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Because corporate news organizations are deeply committed to entertainment -- it sells -- Trump will get his prime-time advertisements for himself. And for free. It is not news, as Mr. Boehlert says, and it is not at all just news from "the other side" as argued by dbtheonly.

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author

I think this drives most of it—press sees Trump as entertainment content

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He's really a danger.

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founding

I don’t think it is just about the corporate media overlords demanding entertainment. I think it is a personal bias of many reporters who see politics as a game and who get bored by doing serious, substantive coverage. They much prefer to focus on personalities and excitement as if this were an election for high school prom king or queen. How else can you explain how one of the most revered political journalists of recent years, the “Dean of Washington Journalists” David Broder bizarrely “.....found Gore too focused in his convention speech on what he'd do as president. "But, my, how he went on about what he wants to do as president," wrote Broder. "I almost nodded off." “

The Times’s Maureen Down mocked Gore’s concern for the environment and equality complaining that that "Al Gore is so feminized and diversified and ecologically correct, he's practically lactating." Stupid and sexist all in one. Brilliant.

Brian Williams repeatedly complained about Gore changing his clothes from business to casual attire depending on the campaign event setting.

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2007/10/gore200710

Frank Bruni was offended that Gore didn’t pay attention to the the little niceties like giving stupid nicknames to reporters. He complained that gore “..made no effort. His energies were channeled into his campaign trail remarks, so dense with knowledge, so showy with digressions. He sweated the big stuff and muffed the small stuff.”

Bruni’s nickname was “Panchito”.

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/general/news/2011/05/26/9654/think-again-the-times-frank-bruni-or-how-to-succeed-in-journalism-without-really-caring-about-issues/

This preference for excitement and conflict is coming from reporters not the corporations that own the networks. It reflects how they really feel. Never forget these were people who didn’t think the idea of electing someone because they would be more fun to have a beer with was the height of stupid and dangerous thinking.

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But as you state, his poll numbers have not recovered since his suggestion that we ingest cleaning products. Perhaps airing this train wreck will sink his numbers even more. Maybe this time (but unlikely) the press corp will grow a pair and not let him off the hook when he says something stupid which of course is every time he opens his mouth.

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If only they had the courage to follow your sage advice.

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author

it seems like pretty simple advice, right?

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Does Jonathan Karl censor the WH reporters' questions?

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In recovery circles, there's a belief that "we can't get in the way of someone hitting their bottom," 'cause hitting bottom is the only way that the hard truth is revealed. This analogy is why I'll continue to watch these trainwrecks; hope springs eternal.

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You know things are messed up when a Fox reporter (Chris Wallace) gives Trump a harder time than the rest of the media.

It’s not about news - it’s about eyeballs. His fan base will eat it up; for others, it will be like slowing down to look at a car crash.

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author

yeah, i didn't really have time to write about the Wallace interview but i found in interesting on many levels....like it was celebrated as a wonderful press performance when all he did was do what every Trump interviewer should have done for last four years.

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Just wanted to share this from an AP article attempting to justify Trump sending in federal troops to US cities: "A barrage of gunfire left 15 people dead on Tuesday near a funeral home on the South Side." - I had to check this one - 15 people were shot but none died - what is this?

Trump deploys more federal agents under ‘law-and-order’ push

By COLLEEN LONG and JILL COLVIN

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founding

From an ABC The THE NOTE tweet: “The president is displaying a new tone and a new level of engagement, after aides and allies have pleaded with him to recognize the gravity of the moment, @rickklein”

https://twitter.com/KevinMKruse/status/1285643030423363585

Aaaargggghhhhhh!!!! However, the responses are priceless. Clearly people aren’t falling for this. And I am even seeing some in the media calling out their colleagues for not only praising Trump for acting halfway normal but for not giving enough attention to the fact that he gave a shoutout the that child pimp Ghislaine Maxwell. Here is Jennifer Rubin’s today:

“ Trump wishes Ghislaine Maxwell well — and the media barely reacts”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/07/22/trump-admitted-many-meetings-with-ghislaine-maxwell-wishes-her-well-mainstream-media-yawns/

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Mr. Boehlert,

I'll continue to argue that seeing Trump urging the injection of disinfectant as a Corona-cure was part of the collapse of his approval on the issue. Some lunacy has to be seen to be believed.

Give Trump an hour per day. He knows he's got cameras on him for that hour. He's going to fill that hour. There simply isn't an hour's worth of corona news in each day. He's going to go off-script. I'll bet you'll be pleased by the results.

But really, I see you wildly inconsistent on the issue of what should be published or covered. On one hand you, rightly, decry the emphasis that was put covering "Hillary's e-mails". On the other hand you decry the coverage of Trump's pandemic. I saw you fall into the same pit with Facebook.

Sir, when you give any organization the right to determine what should and should not be covered, you give them vast power. This power used for goals with which you agree is fine. But please imagine this same power used to shut down the publication of items you support. Please imagine how this power can be misused.

Strictly for myself I see Fox "News" as embodying the goals you assert, only from the other side.

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author

news orgs make decisions everyday what to cover. my point is simple: knowing Trump is going to lie relentlessly abt a public health crisis doesn't constitute news.

also, why didn't press cover every Obama briefing live, in full for 8 yrs. why the news rules just for Trump

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Mr. Boehlert, you’re arguing “whatabboutism”?

There is a simple answer. President Obama’s press conferences weren’t likely to turn into a train wreck. Trump is likely to declare war on Venezuela for mere lack of anything else to say.

I repeat though, you’re being inconsistent when simultaneously arguing that MSM ought I have the authority to decide what is “news” and at the same time complaining that they cover stories you deem unworthy.

You may argue that Eric Boehlert ought to be the determiner of news status. But that’s the embodiment of Nietzsche’s philosophy.

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founding
Jul 21, 2020Liked by Eric Boehlert

The problem with the coverage of Hillary’s emails was that it was parroting right wing propaganda about a very minor issue and it was based of deeply misleading or even flat-out wrong information. For example, Chris Cilizza, a major purveyor of this story for the WaPo repeatedly mislead readers by implying that the reason State Department officials should use the state.gov server was that it was a secure way to communicate classified information which is not only wrong, it was something anyone who paid somewhat close attention to this issue would have known. For really classified communications (not those that might eventually be retroactively classified) you always use a SCI-FI. State.gov was far from secure and had been hacked by Wikileaks and the Russians.

The media said that Hillary had violated the rule that all government employees use government servers but that rule didn’t do into effect until after she had left the government.

The other accusation was that she didn’t turn over all of her emails which is something the law doesn’t even require. The official is expected to decide which ones are relevant and turn those over (not ones like “has the printer been fixed”). Hillary went the extra mile by paying lawyers familiar with the requirements to vet her emails for her.

That the media knew this was not the big issue the claimed it was became crystal clear when the IG report revealed that Comey was using his own private email account for official FBI business at the same time he was excoriating Hillary for doing the same. No one cared. And they didn’t bother to complain when Colin Powell admitted he had had all of his official emails deliberately erased - which was a blatant violation of our FOIA public records law.

I think that Mr. Boehlert actually treats these two issues in the same way, demanding that the media not give coverage to propaganda and lies designed not to inform the public but to get and maintains political power.

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