EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week we cross-post an excerpt from Katrina vanden Heuvel’s column at the WashingtonPost.com. Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.
At a time when the president shouting “fake news” is old news and daily scandals are the new normal, it is both difficult and important for the media to strike a balance between the serious and the sensational. I understand how tough that tension is. Every day at The Nation, we try to cover what is important, but that’s not always easy—especially when much of the media privileges stories with the biggest shock factor.
Over one seven-day period this summer, when children were being separated from their families at the border, MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News dedicated only one hour and eight minutes to the crisis—combined. During that same span, the three networks spent 34 hours and 28 minutes covering Omarosa Manigault Newman and her tell-all book.
The same thing is happening right now. Last week, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a watershed report on climate change, warning that a bigger crisis could come sooner than we thought.
Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.