My new “Think Again” column is borrowed from The Cause and it’s called “How Classical Liberalism Morphed Into New Deal Liberalism."
My Nation column is “Defending Israel (and Waiting for a Miracle).”
I was at the LA Times Festival of Books last weekend, and appeared on a panel called “How the ‘boys on the bus’ cover campaigns.”
Now here’s Reed:
The Media’s (Lying) Eyes
by Reed Richardson
Much of traditional political reporting currently suffers from what I’d call the “Duck Soup” problem. In a classic scene from that movie, Chico Marx (disguised as Groucho) famously asks “Who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?” Increasingly, however, our media can’t be trusted to answer this fundamental question correctly. Thanks to a rigorously self-prescribed mantle of objectivity, the establishment press has allowed neutrality and structural ‘balance’ to supplant truth-telling and accountability as its lodestars. As a result, when confronted with the choice between digging out uncomfortable facts and quoting convenient fictions, all too often the media—either subconsciously or willfully—pulls its journalistic punches by choosing the latter.
This institutional timidity on the part of the Washington press corps, while somewhat helpful in avoiding superficial evidence of perceived bias, actually begets other, more insidious types. Loath as the media is now to court controversy by drawing clear distinctions between parties and/or candidates based on actual policy, the press naturally busies itself with a proclivity for process coverage. Paul Waldman, over at The American Prospect, cites a recent Project for Excellence in Journalism report to detail how this alternative bias manifested itself on a macro scale during the Republican presidential primary coverage: