Our Failed Political Press
Two unrelated items that combined tell a story about our truly tragic and failed political press. The first one, from The New Republic is ripped from the headlines of Left Blogtopia… oh, from about 2006:
“The Sunday shows are not designed to inform or educate. They are barometers of what representatives from the two parties think is important. The goal is not to understand an issue, let alone divine the truth, but to broadcast what Democrats and Republicans care about at that moment. They are vehicles for talking points rather than works of journalism…”
“But overall, the format itself feels exhausted, a relic from an earlier, more consensus-driven era. These were shows designed to highlight respectful political difference and to provide a place where both sides could come together and spin the public. These were not shows designed for a political system where one party wrongly believes that an election has been stolen, or that lives in fear of the whims of one man. The Sunday shows remain influential, but they haven’t been relevant in a long time.”
Somewhere, Driftglass is numbing the pain by banging his thumbs with a hammer after reading that. Only guessing of course
Next up is a hopelessly romantic cure from Vox Media (which has improved a lot since Ezra Klein moved out):
A prominent Democratic strategist is planning a new $65 million effort to push progressive local news around the United States as part of an attempt to match the dominance of right-wing media, Recode has learned.
$65M Ameros does not a network make.
The organization, whose formation hasn’t previously been reported, is called the Project for Good Information (PGI). It’s being created by Tara McGowan, a Democratic strategist who has spent the last few years at her current organization, Acronym, trying to encourage her party to counter far-right media with liberal content. She has fans among influential Democrats and donors but has also attracted controversy from journalism groups concerned that her advocacy efforts masquerade as unbiased media, as well as from some fellow Democrats who worry that she can push the envelope too far.
The whole going high when they go low argument is getting wearisome. Don’t go high unless you have a sniper rifle and a steady hand, as snipers say.
God Save Us All from earnest activists:
McGowan’s new group makes clear, though, that some progressives are prepared to double down on her strategy. Her allies say she is one of the few Democrats willing to fight fire with fire. But PGI wants to “restore social trust” in media, and its critics argue ideological outlets only erode that even further and make the information wars even messier.
And those critics wonder why we keep losing. Go figure.