Failure of the mainstream media

How Big Media Ignores the Poor by Rebecca Wharton, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting, October 11, 2012

The Tea Party is Getting Worse: Media May Want a New Narrative, but GOP is Still Nuts Don’t let the press fool you. By Elias Isquith / Salon, February 15, 2015 Across the country, the wingnut revolution isn’t calming down. Behold the insanity.

15 things everyone would know if there were a liberal media by akadjianFollow, Daily Kos, Wed Aug 07, 2013

How the media has helped normalize GOP crazy By Paul Waldman, Washington Post, October 10, 2014 …the standard that reporters  use, probably unconsciously, to decide which gaffes are worthy of extended discussion and which ones merit only a passing mention, a standard that often lets GOP candidates get away with some appalling stuff…in the last few years, there’s a baseline of crazy from the right that the press has simply come to expect and accept, so the latest conspiracy theorizing or far-out idea from a candidate no longer strikes them as exceptional…But during this cycle, Republican crazy just hasn’t broken through at all. It’s almost as if the national press has just come to accept as normal the degree to which the GOP has moved dramatically to the right. At this point so many prominent Republicans have said insane things that after a while they go by with barely a notice…So ideological extremism and insane conspiracy theories from the right have been normalized…

The Radicalization of the GOP is the Most Important Political Story Today by Joshua Holland, Bill Moyers.com, October 10, 2013

How the Mainstream Press Bungled the Single Biggest Story of the 2012 Campaign by Dan Froomkin,Huffington Post, 12/07/2012… coverage in 2012 was a particularly calamitous failure, almost entirely missing the single biggest story of the race: Namely, the radical right-wing, off-the-rails lurch of the Republican Party, both in terms of its agenda and its relationship to the truth… Democrats were hardly inno­cent but…the Republican campaign was just far more over the top.”… fabulists and liars can exploit the elite media’s fear of being seen as taking sides… if the story that you’re telling repeatedly is that they’re all…equally to blame — then you’re really doing a disservice to voters, and not doing what journalism is supposed to do…

Why the Mainstream Media Are Clueless About the Religious Right by Adele M. Stan, AlterNet, August 18, 2011 - Though it has shaped American politics for the last 40 years, the religious right still baffles reporters…From the attitudes shown by media toward the religious right, you’d never know that more than one-quarter of the U.S. population identify as evangelicals…These, by and large, are the people who determine the outcome of the Republican presidential primary…yet, we who cover these races often know very little about the voters whose person-on-the-street interviews they’re recording, except to know that these people are very different from us in their view of the world… the ideology can be traced back to the backers of 1964 campaign of Barry Goldwater. But you’d never know that from reading the mainstream media.

The Virus of GOP Ignorance: Why Don’t Media Protect Us From the Lies Spewed in the Republican Primary? By Eric Alterman, The Nation, November 23, 2011
It is a symbol of our current political predicament that anytime anyone tells the truth about anything in the contest for the Republican nomination, a new scandal erupts…The respectful response of the media to the batshit-crazy statements one hears from the second-tier Republican candidates…is doing definite damage to this country…Gingrich…Cain and Bachmann…Pretending that these people might be president, and hence deserve to be treated as if what they say is true, is not merely unjustified—given that the nominee is almost certain to be Romney—but akin to playing accessory to a kind of ongoing intellectually criminal activity.  In their new book, The Anointed: Evangelical Truth in a Secular Age, Randall Stephens and Karl Giberson explain the nature of intellectual insularity of so many in this world, in which “the teachings of dubiously credentialed leaders are favored over the word of secular experts in the arts and sciences.”…The authors describe “what amounts to a ‘parallel culture,’” where people like alleged “historian” David Barton… abd psychologist James Dobson…proffer phony-baloney history lessons that distort almost everything professional historians know to be true about America’s founders.
Reporters representing reliable media outlets are supposed to defend the discourse from the virus of this ignorance. But for a variety of reasons they no longer do so. Part of the explanation can be found in the foolish willingness of so many reporters to treat Fox News, Drudge and various talk-radio hosts as respectable voices in the debate without regard to their motives or qualifications. A second, no less significant problem is the tendency of even the most sophisticated political reporters to treat the entire process as a contest between rival teams and ignore the substance of their arguments and policies, as if politics were simply a spectator sport…
Speaking of these Tea Party–inspired “candidates,” reformed right-winger David Frum writes that a “political movement that never took governing seriously was exploited by a succession of political entrepreneurs uninterested in governing—but all too interested in merchandising.…these tea-party champions provide a ghoulish type of news entertainment each time they reveal that they know nothing about public affairs and have never attempted to learn.”

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