The press, as you have pointed out for years, has aided and abetted the Republican Party. Since 2010 all they have done is battle against Obamacare, give tax breaks to the wealthiest, and defend gun ownership in the wake of an endless streak of mass shootings. Did I miss when the Republicans in Congress came up with their own healthcare bill, a plan for Infrastructure, immigration, and climate change? Right, because they haven't and they couldn't care less. Trump is not gone. His ideology is being nurtured by a party that is completely in line with one thing. Secure the extremist Trump voters because it's the only way they can achieve power. And the scary thing is, if the Democrats screw up these two years holding the majority, the House and Senate will flip in 2022 much like it did during President Obama's first term. The Dems must be perfect during these next two years and must show the public that what they are promoting benefits everyone, especially the middle-class and the poor. They must continue to fight the extremism now masquerading as the Republican Party. Biden, who is assembling a brilliant Cabinet and the Democrats are on their own. There will be no help coming from the mainstream press. If an insurrection that has caused the death of six people won't persuade the DC press how extreme and dangerous the Republican Party has become, nothing will.
I think we should give this Republican Party the same attention we give any other right wing conspiracy based fringe organization. None. No oxygen at all. Instead media should focus on what is being done in healthcare and climate change But they won’t.
My understanding, based on what former Senate staffer Lawrence O'Donnell said, is that the vote was procedural, and the issue was whether the constitutionality of trying an impeached former president should be debated before or during the actual trial. Rand Paul and his ilk wanted the debate to occur immediately, likely reasoning that there would be no need for a trial if conviction would be unconstitutional. So those 45 GOPers wanted an immediate debate. They were not saying there would be no conviction if there was a trial. That may be wandering into the weeds for laymen, but the media reported the apparent motive of the 45 (i.e., that they do not want to try Trump) rather than the true subject matter of that procedural vote. Once again, the media chose narrative over fact, and that ties in with Eric's overall point - the media simply can't or won't abandon the fiction that the Republican party is solidly mainstream, and secretly abhors Trump.
The political press has been wrong —and covering for the Republicans— since at least the Reagan era.
I would love to see a Corrections notice from the NYT that would run hundreds of pages, but it won’t happen. The columnists (Hi David Brooks!) would have to admit that they’ve been consistently wrong their entire careers.
And what is more problematic than being wrong? They would have to admit that the Left was right, er, correct all this time. And that is why it will never happen.
Eric...I love your commitment not succumbing to the pressures of the 'marketplace' of journalism in order to attract fame or fortune. I've commented before on Soledad O'Brien as another true journalist for whom I admire. Both of you are calling people out. I come from the field of mental health and view what I read with that perspective, especially since the Bush era. As I learn more about elections and leaders going back to Reagan it seems this has been like the initial signs of a tsunami where the largest wave crashed into our shores in 2016 with Trump's "American Carnage" inauguration speech.
It's not been that long since I joined Twitter and essentially removed myself from FB. So, what is frustrating from my perspective is we are and have been watching the signs of another tsunami in which the crisis of mental health (for many MH experts) has been rolling in, but we haven't seen the wave crash yet. If I mention the names of the psychiatrist, public health expert and Yale professor as well as the organization this person leaves, I think what happens is readers think I am promoting them instead of sharing what I believe is an absolutely vital piece to all of the frustration you and your readers are feeling. The frustration is the lack of understanding of how dangerous and pathological the spread of conspiracies, misinformation and the attempt by the media to talk about it at the exclusion of critical voices within the field of mental health. To here from the top experts and have it framed through the lense and messaging of a quality journalist is to me what's missing.
For lawyers, journalists, doctors (not psychiatrists), media marketing consultants and non- top experts in the field of Mental Health who are also public health experts is our downfall. It happens all the time! Language such as "insane", "crazy", "nuts", "dangerous" and without context is not useful to the public or for people who actually suffer from mental illness. It's terribly 'stigmatizing' if not talked about by those who have spent years in the field.
But, like all professions and we saw this with Ronny Jackson, Sean Conley and Borstein, there are amoral and broadly destructive people who muddy the waters in messaging. There are legitimate experts in psychiatry who can message and their are wolves in sheeps clothing, those beholden to the pharmaceutical industry, for example.
As frustrated as you are, so are those of us who are terrified of Trump's wave crashing in on us as he is the voice of pathology and a 'virus' that he's spread to people one might suspect of not being infected. This contagion is now centered in the halls of congress, with state and local governments, within families that don't understand what caused sudden divisions, and internationally.
As a journalist and historian, you're aware of the fact that intellectuals gathered in Germany, Turkey, Brazil, the Philippines and other countries long before authoritarianism rooted itself. They could see it coming and ultimately it did because the public and their governments thought they were exaggerating with every step they saw leading to tyranny. Mental health experts are also aware and though they are trying to message, the experts that get 230 K clicks on Twitter are Rob Reiner, George Conway, misguided reports from Politico, WAPO and the NYT's and so on. The experts with important and critical information on the state of this mental health crisis end the day with 1000 likes and shares. Please tell me I don't know what I'm talking about. I and many of us in the field don't know what else to do.
Being an establishment reporter means doing PR for the GOP. So what gets reported are the stories the GOP wants out there and facts and truth are much, much lower priorities at best.
Been that way since the late 1970s. Trump and post-1/6 coverage shows nothing's changing and what, if anything, will force a change would be something far, far worse than a POTUS and party who allow a couple hundred thousand Americans to die for no good reason and for (checks notes) elected officials sworn to uphold the constitution to incite sedition.
This abrogation of responsibility has done real harm. It hides from what's referred to as the poorly informed (and, of course, uninformed) to have no idea why the state fails them (to say the least) and that voting GOP is an acceptable alternative (facts and reality say otherwise). And here we are.
Dis the GOP (and corporate Dems) as much as you want, but the only thing that puts in power is a huge number voters, a large number of whom feel okay with their choices by a media who refuse give them facts that maybe are harmful the GOP (and corporate Dems).
The GOP seems to like apartheid-style government just fine. And we need to keep saying this. That’s the only way we can work towards changing this bad situation.
Thanks Eric, I love the subtitle "Chasing unicorns." Because that's what the press is doing.
Spouting about bi-partisanship with the GOP party that doesn't believe in democracy is no better than peddling misinformation. Arguing that trump is the problem is equally disingenuous. The latest shiny object is Newt Gingrich, and watch as many pick up this talking point. As you say, "wrong, wrong, wrong."
White supremacy, or racism, or the rest of the deeply held forms of hate didn't "pop-up" in 1994, or 2016, or January 6, 2021. But I believe it may now be worse, as truth itself is under attack.
Your wrong about the Republicans not having a rational thought process. It's just that their process has nothing to do with a civil consciousness. They have no real regard for democracy, only for power and the preserving of the structures that keep them in power. What is good for the country or even their constituents is not even secondary, but rather tertiary or somewhere farther down the line as rejecting facts that their donors find inconvenient is also so primary for them, they are willing to shift their morals with the changes of the wind (so long as the wind is shaped like a dollar sign).
They have a rational thought process, but their goals are not a match with what is hoped for from a civil servant - or even a decent human being - but make sense when you realize they are just all selfish and in it for the own preservation and prosperity even at the cost of the people and country they claim to serve/love.
The GOP is what it is today, a RW facist operation bent on protecting white supremacists, corp power (kinda one in the same), and pushing tested culture wars which appeal mostly to white rural & suburban people . There's no *pivot* for them, they have enuff RW media in placeto continue down this road, why should they turn back.
Paul Krugman admitted he thought it was possible for a moment but no. And I'm sure the DC political media will continue the narrative because they remain to journalism what Charles Manson was to Neighborhood Watch programs.
Took one look at The Washington Post web page this morning and saw them gushing with love for Ronna (Note that Romney is MISSING) McDaniel.
Yep we're back to the useless mainstream Pre$$titution that bows down before the Golden Elephant.
I just see most of the media as being incompetent. In every trade there are a few competent tradesmen and many incompetent. Too many journalists are not professionals, they are in a trade and too many of them are no better than a crooked plumber.
“Yet the press remains committed to portraying the GOP as a mainstream, center-right entity. That's why it keeps botching the "reckoning" story — reporters assume there is a Republican breaking point with Trump and the politics of hate and revenge he represents. But there never is.”
The ”reckoning” story is to keep journalists employed. They will not drop it as long as it gets clicks.
White Nationalism has been part of the Republican party for a long time. Donald Trump is just the recent, best incarnation. Just wondering who the next white male from tv or movies the Republicans will choose next. Matthew McConnaughey?
While I agree with you Eric , and almost every comment on this page, IMO, Democrats who are members of Congress, like Tim Kaine, do not help with the media problem one bit. They get the shit up their back, and it just reinforces fools in the Beltway media like Chuck Todd. I only hope Cardin set him straight pretty quickly.