Listen now (7 mins) | Process over substance
Regarding universal pre-K that would change education in this country forever... What comes to mind is a quote from the great George Carlin who ranted years ago about what we are seeing today. He said, and I'm paraphrasing, that "the owners of this country have no interest in an informed electorate. Critical thinking people are not in their best interest." Owners of course are the Charles Kochs of this country. As Eric correctly points out, when folks understand what's in the bill, including Universal Pre-K, they like and are in favor of the bill becoming law. The billionaire class doesn't want better educated voters and the media is owned by the billionaires. Ipso-facto folks.
Thanks Eric, this story about what’s in the bill has been under my skin for weeks.
This is a failure of journalism in advancement of punditry. The press wants to tell us a story and not report facts. This has been a “who is up, who is down” narrative, breathlessly gossiped. I think our Failed Political Press are talking to each other and not to us. They want their peers to see how smart and connected they are.
A few weeks ago, when the stubborness of the final holdouts was the story, the progressives asked the question: so which of the planks would they be wanting to remove? That was a rare moment of delving into the bill's contents and it was in spite of the dreadful narrative which some of the press has called 'coverage.' Only recently MSNBC has put up a graphic with what's in what's out and it was a startling change from their head count dollar count coverage.
How the hell can a President who has only been in office 9 months be a complete failure? Doesn’t he have 4 years to do the job? I am so disillusioned with the media.
I can’t believe how controversial spending OUR tax dollars on the American people and the infrastructure that is so badly needed. Calling it Socialism is BS and anyone with common sense would understand that. Ever Bill introduced is packed and over the top expensive. That’s where the negotiations begin. It’s like selling a house over what it may be worth, then negotiating the price. Not everyone will get what they want. This doesn’t equate to a failure.
The media is like a soap opera. A bad soap opera.
From 2017 through early this year, Maggie Haberman was on CNN virtually every day, telling us what her sources inside the Trump White House (Ivanka?) were saying/doing/hearing. That was so much more fun than doing the hard work of researching and writing some legitimate NEWS. It would be hard to find any Beltway media member more discombobulated by the lack of Trump than Maggie.
"We had never had a Capitol Hill insurrection before this year, so it’s not surprising that law enforcement missed lots of early signals."
Eric, I respectfully disagree. There were flashing red lights going off across the country and beyond in the weeks and days leading to the failed insurrection. Local DHS offices were on this and law enforcement—namely the FBI—ignored their warnings. That the FBI shrugged the threats off as "free speech" is outrageous. They chose to ignore the signals. The question is why. Is it enough of an answer that they were all scared babies worried that the chief insurrectionist would fire them and their bosses at justice and the FBI and chose to self-censor? Were they given implicit or explicit orders from the executive branch not to look into it? As with 9/11 we once again are witnessing a lack of imagination—not to mention denial—on the part of law enforcement, and also among the media as well. Even on Nicolle Wallace, when they talked about the Post report in depth, no one mentioned the numbers of law enforcement and active and retired military among the insurrectionists.
The piece is massive and impressive; I'm still going through it because every paragraph has me apoplectic.
A couple of things.
First, The Times's Upshot feature had a piece on the transformative nature of pre-K, etc. Maybe it made it into the paper finally? Not that anyone who covers politics in DC would be interested.
Second, I emailed The Post's editor to compliment her on the January 6 story. She replied and said she would forward it to the reporters (right). Interestingly, she's never replied when I have pointed out to her that The Post's political so-called reporters have been enabling treason.
The true test for the media will be when the BBB/Infrastructure bills pass, and they will pass. Will the media focus on the effort by the Democrats to pass legislation that will benefit a large segment of the population, that has almost something for everyone. Will they talk about all the good that is in the bills.
Will the focus on all the infighting (which is really just negotiation and compromising) and what was left out of the bill. How much it will cost, and find those "experts" that always show up talking about worst case scenarios.
That will show us how good or bad the media is at this point in time.
I am not entirely sure that we can call this a failure by the press, the reluctance to actually report on what's in the legislation. At this point I am prepared to entertain the hypothesis that this is a deliberate choice. The pattern is too consistent to dismiss the idea out of hand.
Why? Speculation - but I suspect several things at this point in time.
• Short Attention Span America: Established media no longer can simply report news and expect to reach a paying audience; digital news via the internet floods people with information. The imperative is page clicks. Stories about government spending, higher taxes, higher costs grab attention. If a story doesn't fit into a headline, it's not going to get told. And the GOP is expert in simple messaging that goes right for the gut, like "MAGA".
• Infotainment - the Roone Arledge legacy. Instead of being a public service, news coverage by the tv networks is expected to be a profit center. Style over substance, and if the ratings aren't there, neither is the story.
• Media consolidation. With hedge funds and corporate owners increasingly calling the shots, 'business friendly' translates into a conservative bias on what stories get reported and how. Heard anything about the impending rail workers strike? It's out there, along with all the other strikes that barely get coverage unless something violent happens.
• Media intimidation. Decades of conservative attacks on "the librul meedya" have the media bending over backwards to avoid being called biased for reporting positive news connected with Democrats. The Habermans of the press think that's normal now.
• Evil blondes - the Roger Ailes legacy. Fox News made blonde news bimbos an industry standard, all the better to make the poison go down more smoothly. The right wing media especially looks for the ones ready to aggressively catapult the propaganda. (The tweet from OAN's Emerald Robinson warning of "Satanic" Luciferase in Covid vaccinations is par for the course, notable only for how blatant it is.) Even when they don't have an agenda, the effect can be corrosive. To quote Don Henley:
"We got the bubble-headed bleached-blonde, comes on at five
She can tell you 'bout the plane crash with a gleam in her eye
It's interesting when people die
Give us dirty laundry"
It’s maybe bad form to dis the mainstream for reporting in conformity with their scenarios and responsibilities to those they serve. In this case, it’s promoting GOP lies and pushing the Democrats Suck storyline.
Two more even worse points:
The Post’s reporting that Eric notes is a one and done; gonna sink like that huge piece the Times did Fred Trump’s scamming that the kids maintained. If the Post is lucky, it might snag a Pulitzer. What it’s not going to do is has any effect. Honest reporting would require every story having to do with 1/6 would be to prominently note that it was incited — at least — by Trump with a whole lot of support by the GOP. But, again, that’s not the mainstream’s job. They only want you to think it is.
As for pre-K or other progressive initiatives remaining in the BBBA: how many of them will survive the coming GOP Congressional majorities? For that matter, how many are contingent on state actions? For that matter, at the end of the day, how much is the BBBA a game changer or is it just more of crumbs, a bandaid in lieu of the major surgery required?
The solution to all this, to overly simplify, is bottom up action, taking of responsibility. But in a nation in which far too many people who bother to vote don’t bother to get sufficiently informed to responsibly vote, what I’m prescribing is essentially impossible. Still, that’s about the power we have.
If this were a GOP BBB initiative rest assure we would know every freaking thing that was in it and be read the riot act on all the Dems who were opposing it. The Dems just have to get out there and at every turn spell out what's in this massive bill that will be life changing. Dems can't mess this opportunity up. As much as Manchin & Sinema are trying to do. smh