119 Comments

Hi there. I'm commenting on this a bit late. One addition to the newsletter I would appreciate are some action items we can take to address the issues you point out. I often find myself a bit riled up after reading PRESS RUN and would like to channel that energy into something actionable that can make a difference in the short and/or long-run. Should we write letters to the editors? Start petitions? Make a stink on social media? Write op-eds? Contact representatives? I'm not sure and I'd love to be pointed in the right direction. Thanks!

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Eric Ambel hipped me to your newsletter. I thoroughly dig it and have talked it up to friends.

It's def providing a spot on viewpoint not found elsewhere.

So I've thought since the pandemic got into full swing about an anti-abortion through line. It seems, at least cursorily, that countries where a woman's right to choose has become settled have committed to science in dealing with covid. Conversely, in the US, where it remains a political powder keg, we get elected officials who deny science and spread disinformation in obeisance to their religious base and this is a primary reason for our having the world's most pathetic response a global health crisis. I haven't seen this written about anywhere.

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Here for kudos. I really enjoy the work you do here. Great work. I used to go back and binge read, now this is a first stop for my morning reads. An idea: How are Editors in Chiefs incentivized in the age of publicly traded media companies. Does compensation include shares? Does this effect their ability to do hard news in the newsrooms as they have their eyes on the ticker?

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While Trumper lies misdirect, GOP election fraud succeeds. 48 of 120 Kentucky counties had more registered voters than adult citizens! Almost all the frauds claimed by Sidney and Rudi actually occurred in Kentucky. Every close Senate race miraculously "won" by the GOP used republican owned ES&S machines- Maine, North Carolina, Iowa, South Carolina, Texas and Kentucky. DCReports covered: tinyurl.com/y9a9uwux also tinyurl.com/m0xr5xg4. Advocate for hand-counted paper ballots.

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Until the press, print and broadcast, ends their both-sidesism affliction, please continue to call them on it. It's imperative to keep pounding the Republicans for their hypocrisy in all matters. Social media is a disaster for truthful information and is a rich source for coverage. Also, can you rid the airwaves of Chuck Todd?

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How about covering the fact that you folks spend so much time on US politics that we are lacking information on what is happening in the middle east and elsewhere. Are you being redirected?

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People keep focusing on impact of social media on disinformation. While this is important, people tend to ignore the decades long impact of Fox, Limbaugh & other conservative talk radio stations. They demonize Democrats and paint the Democratic Party as illegitimate. It’s no wonder that so many on far right see Democrats as an existential threat. It’s also no wonder that after a generation of propaganda by Fox/Limbaugh, we have even crazier conspiracy theories. It has to stop.

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Much of the commentary focuses on the big political media -- NYT, WaPo, networks. It would be interesting to compare and contrast how some regional media covers the same stories, either on their own merits or side by side with the national publications.

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Please bring sunlight to uncomfortable fact-based stories that the MSM (probably due to their corporate owners) chooses to ignore. Where is Ruth May's Pulitzer for this Trump-Russia investigation that followed the money of naturalized Russian oligarchs legally contributing to Trump? https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2018/05/08/how-putin-s-oligarchs-funneled-millions-into-gop-campaigns/

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Making false claims in advertising is illegal, unless you’re politician—what’s the story behind that? Fixing this in the law could deliver a meaningful shift in public discourse and bring us all together as a country. Political ads of any kind should be held to the same standards and regulations as attorneys, banks, and pharmaceutical companies.

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I'd love a section in the newsletter that addresses any developments that arise in disinformation. For instance, this coming week, the GOP will be working hard to steer the conversation away from the insurrection and the impeachment trial. Sometimes it could focus on a single member of congress whose reputation is being laundered because of scandal, like the write-up you did about the fawning Ronna McDaniel interview. It's small-scale but comparable to the release of the Access Hollywood tape to steer our focus away from the bigger Russia scandal. It could be a section called Look Here, Not There.

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If at all possible, you should contact Tom Tomorrow (Dan Perkins) for permission to run his latest cartoon, featuring a Sunday talking head news show host interviewing three Republicans on how they’re being silenced and censored by the media.

I subscribe to his work and it too is well worth supporting.

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SteveW

Who owns the news media? Who are on the Board of Directors? Comcast, Disney, News Corp, Viacom, AT&T, CBS. What about cross-media ownership? TV, radio, cable, print, etc.

Who sits on multiple boards across media? Who are the suits in the suites??

Keep up the great work.

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More on whether the Press hears us; are we having an effect? It seems to me that we may be shouting down a well. Nothing, for example, in the NYTimes would indicate that they have even heard of PressRun.

Unbelievably important work, Eric. What would we do without you?

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I'm happy to be a part of your monthly donor list. The last election may be behind us but we must continue to expose the lies and hypocrisy of the people that would ignore our constitution just to coddle a racist bigot.

We now have irrefutable evidence that there are way more people that would destroy our government (just to kiss-up to a dictator wannabe) than we ever knew.

Now is not the time for complacency, but for a renewed vigor to see to it that there is never another lying bigot to occupy the White House. Forge ahead, I'll be there...

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founding

Just found a fantastic article in The Week by Ryan Cooper titled “ Savvy Washington insiders strike again.” It is so great I will quote it.

Cooper slams both Politico and Larry Summers for “... playing some obnoxious D.C. insider games and doing their best to ruin the country.” He excoriates Summers’s article in the WaPo claiming Biden’s Covid package is too big and will drive inflation then derides Politico for saying that “liberal wonks” have been whispering about that threat amongst themselves. (The biggest and most respected “liberal wonk” of them all has repeated debunked Summers’s claim as have other serious economists. Google Krugman’s interview with Joe Scarborough to hear his cogent

explanation.)

Cooper then goes after Politico’s Playbook saying “....the jokers at Politico's Playbook newsletter (your best source for ill-disguised advertorials and tips on hiding political bribes) repeated his argument. “ He describes Playbook’s pushing Summer’s false claims: “the Playbook goofballs, who cover life-and-death political questions as amusing palace intrigue, then gleefully stoke the flames by credulously covering his argument — and apparently exaggerating his influence among "liberal wonks," who dismissed his argument out of hand, and among the Biden team.”

Cooper concludes: “This is about political jockeying for influence, and the warped culture of D.C. journalism. Summers has been frozen out of a job in the Biden administration, and so he is characteristically trying to elbow in to the conversation by writing articles about how everyone but him is wrong.”

https://theweek.com/articles/965202/savvy-washington-insiders-strike-again

How in the world have I never read Ryan Cooper before now?

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Please continue to pursue the hold PAC’s have on mainstream media. Greed has no place in a democracy. Thank you for being our “voice of reason”.

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I'd like to see more exploration of the possibility that some of our politicians are literally mentally ill. Trump obviously is disordered, but Dean Baquet decided the Goldwater Rule applied to journalists (which it does not), and wouldn't allow Dr. Bandy Lee's warnings, or Mary Trump's observations to be fully probed. Now we have Margery Taylor-Green front and center - another pol who, like Trump, proudly inhabits an alternate reality. This is not right versus left, this is crazy versus sane, and I'd like to see what mental health professionals think about this.

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It seems those who investigate the origins of conspiracy movements have likely ID'd the men behind (at least) the posting of Qdrops. Why is this not receiving more coverage, outside of an in-depth ABC News story in September and a recent reference in the Economist, from what I can tell? It seems important context in much discussion of the post-truth GOP.

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Thanks Eric for your great newsletter. It's been invaluable during the past year especially in understanding the media's obsessive coverage of Trump and his Republican enablers.

One topic I'd suggest for a story is to examine the mental health impact that 5 years of covering Trump had on beltway journalists and newa reporters. It appears some have PTSD from being verbally abused and lied to by Trump and his press team and are letting out their suppressed anger on Biden's spokespeople. And how the Biden press team should respond to the gotcha questions and whataboutism.

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author

Thanks for the kind words re: PRESS RUN. as well as some great story ideas! cheers

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Congratulations on a wonderful first year. Really looking forward to your second year.

Can you talk a little bit about the connection between the media and it's advertisers and how that shapes the media's narratives? Saw you on The Cross Connection this morning, great job.

Keep it up ! Thanks again for keeping us all informed and the musical treats.

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Press Run does such a great job of bringing awareness to the problem. Now would love to see more on WHY the misguided press practices occur—what are the root causes? And more on on the barriers to change and what must be done—and by whom—to overcome them.

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Health care. Surely COVID-19 has shown all of America the incredible vulnerabilities of too many citizens.

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As an African-American, I would like to see more of the "pivotal patriotism" that we have had to exhibit highlighted more, as our position is unique, and that position, when real solutions are found, benefits everyone at the end of the day.

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Once you decide on a meaty issue, like privatized incarceration, or the USPS, or white supremacists embedded in the US military, or corporate strangulation of public-domain law, or whatever; once you commit to it, never let go. I remember how, back in the early aughts, Josh Marshall glommed on to W's privatization push for Social Security. His dogged reporting briefed the nation and beat the Republicans back almost single-handedly. He should have won a Pulitzer, at least.

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Educate the masses on the Republican lie that started with Reagan. “Government is the problem “, no it is false narratives like that that are the problem. Republicans are encouraging and supporting an Oligarchy. That and the growing income inequality is destroying the middle class . Without a flourishing middle class, democracy is at risk.

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More coverage of the families separated and those who are responsible.

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Hello, Eric. Very glad to have you out there in the media wilderness, speaking the truth. The mainstream media has a distinctly Republican-leaning bias and applies Republican framing to every issue. I'd like to see interviews with LIBERALS in diners, or Starbucks, or wherever it is liberals hang out. No one asked us in 2016 how it felt when Hillary lost. No one asks women what we'll do if we lose all rights to abortion and contraception, and how we'll get around that. No one asks us if we fear the establishment of Gilead. For the moment we're OK but in two years there will be mid-terms. We absolutely have to hold on to what we have and expand it.

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Going forward, it would be interesting to see how the media frames Biden policies versus what the popular impression of them is. For example, we already see media 'concern' about the cost of the covid relief bill - but not so much about how popular it is.

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"Siddown on 'em Amos, make it count, son". Jerry Reed, Amos Moses: Truth. More specifically, calling out the lies with verified facts, in print, every day. The revisionist narrative will proliferate in the internet slum, but we can't let the liars win. Fourth Estate.

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I like your newsletter. But I must point out that you have just turned one, not two. Entering your second year is not turning two. At the end of your second year you will have "turned two." Kind of like the end of the millennia was at the end of 2000, not the beginning of it.

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A few things:

1) I would like to hear about feedback that you get from the media and whether any news sources have changed their practices in response.

2) I think it would help to talk about the press's failure to compare U.S. policies to policies in other countries. The current example is the failure to mention that other countries have offered far more in Covid relief than the U.S. is currently considering. The media never mentions this context or asks Republicans why they are opposed to the rather paltry proposal from Democrats when other countries have provided so much more.

3) I think one of the big failures in the modern media is the failure to follow up. The press gives intensive coverage to one topic, then moves on without revisiting. This often lets Republicans off the hook. I think if your column could occasionally visit past topics and address the media's failure to follow up, that would be helpful.

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love your stuff and just subscribed been lazy about doing this but keep up good work!

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Of course the major problem with the media is that they exist in a vacuum of control because their barons have managed (with ease) to persuade government not to try to even look at how they have consolidated. Well, that's the problem down here; and as you guys have the repulsive and loathesome Rupert now, I must imagine it's the same up there.

If the media were free of the voice from the boardroom they'd still be directed by editors, so we're never going to be told stuff unaffected by SOMEONE's bias. Quora has been asked -

"Does George Soros control US media?

{...}

No, this is a bullshit charge that has been around and regurgitated by Breitbart and others for two reasons: Soros is a Jew and he has contributed to the Democrats"

- the question generated by bias on the part of readers !

So. What next ? - more of the same. Maintain the rage, Eric.

You'll have to change (update ?) your stated raison d'être if you're thnking of widening your appeal.

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Been following you from your Media Matters years and always look forward to hearing you on Stephanie Miller. Coming from a small market town, Rochester NY, I often wish there was an army of Eric Boehlerts coving regional media figures and local hypocritical Republicans. But I can't just quit my job & spend all my time exposing the likes of indicted Rep. Chris Collins, cowardly Rep. Tom Reed, Buffalo's shameful Michael Caputo & media twerps like Bob Lonsberry. Perhaps there's a way to make Press Run scalable and/or user-generated in order to focus on local coverage. Kudos to your Cotton Anniversary. Be well, be safe.

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Happy to be a paid subscriber. I have no advice on what to cover Eric. You continue to nail it article after article. What I would like to see going forward is you having your own hour or regular segment on cable to report on the reporting. The BIGGEST news story, every day of the week, is how news anchors are lying or "Chuck Todding" the conversation. Disinformation is how we got to 1/6.

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It's great to get your commentary on where the mainstream media gets it wrong. Now that we again have a functioning Senate, I hope you will provide more commentary on what the media says on the substance of issues like income inequality, minimum wage, tariffs, and other elements of economic policy. Most reporters and editors don't seem to understand that stuff and rely on talking points from Rs and Ds equally. It's just more "one hand, other hand" without checking the facts or evaluating the arguments against substance rather than received wisdom. Some examples if you need them:

(1) routine assertions that raising the minimum wage will destroy small businesses, as if their competition will also need to raise prices, their customers won't have more money to pay for their more expensive services and their employees won't be work better and miss work less if they can afford food and medical care.

(2) the nightly PBS news which tells us the numeric increases and decreases of the DOW, S&P, and NASDAQ, rather than the percentage changes, which allows comparability.

(3) The way the GOP only cares about the deficit when it's a D program for the poor, and no one even mentions the obvious answer - if the deficit is such a serious problem, why aren't they advocating raising taxes to fund the government adequately?

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Seconding the comment about Sarah Kendzior, who saw and reported on the dangers of Trump well before 2016 and has meticulously documented the corruption and authoritarianism of the Republican Party since then. She also holds Democrat leaders accountable when they don't stand up for democracy.

I'd also appreciate your digging into the whole issue of how media coverage is affected by the demographics of who dominates the newsrooms. That is, the fact that it was mostly white men in the major media who reported on the 2016 campaign, for example, several of whom were later revealed to be serial harassers and assaulters, directly affected the coverage of Hilary Clinton's campaign (hence so much sexist commentary, double standards, etc.) and Trump's campaign (downplaying or making light of his history of sexually assaulting girls and women). Another example: the racist and ignorant/inadequate coverage of the Black Lives Matter movement and the 2020 uprising after the murder of George Floyd can be directly traced to the dearth of Black reporters and the domination of the industry by white people. It would be great to see you use your platform as a white man in the industry to point out these systemic problems and boost the voices of BIPOC reporters and women reporters.

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Feb 6, 2021Liked by Eric Boehlert

HBD to the most important voice out there. You really are doing yeoman's work and deserve a larger platform. Many great ideas within these comments-would love links to a few other media critics when applicable. Sarah Kendzior-our modern-day Cassandra- is someone with whom you might chat with/reference more.

And thanks to you I have not been able to get a few Killers' earworms out of my skull...

My only real complaint is that I can't read a new piece from you EVERYDAY.

Thank you so much for keeping us sane.

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The Press -all of it- needs to take a much harder look at America’s voting systems.

It should be a red flag to everyone that our voting systems (paperless machines, secret software, tabulators and proprietary optical scanners) are produced and maintained by private companies wholly owned by Republicans. Dominion is one, but ES& S is the largest.

Outside of statistical analysis, their results are unverifiable, And are often quite implausible, and have been since ~2003.

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I read Press Run religiously. Please keep up the good work. And please let us know any time the media/Democrats/anyone is talking about “unity.” We are under no obligation in our democracy to meet fascists (i.e. Republicans in Congress) half-way—at least until they stop being fascists!

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I would like to know more about how the economics of running a newsroom work and impact editorial choices. Also, how big of a role does ownership play in editorial choice? Thanks. Really enjoy this newsletter. One of my favorite subscriptions.

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I’m very concerned that cable news with its narrow focus on Trump/ratings is keeping many smart people in a state of smart ignorance. Do Anderson, Rachel and the gang inform their viewers about Yemen, Myanmar? Labor issues in the U.S.? Are journalists nowadays reporting on the world, or the twitter world? I think the latter. Thanks for a fantastic Year One. Onward!

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Eric, I may be missing or misread something, but how is Press Run two if you started it one year ago? Love everything you publish

Thanks for all you have written. I appreciate your view and poor press coverage isn’t just a RW problem sadly. As I listen to the press coverage of Jen Psaki, reporters questions have little insight or value. Too many reporters look for some kernel of controversy rather than providing insights. Your coverage and your song selection rock.

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I enjoy your writing. and especially appreciate the good stuff section where you point out people doing a good job.

and the music section is a gem, make sure and keep that up.

the main thing I still struggle with is why does the press behave this way. is it really all "access journalism"? or is there more to it. like some sense of guilt, when you cover people "like you" (fellow left or center-left) you feel like you actually have to be tougher on them so it is clear you are not favoring them. like when I coach my son's basketball team I am harder on him in practice that I am with the other kids.

that whole unity nonsense question in the briefing yesterday a perfect example. bonkers level stuff. we know the journalist asking the question is smart. probably very smart. what in the world leads to a nonsense, and attempted gotcha, question like that?

so more discussion on the why would be useful to me.

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I'm glad it's going well, and I've been promoting it to friends!

I don't know how much more we can ask from you, and I see good ideas and suggestions below. I wonder whether it's possible to broaden things a little bit. For example, the LA Times has a couple of political reporters/columnists I respect greatly who, I notice--ahem--being based in the West, seem a little less inclined toward the DC conventional wisdom. So I wonder about coverage of national politics from outside the NY-DC media axis?

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I love how you call out the Press, but here is my question are you getting any traction from the media? Or are you just screaming into the void? As we all are to be honest. I love your point of view and how you really call out the hypocrisy but mostly I am hoping that you will make the general media aware of their hypocrisy.

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ACCOUNTABILITY! It's good that you call out the media's mistakes and hypocrisies, BUT are they making a difference? Are you moving the needle? Please TRY to interview one editor a month (could be of NYT, WSJ, CNN, Fox, MSNBC, Newsmax, etc.) to get their take on your criticisms. Even if they don't accept, reporting your attempts is a story.

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Hi Eric, thank you for your excellent reporting over this last difficult year.

As to what’s next, while I see you as more reporter, less opinionator, I’d like to see your thoughts on the near future of RW media. Legal departments have convinced management, even of the most far right outlets, there is significant exposure coming out of the voting machine lawsuits. How do you see this going forward? Is there a possibility that some of these outlets, along with the presenters, getting sued into oblivion? How far will they have to dial back to avoid similar legal action?

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