mainstream media

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The media’s rotten reporting on Biden’s social and...

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 09/10/2021 - 1:12am in

The media’s rotten reporting on Biden’s social and climate bill (and it’s not just Fox News)Friends, I recently started a newsletter on power, politics, and the economy. I’m still getting the hang of it, but so far I’ve been delighted and encouraged by the responses and the community we’ve built.  For those who’ve yet to sign up, please consider joining us at https://robertreich.substack.com.

The ambitious social and climate legislation now working its way through Congress will be enacted in some form. But its agonizing journey to date reveals the rotten job done by the media that’s supposed to inform Americans about our democracy.

Last week, the New York Times described the delay in House Democrats’ approval of the infrastructure bill as caused by a “liberal revolt.” On Saturday it reported that Biden had “thrown in” with his party’s “left” rather than its “center,” thereby “leaving his agenda in doubt.”

This is pure rubbish. There was no “liberal revolt” and there’s no standoff in the party between a leftwing fringe and a larger center. The vast majority of Democratic lawmakers in both the House and Senate support Biden’s agenda. The only “doubt” comes from two Democratic senators, Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema and West Virginia’s Joe Manchin.

Passage of the infrastructure bill was held up in the House last weekend because Sinema and Manchin wouldn’t negotiate the size of the social and climate bill that was supposed to be attached to it.

The media describes Sinema and Manchin as “moderates” but they’re to the right of the rest of the party. If they’re “moderates,” does that make most Democratic lawmakers “extremists?” And why does the media continue to characterize them as “pragmatic” when, as Joan Walsh of The Nation points out, “it’s actually the progressives who have compromised; they are the pragmatists.”

You can see the same bias in how Biden’s social and climate bill is being described. The media almost never mentions what’s in it – a slew of extraordinarily popular items including childcare, pre-K, community college, paid family leave, child tax credits, and measures to slow climate change. Instead, almost the sole media focus is on how much it would cost. “Biden’s 3.5 trillion package” is the standard description.

Even this is wrong because the $3.5 trillion is spread over 10 years, making it $350 billion per year – about half of what we spend each year on national defense.

To make matters worse, the media’s focus on the bill’s cost ignores the larger costs of not passing it. 

Millions of people without childcare, for example, can’t join the labor force – costing the economy tens of billions each year. Young people who can’t afford community college end up costing the economy vast sums in terms of lost productivity and whatever public assistance they may need down the line. If we don’t slow climate change, we’ll be spending hundreds of billions more per year dealing with worsening wildfires, floods, and droughts. If we don’t begin to reverse widening inequality, half of America won’t be able to buy the goods and services the economy produces. Talk about costs.

These biases in the mainstream media aren’t the result of intentional decisions among publishers, editors and writers to favor the status quo over progressive change. They simply reflect the dominant views of the American establishment, as seen mainly through the lenses of New York and Washington. The establishment supports the status quo and puts a high burden of proof on those seeking fundamental change because it is the establishment.

Yet as a result, the mainstream media is doing a rotten job informing America about one of the most important pieces of legislation to come along in decades, at a time in our nation’s history when fundamental change is badly needed.

What do you think?  Tell me in the comments at https://robertreich.substack.com/p/the-medias-rotten-reporting-on-bidens.

The Media Bias No One is Talking AboutThe mainstream media has...

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 20/08/2021 - 2:23pm in

The Media Bias No One is Talking About

The mainstream media has historically tried to balance left and right in its political coverage, and present what it views as a reasonable center.

That may sound good in theory. But the old politics no longer exists and the former labels “left” versus “right” are outdated. 

Today it’s democracy versus authoritarianism, voting rights versus white supremacy. There’s no reasonable center between these positions, no justifiable compromise. Equating them is misleading and dangerous.

You hear the mainstream media say, for example, that certain “Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties.” These reports equate Republican lawmakers who are actively promoting Trump’s big lie that the 2020 election was stolen, with Democratic lawmakers who are fighting to extend health care and other programs to help people. 

These are not equivalent. Trump’s big lie is a direct challenge to American democracy. Even if you disagree with providing Americans better access to health care, it won’t destroy our system of government. 

You also hear that both sides are gripped by equally dangerous extremism. Labeling them “radical left” and “radical right” suggests that the responsible position is somehow between these so-called extremes. 

Can we get real? One side is trying to protect and preserve voting rights. The other side is trying to suppress votes under the guise of “election integrity.”  

But there isn’t and never was a problem of “election integrity.” The whole issue of “election integrity” in the 2020 election was manufactured by Donald Trump and his big lie about voter fraud, and was bought and propagated by the Republican Party. 

Today’s Republican Party is behind what historians regard as the biggest attack on voting rights since Jim Crow, but the media frames this as a right-versus-left battle that’s just politics as usual. Equating the two sides is false and dangerous.

Or compare the coverage of Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert, on one hand, with the coverage of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar on the other. You’d think they were all equally out of the mainstream, some on the extreme right, some on the extreme left. That’s bunk. 

Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert, in addition to spreading dangerous conspiracy theories, harassing colleagues, and promoting bigotry, don’t actually legislate or do anything for their constituents. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar both organize to help everyday people, deliver for their constituents, and have pushed legislation to provide universal school meals, expand affordable housing, and combat the climate crisis.

Equating all these lawmakers suggests that the responsible position is halfway between hateful, delusional conspiracy theories on the one hand, and efforts to fight white supremacy, save the planet, and empower working people on the other. 

It’s similar to what the media did following Donald Trump’s infamous condemnation of “both sides” after the deadly violence sparked by neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017. In the ensuing weeks, America’s six top mainstream newspapers used just as much space condemning anti-Nazi counter-protesters as they did actual neo-Nazis.

But research shows white supremacists pose a significantly graver threat than those trying to stop them. White supremacists are animated by racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, and other forms of bigotry, violence and hate. 

Battling white supremacy is not the same as advocating it. Passing laws to prevent voter suppression is not the same as passing laws to suppress votes. Fighting for our democracy is not the same as seeking to destroy it. 

The media equating both sides, one “left” and one “right,” suggests there’s a moderate middle between hate and inclusion, between democracy and proto-fascism. 

This is misleading, dangerous, and morally wrong. Don’t fall for it.

Scott Morrison Knows Someone Who Can Change The World!

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 27/04/2021 - 9:19am in

‘Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’ ‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat. ‘I don’t much care where -‘ said Alice. ‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat. ‘- so long as I get SOMEWHERE,’ Alice…

The post Scott Morrison Knows Someone Who Can Change The World! appeared first on The AIM Network.