (See: Hereherehere, and here.)
On the flip side, scribes reject the claim that they’ve been overly harsh covering Biden in recent months, but they have been. (See: Hereherehere, and here.)

Read the entire newsletter, it’s a pisser (and the subject was covered last week by progressive (truthful) news sites), but Boehlert nails it in concluding this about the political press:

Too many news organizations view themselves primarily as witnesses in the unfolding drama today, paid to document the beating that democracy is taking at the hands of extremist Republicans.
Journalists don’t see themselves as having a vested interest in America maintaining a functioning democracy.

It all goes back the cherished, safe model the D.C. press has used for at least 50 years in terms of covering politics in this country: Left-leaning Democrats square off against right-leaning Republicans, and all the key players fall within the broad definition of mainstream politics, and they’re all generally honest, decent people.

That blueprint no longer works because the Republican Party, including key leaders, have sprinted away from any traditional sense of fact or honor-based politics and now lie about everything.
They lie about the economy, about Covid, about Trump, about the insurrection, about elections, about education, about 9/11.
One side has become deeply radicalized while the other side is trying to save America from losing touch with the democratic foundations that have guided this country for more than 250 years.

Noted Dan Kennedy at Media Nation, “The media cling to both-sides-ism despite four years of a raging sociopath in the White House, an attempted insurrection by his supporters, and dangerous denialism about COVID-19.”

Yet Biden gets worse coverage than Trump.

And it’s become obvious within media itself as Boehlert isn’t alone —  Stephen Fowler at NiemanLab yesterday:

Sustained attacks on our election systems and a nearly successful insurrection at the U.S. Capitol should not be covered in the same vein as policy disagreements over economic and social issues — and yet here we are.
Trump, the most prominent member of one of our major political parties, has spent more than a year lying about how our votes are counted, pushing anti-democracy candidates to change election rules for his benefit, and changing the Republican Party even more into the party of Trump.
The media’s coverage doesn’t adequately reflect that.

And, too, from Monika Bauerlein at Mother Jones, also yesterday:

One, there is less actual journalism being created: In the last decade-plus, some 30,000 news jobs have been lost in this country and the pandemic eliminated 6,000 more last year. And two, there is more news coming at us all the time, on more platforms and in more formats, because more content and (often) more outrage is still the path to more eyeballs and revenue.

Why does this matter? Because as a result of both these things, the flood of incremental news can numb us to the fundamental issues we need to pay attention to. And the biggest one among those, in American politics, is the attack on democracy.

Yet there’s some dancing:

And once again, here we are…

(Image out front by illustrator and portrait painter, Tim O’Brien, and can be found here).

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