Overcast with a brownish tint to the air this Wednesday early evening here in California’s Central Valley — appears as a weird combination of a tule fog remanent and forest fire smoke, though, no fires statewide as of yet.
Just a brown blanket of sorts — although I want sunshine, in a few weeks when the sun and heat arrive with a bang, I’ll be wishing for a time like today.
Anyway, a reminder of 2022 and the midterms with democracy hanging in the balance as the shadow of Republicans re-taking Congress spells scary worry. As Nancy Pelosi said on Monday: ‘“It is absolutely essential for our democracy that we win. I fear for our democracy if the Republicans were ever to get the gavel. We can’t let that happen … I don’t have any intention of the Democrats losing the Congress in November.”‘
Indeed, the media has to step up to the journalism mantle:
I’ve been thinking about this a lot https://t.co/kcfQvq44BD
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) March 30, 2022
In her newsletter at The Atlantic today, Molly Jong-Fast interviewed several noted media people on how the MSM should handle the midterms this year. It’s a must-read-the-whole-piece thingie — here’s a couple, with the emphasis on calling the Republican party for what it be:
The Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan, who has written extensively on this topic, has recommended the “truth sandwich”—the tactic by which a reporter properly quotes a lie by surrounding it with truth. Her advice for the media as the midterms approach? “The mainstream press (the reality-based press, to distinguish them from the right-wing press) should focus on what’s good for citizens and not the horse race aspect of the midterms, and they should call out lies clearly.”
She added that she’d also like to see “more focus on voting rights and gerrymandering.”
When I reached out to Jon Allsop, the author of Columbia Journalism Review’s newsletter, his response was focused on the press not two-siding midterms stories: “Mainstream media should cover the midterms like they should cover any political story at the moment—by avoiding treating the two parties as equal and opposite ‘sides’ when they aren’t, especially when it comes to the preservation of U.S. democracy. I think that many reporters and editors have woken up to the Republican assault on democracy in recent years—and others didn’t need waking up in the first place—but good, urgent coverage of the threat still tends to get siloed away from the horse-race punditry, which still often seems to start from the premise that the track is even. We need to see more joined-up thinking here and that will require focus, which will be a particular challenge amid a news cycle dominated by war and with so many other important stories to cover.”
Perhaps the most realistic assessment I got was from the Pod Save America co-host and former senior adviser to President Barack Obama Dan Pfeiffer, who told me, “My broader take is that the bulk of the traditional media has neither the ability nor the willingness to serve as a bulwark against right-wing authoritarianism. Some of them will be tweeting about Joe Biden not taking more questions at the exact moment democracy falls. Democrats should push the media to stop normalizing dangerously abnormal behavior and prioritizing balance over accuracy. But we also can’t wait around for The New York Times to save us.”
But it’s not just media coverage and the Big Lie that set these midterms apart from any others in recent memory.
Trump and many other Republicans see them as an opportunity not merely to install Republicans in government, but to install pro-Trump, antidemocratic functionaries in government.
The mainstream media must not cover these midterms as business as usual, because “business as usual” could end democracy.
This year is a biggie in terms of the future. And the MSM has a tall job to do, and maybe they’ll do it. However, there are some in the Village who are blind as shit.
Charles P.Pierce at Esquire today in a piece on the dumb-ass, idiotic CBS/Mick Mulvaney horror-bullshit with this note on journalism 101 with the Republican party:
When, oh Lord, when will the elite political media treat the current Republican Party as the threat to the republic that it most obviously is? That threat will only intensify if the party succeeds in the coming midterms.
It is the single biggest story in American party politics since the Whigs went belly-up — or at least since the GOP gave up on being the Party of Lincoln and assumed the mantle of the Party of Jeff Davis in the mid-1960s.
Thus does the Tiffany Network render itself into a broke-ass empty Haffenreffer bottle in a ditch alongside Route 6 on Cape Cod. Cronkite wept.
Maybe so we’re told. If you’re not familiar with the Mulvaney episode, Vanity Fair has a good take.
Best bet, though, is just not to take any shit and tell the elites to fuck themselves:
Despite democratic danger — here we are once again…