Home Journalism Fixing The Washington Post Requires That It Become More Democractic

Fixing The Washington Post Requires That It Become More Democractic

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That Democratic, not democratic. This is the considered opinion of a major commentator on the state of the American press.

Or, to be more accurate, the call of a committed and partisan hack:

Marty Baron, who stepped down in February to chill and write a book, was a deeply flawed editor. He never came to terms with how deficient the Post was at calling out Donald Trump’s lies and never realized that “not taking sides” shouldn’t apply when one side opposes truth and democracy.

Of course my guys are perfect and you shouldn’t report anything my enemies say as being possibly, even remotely, true.

Buzbee’s most urgent and important challenge will be to establish clear, honest and principled ways of covering a major political party that is increasingly devoted to subverting the electoral process, spreading disinformation, appealing to bigotry and sabotaging effective governance.

D’ye see what I mean?

This is also true of leaders of every other major news organization in America.

Yep, every newsroom in America must start to call them Republithugs because, umm, we didn’t get tired enough of it when it was only the blow the line commentators at Daily Kos doing it?

Let me be clear: This is not just me talking. Smart, seasoned journalists whose jobs happen to allow them to express opinions have been getting more and more adamant that the normal ways of covering politics — invoking neutrality, positing two equal sides, suspending disbelief — are at this point themselves hurting democracy.

We’re over that impartiality shit and we’re gonna root for our team.

My prescription is outlined here and here and here and, generally speaking, in everything I write for Press Watch. In a nutshell: Journalism requires you to take sides when one side is the truth and the other is a lie; reporters should forcefully call out threats to core democratic values; and editors should focus on who is proposing intelligent solutions, who is blocking them, and why.

To translate that into something more understandable. Despite the fact that 90% of all journalists in the country vote D there are still tens of millions who won;t bow down and have the effrontery to vote R. So, up the propaganda, Comrades!

Smack in the middle of a national debate about whether to give a platform to politicians spreading the Big Lie

Further, we’ve got to no-platform anyone who disagrees with St Joe!

Post reporters routinely cast radical Republican intransigence and extremist anti-democratic behavior as just so much partisan squabbling. Despite the party’s unprecedented rejection of reality, Post reporters have routinely treated Republican talking points like story assignments and adopted Republican framing as neutral.

Covering politics by reporting politics. Can’t be allowed to happen. Some might end up being guilty of WrongThink.

An article by Dan Balz about U.S. population data was racist and nativist and reactionary, casting slower population growth as a danger, rather than as an opportunity to welcome more immigrants.

That’s your opinion, sure, but why should someone else be forced to write your interpretation?

The Post eagerly latched onto the disputable Republican claim that employers can’t find workers because the workers are happier collecting Biden’s unemployment supplement, rather than because the employers aren’t paying enough.

And there’s some joyous partisan idiocy for you. They’re the same statement of course – the higher unemployment insurance means that employers aren’t paying enough to get people to come to work.

Fact-checking is a joke at a time like this.

Well, yes, apparently so.

Perhaps Froomkin should go buy his own newspaper to edit as he desires?

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1 COMMENT

  1. Good grief! Is that for real? “Smart seasoned journalist” but it reads like a teenager’s LiveJournal.

    What’s worrying is that WrongThink is real, and there are wannabe Enforcers itching to stamp it out. Everything they don’t believe is lies, not just difference of opinion, merely wrong, or even, merely crazy. No – Evil. Lies. It’s religious in its fervor, and heretics will be burned as surely now as in days of old.

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