Beyond the norm in hot this late-afternoon Saturday in California’s Central Valley — right now it’s 108 (with a ‘feels like’ factor of 110 degrees), which is maybe tempered just a bit by a soft wind.
I don’t think so — ‘soft‘ is way-too ‘soft‘ a word to describe the outside of my air-conditioned apartment. The air feels heavy as an anvil.
Despite the scorching weather, summer’s near-officially gone. And from this weekend onward, a more-ratcheted, emotional political season leading to most-likely the most-important election in maybe forever. The midterms in a couple of months is a crucial checkpoint in America’s history and will probably reveal whether we stay as we are, or we collapse into a mass of outrageous horror of climate, social and economic disasters.
If Republicans win just the House, and not both House and Senate (as polls indicate as possible) we’re still fucked. And two years from now if they take the White House back, we’re even more-doubled fucked. Republicans don’t know how to govern, they don’t want to because of a multitude of reasons — one is they’re mean-asshole people.
Joe Biden Thursday night talked about reality in that there are not two different political parties in the US anymore — one has morally, ethically, and sensibly decayed into a criminal enterprise without any kind of a conscience. Biden probably didn’t hit at the assholes hard enough, but he did a good start-up. They are an enormous threat to America’s tenure of democracy.
And one of the gate-keepers of this truth is the media — journalism, as it’s been practiced for the last 50 years, is on the line this November — Watergate is half a century past, but the news business is apparently now not really up to the job of protecting democracy by telling the truth. Biden is right!
The old couplet of ‘both-sides-do-it” and both ‘sides’ given equal treatment in news stories are long, long gone — reality and truth should be the guideline. Yet sadly no — from Pew research in July: ‘Journalists in the United States differ markedly from the general public in their views of “bothsidesism” – whether journalists should always strive to give equal coverage to all sides of an issue — according to a recent Pew Research Center study. A little more than half of the journalists surveyed (55 percent) say that every side does not always deserve equal coverage in the news. By contrast, 22 percent of Americans overall say the same, whereas about three-quarters (76 percent) say journalists should always strive to give all sides equal coverage.‘
The MSM isn’t up to snuff — facing down the MAGA Republicans takes being modern and real:
That Biden’s speech was political served as an excuse for lazy both sides journalism, as reporters scrambled to draw equivalence between Biden’s commentary and a movement that’s currently calling in bomb threats to children’s hospitals. https://t.co/bZhoRxy6ir
— The New Republic (@newrepublic) September 3, 2022
Alex Shephard at The New Republic yesterday with some insight on the gap in keeping democracy as it has been the last 250-plus years — snips:
Unsurprisingly, many in the political press were shocked — shocked! — to find politics in Biden’s speech. Shortly after the speech began, NPR White House correspondent Asma Khalid tweeted, “This is clearly a political, campaign speech. It’s clear who/what this speech is about. In the first 3 minutes, President Biden said Donald Trump—by name—twice.” Wowza, what a scoop! Several journalists were horrified that there were Marines as part of the backdrop of the speech. “Whatever you think of this speech, the military is supposed to be apolitical,” tweeted CNN anchor Brianna Keilar. “Positioning Marines in uniform behind President Biden for a political speech flies in the face of that. It’s wrong when Democrats do it. It’s wrong when Republicans do it.”
The mainstream press has long struggled with these issues. Nowhere is this clearer than at CNN, which is currently in the midst of a purge of anyone who acknowledges the basic truth—that Trump and his followers are anti-democratic—in a foolhardy effort to win back MAGA voters who detest the mainstream media. (Longtime White House correspondent John Harwood is the latest network veteran to be let go since the network came under the stewardship of John Malone; his sacking occurred within hours of him offering commentary on CNN that “the core point [Biden] made in that political speech about the threat to democracy is true.”)
But CNN is hardly alone. The Beltway press has struggled to cope with the rise of a political party that is pursuing an existential threat to democracy. They hate the idea that they actually bear some responsibility for preventing autocracy; indeed that their own profession relies on this defense of our institutions. This neurosis drives them, endlessly, back into a blind spot they’ve built for themselves, in which everything is strictly politics as usual, and the question of whether America’s multiracial democracy should actually survive the decade is just an interesting debate that can be bemusedly enjoyed. There are plenty of normal political issues at stake in the midterms—inflation, crime, the war in Ukraine — to which they can apply their preferred rubric. The GOP’s threat to the republic isn’t one of them.
I read about the military bullshit — the Marines standing there, the red-lighted background — all bullshit to Joe Biden’s words stinging true in the night. Journalism isn’t what it used to be. Although there are plenty of examples of news media doing the job, it’s few and far between.
The national media sucks.
Here we are once again…
(Illustration out front found here.)