172 Comments

Your piece today, the 7th, made a very important point and that is the lack of a positive message from the Biden administration and progressives in general. Absolutely, many of us are pretty depressed about the state of the country and lack of meaningful action on the climate but this does not necessarily translate into positive action. Fighting for what's right must be seen, not only as vitally important, but engaging and (why not?) fun. There is a long standing, valid criticism of the left that it focuses on policy and reaction to the bs from the right rather than framing the issues to engage people emotionally, which is more effective. (See George Lakoff)

In answer to your specific question about what to cover in the coming year, I suggest you press the media and the progressives to (please) work on positive, uplifting messaging.

Expand full comment

I would love a topic/sustained discussion of how we turn outrage into action. We had a discussion in the comments about any NYT boycott, but I would love to understand if there's a way to collectively organize to hold media accountable. Can we for example find key advertisers and urge them to act as well?

Expand full comment

The work you're doing has been invaluable (not to mention personally cathartic), so many, many thanks for keeping it going. A couple of topics that I'd love to see you address:

-- how traditional news organizations like the Times are misusing social media. Obviously, the idea is for the tantalizing Facebook blurbs to get people to click, hit a paywall, and subscribe. But very few people get past the inaccurate headlines and summaries, and then they disseminate twisted versions of the articles. Fake news with the imprimatur of the Times.

-- I know that you already did many pieces on the media's refusal to acknowledge Trump's mental illness, but I'd love to see you double back on that to address what's going on with the GOP. The behavior of a malignant narcissist is contagious (great info on that from psychiatrist Bandy X. Lee). Some Republicans have gotten the bug; others have merely emulated a behavior that they saw working. Either way, we are suffering the consequences of not having examined Trump's psychological problems from the get-go.

-- How about creating a tip line on your website? So we can send you ideas when we think of them.

Expand full comment

One of the most disturbing images of the January 6th insurrection was a group of jack holes standing around a pile of media equipment they had taken away from reporters and camera operators. Only once I heard there were charges or a lawsuit against the perpetrators but of course I never heard anything since. There is a clear line from Trump’s constant “fake news” rhetoric at his rallies to that scary scene. Can you do a follow up to this?

Expand full comment

Love following your newsletter and tweets. Have you thought about doing a weekly or bi-weekly Q&A session for subscribers?

Expand full comment

I think that PRESS RUN gives great examples of where the media is one-sided and unfair to liberals/Democrats as opposed to conservatives/Republicans.

Maybe it's time to go next level.

Most people should know that the real drivers of the content on cable news are not the on air "talent" but the producers. Most people should know it's not so much the reporters in newspapers as it is the editors.

So who are these people that are driving the coverage in one direction vs. another?

For instance-

- at "liberal" MSNBC, WHO are the daytime producers on the weekends that have their anchors often peddling conventional wisdom and Beltway talking points? For that matter, WHO are the producers of "The 11th Hour" whose devotion to centrist dogma stands in contrast to the 4 hours that precede it?

- WHO are the people that are putting together these "focus groups" at CNN, including that one that was full of "independent voters" that turned out to be GOP partisans?

- besides Dean Baquet, WHO are the editors at the NY Times and Washington Post that are overseeing sloppy political coverage?

- to be fair, WHO are the people that are doing it right?

I get that this may be tricky, since these people do not want to be in the news themselves. But at this moment in time, when we have an enormous amount of media, and traditional media is both under attack and being asked to maintain normal standards, WHO the gatekeepers are and WHAT they are doing is a part of the story.

We have a quarter to a third of the nation that is refusing to get vaccinated during a pandemic and believes that Biden was not elected legitimately. Most of those people are not consuming traditional media, of course. But that means it's all the more important that the traditional media doesn't just become carriers of misinformation, or merely document the outcomes without mentioning the cause.

Expand full comment
Feb 6, 2022·edited Feb 6, 2022Liked by Eric Boehlert

It’s always frustrating that when any news outlets(especially MSNBC ON WEEKEND) can muster a pole to give the most horrible outcome for President Biden or the democrats work for the comen folks. Next chance you get to interact with the MSNBC crowd tell them their starting to look like CNN and FOX when they shuffle out poles. In todays world an algorithm can find any disgruntled person so you can roll out a negative pole.

Expand full comment

The comments are fascinating. Have you considered having a monthly zoom with your subscribers? Thom Hartmann does this the first Saturday of every month. I hope your readers listen every Monday when you’re on Stephanie Miller’s show. Like many others, I listen and read the news much more critically than previously. Thank you for trying to hold the media accountable.

Expand full comment
author

oh excellent idea. and yes, I love chatting w/ Steph every week

Expand full comment

I always look forward to reading a new blog post from Press Run. I would love to see you add a section that spotlights a specific voice each week of someone who is consistently fighting the good fight. This might be a certain twitter account or someone's blog, or a podcast (my favorite is Gaslit Nation, for instance, where Sarah Kendzior and Andrea Chalupa serve up essential international truth serum every week.). We all need to hear as many different opinions as possible. The more those important voices out there are promoted, the louder they can get.

Expand full comment
author

I agree!

Expand full comment

Congratulations Eric. Your work is essential. The story that bugs me no end is the narrative/talking point from the GOP and right-wing media that the US border with Mexico has been thrown open by the Biden Administration. Sometimes the claim is that "millions" of "illegals" are flooding into the country via our "open border." I have yet to see this nonsense called out in any mainstream media. GOP politicians go on talk shows and spew this stuff and are never questioned about it. This canard is accepted as gospel by millions of Americans.

Expand full comment

Press Run is essential reading. Your critiques are both illuminating and disturbing. The trend of journalistic sins is growing, and the nation is paying a price. I would like to see more insight into why this is happening. For example, the occasional interviews with the editors ultimately responsible for what's published, as well as with veteran journalists who have moved on to teaching or other pursuits. Basically, how do they explain the egregious news coverage?

Expand full comment

Happy Anniversary Eric !

Well since you asked...keep up the music suggestions and holding our fourth estate accountable.

Please include more alternative voices speaking the truth to the powerful.

Also, really like to idea Ferris Kaplan suggested about a Zoom with your subscribers and editors and writers. You would be an awesome moderator for something like that.

Congratulations on another year of fearless Media Commentary.

Expand full comment

Is there any way we can influence the media to address their constant egregious reporting bias? Looking for some sort of accountability, if it’s even possible.

Expand full comment

What media owners and journalists were complicit in the January 6 insurrection, besides the ones owned/influenced by Council For National Policy?

Expand full comment

It’s good to know there’s at least one sane take on the media to look forward to.

Expand full comment

Identifying the individuals at various news outlets responsible for editorial decision-making re policy slants, and tracking their history and connections, would add to our knowledge of how this system functions. -- Keep up the great work!

Expand full comment

My only suggestion: Clone yourself at least 100 times over.

Expand full comment

This is just a great time to thank you for the work you do. I’m grateful for your ongoing voice of reason in an atmosphere of craziness. I think I tell people a few times a week to read Press Run! And thank you for the music! It’s an extra treat.

Expand full comment
author

ty!!

Expand full comment

After reading the comments I think it would be interesting to have information on who owns these media outlets, especially the ones with the most egregious coverage of Democrats like the New York Times.

Expand full comment

Congratulations, Eric. You have don a magnificent job detailing media malfeasance. I hope you document this in a book as well. The abysmal performance of the Fourth Estate needs to be documented in one place for posterity.

Expand full comment
founding

Thank you, Eric, for helping me read the media with a much more critical eye! I'd love to see some more reporting on what Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has spent serious time detailing - the relationship between and the influence on SCOTUS by conservative and dark money individuals and groups. Highlight the results of these 'collaborations' and show how Americans are directly impacted by these SCOTUS decisions. There are more dots here to be connected as there always are between/among white supremacy, domestic terrorism and the anti-abortion, anti-reproductive rights groups. Far too many have not yet made the connections.

Expand full comment
Feb 5, 2022·edited Feb 5, 2022

Given the bewildering and often infuriating guest choices that the weekend network shows like Meet the Press, Face The Nation etc. make, is there anyway to hold these executives accountable for their choices? Or at least have a forum for discussion and new ideas? It doesn't seem like shaming them makes one damn bit of difference.

Expand full comment

Demand BOTH-sideism for the Sunday Shows - loudly.

Expand full comment

FANTASTIC point

Expand full comment

Lastly, I would like to see multiple pieces devoted to interviews w/ Biden-voting-DEMs in diners - ad nauseum. Thank you 😌

Expand full comment

Can be urban - but huge extra points for ‘rural’ themes ;)

Expand full comment
Feb 5, 2022·edited Feb 5, 2022Liked by Eric Boehlert

How abt highlighting the public servants who *arent* as good at the Performative side of politics - but are solid contributors for their constituents, nonetheless… Also - helping out people like Kamala, AOC and Omar who are so busy cleaning the mud off (that is slung at them) and providing a clearer, more balanced picture of what they are doing? Otherwise, I love Press Run as is!🎂

Expand full comment

Actually, "AOC" gets virtually nothing but worshipful press (most of the attacks come from anonymous posters) and Omar is openly corrupt, which should have gotten more attention.

Expand full comment

Would appreciate any links re: Omar / open corruption. I know someone who lives in her district and have never heard anything but ‘satisfied’ reports. Thx!

Expand full comment

Sure. While the comments attributed to "conservative critics" in this article are over the top (taxpayers didn't fund her boyfriend; donors did), it describes the basic outlines of the scandal. Like Katie Hill she was having an affair with someone working on her campaign; unlike Katie Hill, she lied about it and denied the affair (but quickly married him); unlike Katie Hill, she was directing big campaign dollars to his consulting firm; and, luckily for her, unlike Katie Hill, the husband she dumped wasn't vindictive. While she may have skated on a technicality, this is pretty close to textbook corruption, and if a much lesser breach of ethics took out Katie Hill, this should have taken out Ilhan Omar. As for "satisfied reports," there are lots of comments on both sides. I know a lot of folks who aren't terribly fond of her & think her comments re Israel/Palestine are a little ham-handed and not well thought-out.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/omars-marriage-to-political-consultant-draws-renewed-criticism-of-campaign-spending/2020/03/13/a4311ea4-6543-11ea-acca-80c22bbee96f_story.html

Expand full comment
Feb 5, 2022Liked by Eric Boehlert

I’d like to see a collaboration with Judd Legum or another indy journo who is following the money in media and politics. That could explain how our MSM has gotten so craven for Ratings over Truth and Accuracy

Also, I’d like you to dig in on the executives in media who make all these poor decisions to chase clickbait over pro-democracy, pro-rule of law reporting. I don’t think Zucker’s affair tells the whole story of his sudden resignation. There’s a pattern of powerful white men in Media who resign over sex scandals. Were they kompromatted a long time ago? Zucker made Trump who he is. There’s an ugly story there.

Expand full comment

Or do they use the ‘scandal’ as an excuse to make a timely exit before something else transpires… seems like an easy out, agree…

Expand full comment

I became a paid subscriber a couple of weeks ago. I consider the posts to be very necessary reading lessons. Just keep doing what you’re doing.

Expand full comment

Eric, thanks for all your work over the years, and especially with PressRun. The two biggest issues facing us IMO are interconnected: coverage leading to the midterms and the 1/6 investigations. If the GOP regains Congress and takes more statehouses we may not be able to recover from the damage. Please keep calling out narrative bias as well as lack of coverage (or buried coverage) on major stories (like the Eastman memo etc). A broad request, but I trust your judgment.

Expand full comment

MSM is so anti-Biden and anti-Dems. Don’t they care about preserving our Democracy? GOP is going to turn America into a MAGA dictatorship

Expand full comment

You wonder why it’s gotten SO blatant lately…

Expand full comment

I think many are in denial even after the Trump years, and many don’t see their roles as being advocates. I will always remember Mike Wallace saying that if he were covering a battle and there was an injured soldier he could help he wouldn’t because that wasn’t his job; he was there to cover the story not get involved in any way. Didn’t realize being a journalist meant cutting off your humanity (yes that is sarcasm). Of course caring can go too far, like George Packer’s screed on the Afghanistan withdrawal in the Atlantic.

Expand full comment

Women’s issues. Abortion rights. Voting rights. Black voices/ leadership. For instance the story of the Black State representatives in Mississippi walking out of the Statehouse over banning CRT.

I like your light stuff.

Expand full comment

Many times I read listen to your posts and I walk away so angry. My question - is there any way you can let us know if the media reads your stuff and maybe you can tell us if they recognize the error of their ways. Hopeful and naïve - I know but I am certain many of us want to know that what you are doing is making a difference.

Expand full comment

Great question. Many of the worst Both Sides journalists have very thin skins

Expand full comment

Since it's not broke, don't fix it. Keep covering things the way you do, because you're doing a good job. Which is why I am a paid subscriber.

Expand full comment

Same here.

Expand full comment

I live in the middle of Trump country. Pete Stauber is my congressman. Trumper through and through.

The conversations I overhear from people at my healthclub are about how bad things are and how the Biden administration is a disaster. The Afghanistan Pull out, Covid, the economy, gas prices and etc are all the Biden Admin's fault. None of this would be taking place if the election had not be stolen from Trump in their view.

The closest progressive radio is 150 miles away in Minneapolis. Local radio has pro-Trump/conservative messaging all-day, everyday on multiple radio stations.

If I could, I would post a pictures of one of the locals yard signs/billboards that fill his yard as you drive by. It is not a pro Biden display. There was a ruling by a local city gov't that even though obscenities are used to describe Biden, it is protected free speech and he won't be forced to take it down.

Your newsletter has been a ray of sunshine everyday. Thanks for that.

If the Biden Admin does not start touting it's accomplishments more, I fear for the 2022 elections though. We need better messaging and we need it to be repeated over and over again like the GOP does with their propaganda.

It might be nice if you covered some on the GOP cancel culture, like Colin Kaepernick, Liz Cheney, book burning.

Expand full comment

rabaak. Former NE Minnesotan here. Still in shock that Pete Stauber represents District 8. He couldn’t carry water for Jim Oberstar. Stauber sold his soul like many of his cohorts. My heart aches with you for the political change up north.

Expand full comment

If Biden, Nancy , and Chuck held press conferences every day touting their accomplishments—and by the way the Dems do tout their successes in MS and social media— do you think all that RW media you are surrounded by would 1) cover it or 2) acknowledge Biden’s successes? It’s up to you to push back against your neighbors IF you feel comfortable to do so. No amount of Dem messaging will penetrate because your neighbors, saturated with RW lies hate them.

Expand full comment

I seriously doubt most of the mainstream media would cover their daily press conferences. I have noticed that even when Biden has spoken publicly about an accomplishment he has often been drowned out by whatever negative narrative the media is harping about. Then they blame Democrats for not selling themselves. The media is a giant filter that screens out a lot of the info we should be getting. Worse they often distort it.

Expand full comment

Exactly. And adding to this, many on the left absorb that “bad messaging” line and repeat it.

Expand full comment

If I know or have had discussions with the people in the past, I usually try give a different perspective.

Butting into a conversion/discussion, with 3 muscle heads in the weight room that I don’t know, is another thing.

But I agree with you that just depending on Biden admin messaging is not enough to change much. Although it is nice to be able to bring up positive articles on your phone to substantiate your opinion in these instances.

Expand full comment
Feb 5, 2022·edited Feb 5, 2022

That’s why I said IF. These days disagreeing could get you beaten up, harassed or worse.

That’s the rub. The media always have a caveat in any good news story. It’s frustrating. But they are there. Like the op Ed in the Wapo by the deputy Ed page Ed who admitted Biden isn’t getting credit he deserves. Jen Rubin also has some good blog columns.

Expand full comment

Eric: YOU ASKED, so... You've had two years of preaching to the choir. It's time to take your reputation, experience, and support of your many followers/subscribers to the next level.

I know my ideas are popular, based on the many likes & comments in your previous polls.

I'd like to see:

1) That you call out BY NAME every REPORTER of every story with which you have complaints. They can't hide in anonymity and must be held accountable for their [slanted/unfair] reports.

2) That you call out BY NAME the ASSIGNMENT EDITORS of those stories (if you know). They are most responsible, since they wanted those stories covered; and then edited and published them.

3) That you have a quarterly forum on Zoom featuring a few invited editors & reporters. I'm sure you [and we] have questions for them, and that they'd love to share their process with us.

4) That you let us know those who are receptive to your invitations, and, especially, those who are NOT. Why should we support their papers/networks, if they have no interest in learning?

I don't want you tilting at windmills. I want you knocking them down. Keep up the good fight!

Expand full comment

I agree with Ferris! I cancelled the NYT and WaPo (had to do it over the phone), and when they asked why, I told them! Especially their two sidesism. . Keep doing your good work!

Expand full comment

I second Ferris's ideas. I have sent several emails to NYT editors - of course no reply. How can we better make ourselves heard - cancel subscriptions?

Expand full comment

Thank you for what you do! Two thoughts about what to cover: One is how climate change, inequality, racism — they all spring from the same well for conservatives. More direct connection making between individual bad press moves and how a far right worldview simultaneously is responsible for many of the top issues of interest. Second, I would love a dive into why it is so hard for democrats and supporting organizations to reframe narratives when they appear on news broadcasts. Is it that hard to turn a question such as “what do you tell parents who are worried about crt in the classrooms” to “well let’s be clear chuck. crt is not taught in schools. this is an issue created to scare parents about a non-existent issue so that a particular agenda silencing a broad range of voices that is integral to what it means to be an american is achieved. i stand against the false idea that students are being taught scary content. this is an issue most importantly about respecting the professionalism of educators. i would ask why this has become an issue at this time in our country. and this is not a grassroots parent movement, but a well funded attack on a pillar of american society, education.”

Expand full comment

And correct them EVERY TIME they use their preferred terminology: ‘Entitlements’ (oh you mean the monies in programs that people have spent years paying into?) - ‘Meddling’ (oh you mean cheating?)… Every. Time. Also- ‘Afghanistan Chaos’ (oh you mean tRumps agreement that Biden completed for him?)… etc. etc.

Expand full comment

“Entitlements” used to be a positive word, conveying the meaning that everyone had the right to receive Social Security. As the word became more and more associated with the idea of spoiled, entitled rich people it took on a negative meaning. I agree that it should be dropped.

Expand full comment

Unchecked data ethics (if any exist), data sources and visualizations codify the evil you expunge. If those things thread into your discourse, that would be interesting but precisely what you do is already the best. For your end segment check new singles from Ana Tijoux and 4ugu5t. Thank you Mr. Boehlert.

Expand full comment

"The most important thing to understand about CNN and Trump is that the network’s profits doubled after he became president. Doubled." I think this says everything. You hit the nail squarely on the head and this can't be emphasized often enough.

Expand full comment

They doubled because people who normally didn’t follow the news, horrified by Trump’s win, suddenly understood the necessity of paying attention and being vigilant. Thus the skyrocketing subscriber/profit numbers. With Biden’s election, many of these people thought the danger had passed and unsubscribed. Thus the decline. The press has much to answer for vis a vis our current political problems, but much of the blame lies with ordinary Americans who are too “busy” to pay attention and lacking in basic knowledge (like how elections and the govt work) and critical thinking/analysis skills.

Expand full comment

I'd be curious to dig into why the Washington Post has taken a hard right turn in the last 6-8 months. I could list endless examples but one that especially annoyed me was a couple of pieces profiling and burnishing anti-choice women who framed Texas' brutal anti-choice law as a site of opportunity w/o presenting any voices sharing the true impact/reach of these women's "help" for women with unwanted pregnancies. The one about the woman proposing to start a Christian "ranch" to isolate and brainwash pregnant women was particularly egregious and should've been put into the context of past history of how pregnant women were treated (and often abused).

Expand full comment

The WaPo was aiding and abetting right wing talking points for a long time. Go back and look at their coverage of the 2016 election. Their coverage of Hillary was horrific. It was all right wing talking points about her email usage with next to no coverage of the substance of her campaign — and there was a lot of substantive things she talked about over and over. The Post wasn’t the only “mainstream” media outlet doing this but it was particularly bad because Chris Cillizza did a lot of their coverage of this pseudo-scandal.

If you go farther back the Post’s op-ed editor Fred Hiatt was a big neocon cheerleader for Dubya’s Iraq war.

I think the reason that so many people feel there has been a rightward shift in coverage is that the Post did do a lot of hard-hitting coverage of Trump after it became blatantly obvious how bad he truly was. (That was far too little and far, far too late.) Once Biden took office they went back to their decades old favorite storylines, “Democrats in disarray”, “Democrats are too extreme”, “Democrats will waste money, exploding our debt, causing inflation”.

I have long suspected that lot of the media secretly admires Republicans as strong, manly men but see Democrats as a bunch of squabbling, irrational girls and girly-men with some boring policy wonks thrown in.

Expand full comment

Actually, David Farhentholt at the Washington Post was one of the few reporters actually exposing Trump before the 2016 election. And USA Today ran the story about how Trump stiffed contractors in Atlantic City. The NY Times was really the worst offender: all emails, all the time, and next to nothing about Trump's many many shady activities.

Expand full comment

The new editor Sally Buzbee.

From the Washingtonian:

“At the Post, the conundrum reverberates in all corners. During his editor search for Buzbee, Ryan asked several candidates about how they’d keep the newsroom under control, according to multiple people who have spoken with them. Two people I talked to suspect that Ryan believes the paper has veered too far to the left and that appointing the chief of a newswire would be a course correction.”

https://www.washingtonian.com/2021/08/25/inside-the-plan-to-make-jeff-bezoss-washington-post-the-everything-newspaper/

Expand full comment

That explains a lot. That is exactly when the paper started veering to the hard right and running stories that were stunningly omissive in order to burnish right wing ideas and contentions without challenge. Its coverage has become shockingly unbalanced and biased to the right in just a matter of months. By the time I realized it my subscription had renewed but I will be cancelling.

Expand full comment
Feb 6, 2022·edited Feb 6, 2022

The Post has also recently published articles like this article from Dana Milbank published this past week:

“ Newt Gingrich started us on the road to ruin. Now, he’s back to finish the job.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/02/04/newt-gingrich-started-us-road-ruin-now-hes-back-finish-job/

Or this one which really shocked me since the media rarely tolerated criticism of themselves or others in the media:

“ The media treats Biden as badly as — or worse than — Trump. Here’s proof.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/12/03/biden-media-coverage-worse-trump-favorable/

The WaPo’s Margaret Sullivan’s latest slams Jeff Zucker for the rise of Trump. The Plum Line’s Greg Sargent and Paul Waldman have repeatedly written articles slamming Republicans and others giving credit for accomplishments. This recent article by Waldman is a good example:

“ Strong economic growth wrecks the GOP’s gloom-and-doom spin”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/01/27/strong-economic-growth/

Waldman and Sargent posts articles most days as does Jennifer Rubin. Rubin was a lifelong Republican but now is an even stronger critic of the extremism of today’s Republican Party.

The more people who read those columnists the more influence they will have. Editors notice what gets clicks.

If more and more people read those columnists but refuse to read liars like Theissen the Post will notice.

Expand full comment

Hi, Eric. I'm in for the two-year subscription but not sure how to get it. (I've had a looooooooong work week, so I know I'm the problem here.)

And, happy anniversary!! You do such a good job calling out the piss poor job the mainstream political media has done over the past seven years. I have essentially given up on all cable news and stick to certain written sources or public radio. I just want facts, not spin or opinion. Why is that so hard for journalists to do? Is it really rocket science? Evidently, it is.

Anywho, keep on doing the fantastic job that you do. I appreciate all that you write.

Expand full comment

Happy Anniversary. I admire your work a great deal.

Expand full comment

Happy Anniversary! Keep up the great work! Love what you have to say!

Expand full comment
Feb 5, 2022·edited Feb 5, 2022

I’d love to see something about how white male journos report on female big shots like Kamala, Hillary and their lack of depth, not to mention their own cases of subconscious misogyny. Not sure if the women journos are as guilty of this too.

Expand full comment

Close your eyes and ask this question…you’ll see Maureen Dowd.

Expand full comment

Egad! A waking nightmare.

My maternal great grandmother was a Dowd from New York. I don’t want to investigate that branch of my family tree for fear Maureen is a cousin. It’s bad enough that my paternal grandmother’s parents came from the same small town in Ireland that Paul Ryan’s did. With my luck I will find out I’m related to both of them.

Expand full comment

😱😱😱😱😱

Expand full comment

You've been doing a great job Eric! One topic that I think deserves much more attention is Climate Change. In the coming years, the effects of Climate Change are going to have a tremendous negative impact on economically challenged communities, especially those in coastal areas. The MSM is not giving enough attention to this global threat. It's bad enough that many Americans are not paying attention to the rise of fascism in this country. Their ignorance to wild fires, powerful storms that are occurring with more frequency and the melting of ice caps will have a devastating effect on millions of people not just here but around the world.

Expand full comment

They do cover these events but as one offs, so people don’t really see the connections. Media could definitely do better. And hire climate reports to replace the ones they laid off (looking at you NYT).

Expand full comment

Love your commitment to calling out our pathetic "media". I live in Florida and I am literally scared of DeSantis and his goons. Would love more attention to this transformation. Florida was not always this bad! Jeb Bush started a long path downwards here both politically and environmentally. We have over 22M souls here and we are not all on board with his death wish. How come NO democrats pay attention here? Val Demmings no media, Charlie Crist no media. Feels like Democrats have been paid off to stay out of this state. Kind of like dolphins coach told to lose games for $$$.

Expand full comment

If you are unhappy get involved. The party needs to be reinvigorated in all 50 states. I blame Rham Emanuel for so much of the breakdown. It’s been happening here in my state (Pa), as well as WI and elsewhere with good results. But it’s hard work and takes a commitment and good leadership. It’s not a one and done thing, which is how too many on the left behave. It took decades for the GOP to have the influence and reach they have. No matter what they stayed focused. If the left really wants to start winning in Fl and elsewhere, that is what needs to happen.

Expand full comment

Mitch's singular focus on working to kill President obama's and now President Biden's agenda and keep stronghold on American democracy is shockingly amazing. The sad thing's the repub voters are either ignorant or choose to ignore the benefits of the BBB bill at the peril of all Americans' well-being. It's no more a partisanship; it's glaringly apparent that repub party is willing to destroy the country, the world, and the planet for their own greed, and greed for power and to sate their oligarchies' greed.

Their relentless efforts through decades and the Democratic party's blind and naïve faith in repub's cooperation, and democratic voters not staying engaged continuously, especially in midterm elections gave the repubs to further RR's agenda by installing judges on state levels. It's so shocking that the ballot initiatives voted by majority voters in some states to participate in Medicare and Medicaid expansion were repelled by their repub state representatives and/or governors. Democratic party kept quiet or went along with all the legal/illegal things repubs worked on and implemented. It was a grave mistake to not fight till the end in Gore v/s Bush. The Democrats have helped what we are facing today by indirectly and directly, (if were complicit because of donations from the same oligarchies), by being a dormant participant in the process of democracy and in the naïve hope that the repubs' sense of decency and patriotism will bring them to their senses, was a fatal mistake that will cost us our democracy.

Expand full comment

Agree. 2000 election was the fork in the road, IMO…

Expand full comment

Newt, Rush and Mitch have combined to create a combative /obstruction oriented-world of zero cooperation. It’s not polarized. It’s the deliberate, cynical withdrawal of one party. Even the term ‘polarized’ lets them off the hook :/

Expand full comment

Dana Milbank recently put the blame on Newt:

“ Newt Gingrich started us on the road to ruin. Now, he’s back to finish the job.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/02/04/newt-gingrich-started-us-road-ruin-now-hes-back-finish-job/

I agree with him. Rush helped pave the way but Newt was elected Speaker where his extremism was blatantly obvious. The media shrugged him off as a colorful but bright wonk. They found him entertaining when they should have been horrified.

Expand full comment

Happy Anniversary Eric. You are personally responsible for lifting the scales from my eyes and showing me/us how soiled and distorted the msm is and the lens through which they report the news. You’re a gutsy and seemingly fearless guy and I so appreciate your efforts and commitment.

Expand full comment

Eric, Many thanks and appreciation for your diligence in reporting on the gross inaccuracies and fallacies of mainstream media reporting, some of which I was not even aware even though I’m an avid news reader. It’s refreshing to hear your voice and I look forward to your emails in my inbox. You’ve opened my eyes. I gave my son a gift subscription for Christmas and he is a fan of Press Run too.

Expand full comment

The Free Press is not free. It comes at the cost of whatever value is assigned to it by the free market. These days it seems that "their" free press and "my" free press are increasingly whatever 'them' and 'I' want it to be and what we'll all pay for, as long as we all agree with whatever spin our favorite source puts on. Writers and reporters way smarter than me need to address issues like "alternative facts", headlines that mislead to get attention, ledes buried so deep nobody ever seems to be able to find any point in what's been written, and the foundations of why a free press is essential to any democracy. Eric, I'm sure you've seen this: https://fallows.substack.com/p/a-word-the-press-should-remember Fallows nails what I've been thinking in it. Above all, please keep hammerin' on 'em like you do, call out the inadequacies, expose the hypocrisies, point out the risk we face when the "state" controls the "news" and above all, Keep The White-Hot ArcLight on Fox Entertainment to show it for what it is, and especially what it is Not.

Expand full comment

That article by Fallows is a must read. I urge everyone who wants to understand how Republicans bamboozled so many people to read it.

Expand full comment

Happy Anniversary! Your work is amazing and has kept so many of us sane.

I write lots of letters to editors but I wonder, is that the best way to get journalists’ attention? Is there a better way? Is there a certain hook that should be included in letters that will make them pay attention? Could you address how to effectively reach media, too, so that we all can help amplify this message and maybe effect some positive change in coverage.

Thanks again!

Expand full comment

A few:

1) Poverty in the US and misrepresentations of poor people: perpetuating the ignorance of poverty as a systemic issue and blaming the victims.

2) Treatment of the white male perspective as THE best way of looking at everything.

3) Almost universal endorsement of college for everyone as the way to go for our future.

4) Failure to recognize the damage done by supremely powerful police unions to good policing.

5) False balance of presenting both sides as equivalent in cases where one is patently false.

Expand full comment

Not all of those are about the media though, which doesn't have much role in #3 and #4. And it doesn't so much misrepresent poor people as ignore them. #2 is definitely a problem and #5 is one of their biggest problems. They feel that they always have to present "both sides" equally. NPR is the worst offender which is why I gave up listening to it. Ironically, it was a story about #3 that did it. President Obama had made a speech about potentially making 2 years of college free, expanding K-12. Now, it would have made a stimulating segment to have had someone from a trade school or union apprentice program come on and go "Hey, include us too; look what we offer." Instead they had some guy attacking Obama, carrying on about how not everyone was fit to go to college and how unfair it was to pay for this. I wondered who he was and looked him up. He wasn't an expert in education on any level: he was a professional Obama-basher who apparently was on their list to call any time they needed someone to oppose something Obama said or did.

Expand full comment

Love the Chicago flag. I grew up in and around Harvey and Hazel Crest.

Expand full comment

I grew up in South Shore, five blocks from where Michelle Obama grew up. We went to the same grade school (different times). My sister lives in Hyde Park/Kenwood, a few blocks from the Obamas. They keep following us around!

Expand full comment

LOL--I never lived in Hyde Park but my mother taught at the lab school in the 1980s.

Expand full comment

I had several friends in choir — the Hyde Park-based precursor Chicago Children's Choir — who went to Lab School. But my parents were strong believers in public education so we went to Chicago public schools.

Expand full comment

I attended public school as well, but my mom was a single mom of three and Lab paid her more than the public schools.

Expand full comment

I respectfully disagree. I think the way MSM presents issues like police unions and college creates the framework through which many people see those topics. Just as an example, my in box is flooded with articles about helping kids apply to college. Rarely do they address kids who want to go into trades or follow other career paths.

Expand full comment

The framework in which they present the issues is relevant to this newsletter. Debating the issues themselves isn't.

Expand full comment

Yes, that is an excellent way to put it.

Expand full comment

I agree with all of these, Reba.

Expand full comment

Thank you for putting to words my frustrations with the media. As a former reporter, I understand how we were taught to look at both sides and I think a new journalism needs to emerge, one that presents multiple opinions but does not shy away from calling out lies and bigotry.

Expand full comment

They need to recognize that the "both sides" paradigm is artificial and that there is sometimes only one valid "side" based on evidence, and sometimes there are half a dozen different valid "sides."

Expand full comment

Yes! And sometimes the two sides don't look like progressive v. Trumper.

Expand full comment

I would love to see some exploration of the "conservative" columnists that papers like the WaPo hire. They seem to get away with inaccuracies that would have gotten me fired off the podunk weekly where I started reporting in 1994. That also goes for some of the "libertarian" columnists. My personal favorite is Megan McArdle, who griped about how covid protocols were an invasion of liberties until her father got sick, then complained the government did not do enough to help him. I am not talking so much about horrible takes (paging Bret Stephens) as actual lies.

Expand full comment

I've noticed in our local daily here that they have staggeringly exact standards for "liberal" columnists (although they don't have any anymore)while letting conservative columnists get away with writing egregious, unfactual b.s. There was a former columnist (now retired, should've been fired) who every winter when the first blizzard hit wrote his "What global warming? Look at all that snow!" column. And no one at the paper ever called him on it.

Expand full comment

Exactly! My view is that if they cannot find a conservative columnist who can write reasonable arguments, that might be because the GOP no longer has any. How about calling the centrist ones "conservative" and running far-left columns from prison abolitionists or something for the "both sides."

Expand full comment

With few exceptions they don’t have any reasonable arguments. Their columns and books are just buzz words strung together with one message repeated: Dems bad, Dems evil, Dems eat childrens’ brains. Watch Douthat et al twist themselves into pretzels to carry the same message without sounding as if they are.

Expand full comment

subtle, excellent topic

Expand full comment

I am known for subtlety. ;)

Expand full comment

Wow! I can’t believe it’s been two years. This blog has helped keep what sanity I have left which both I and my family really appreciates. A big thanks to you!

Expand full comment

Agree. This newsletter is a highlight of my in box.

Expand full comment