Journalism and the Know Nothing Congress

President Trump’s lockdown on information provision by federal agencies includes a blockade of communication with Congress, which already struggles to understand complex policy issues because staffing levels on its committees and Congressional Research Service have been dwindling for 30 years. A less noticed but important contribution to Congressional ignorance is the virtual disappearance of a particular type of witness at hearings: investigative journalists.

To read more, see my essay at Washington Monthly.

Author: Keith Humphreys

Keith Humphreys is the Esther Ting Memorial Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University and an Honorary Professor of Psychiatry at Kings College Lonon. His research, teaching and writing have focused on addictive disorders, self-help organizations (e.g., breast cancer support groups, Alcoholics Anonymous), evaluation research methods, and public policy related to health care, mental illness, veterans, drugs, crime and correctional systems. Professor Humphreys' over 300 scholarly articles, monographs and books have been cited over ten thousand times by scientific colleagues. He is a regular contributor to Washington Post and has also written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Monthly, San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian (UK), The Telegraph (UK), Times Higher Education (UK), Crossbow (UK) and other media outlets.

2 thoughts on “Journalism and the Know Nothing Congress”

  1. Great piece. I can only think that this decline has not only paved the way for Trumpism to make the leap from the small-time AM radio swamps into the mainstream, but as well doubled the job of trying to hold it accountable. Is this the first great story of the 21st century, the chaos of digital media and breakdown of the fourth estate?

    edit: it *feels* in a way as if we're a homeowner just discovering how big the termite problem is as the house begins to collapse around us. Hopefully those asterisks remain theoretical.

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