Shocking, but true

Dan Froomkin:

1. Contemporary GOP politicians and spokespeople are habitual liars.

2. The conventions of mainstream reporting forbid reporters to report that highly relevant fact.

3. The penalty for scholars who state that fact and criticize reporters for their failure to report is is to be categorized as partisan and thus denied coverage.

Don’t feel sad for Mann and Ornstein. They’ll be OK. Feel sad for the country.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

4 thoughts on “Shocking, but true”

  1. i find it altogether remarkable that this post has had no comments while the 2 posts which sandwich it are around 30 each. having thus remarked i now withdraw.

    1. Well, what is there to say?

      Albeit I would add that it’s not entirely fair to blame the “name” journalists for this: they’re useful idiots. Any of the scrappier types who might have done differently stopped getting promoted somewhere along the way, either by editors or publishers who didn’t think this kind of adversarial behavior was proper.

      (And of course there’s a good argument that this is a significant cause for the death of american journalism: by self-censoring to meet the perceived whims of advertisers, publishers and editors have lost the eyeballs — and the trust — on which the advertisers depended.)

  2. Okay, I’ll add a comment — and not just to up the quotient.

    I think it’s very important and deeply interesting, the problem of journalistic dereliction in the past few decades. It is as Mark and Froomkin observe, patently obvious that the GOP is completely fact and even idea averse. They’re really more a criminal organization exploiting the rube, the boobs and the bigot than a political party in the conventional sense. They don’t care about the truth of their assertions at all, just the efficacy of whatever pitch. The GOP’s devoluition started with Nixon and has proceeded apace with every subsequent Republican administration, every GOP crime overlooked in the name of healing, national security, looking forward not back et cetera. And the mass market media have gladly pushed for GOP immunity, ensuring that GOP criminality will perpetuate and worsen. Why wouldn’t it? It works, it’s lucrative and very nearly risk free!

    Our journalists are totally addicted to covering politics as a team sport, team red v team blue, very much as if the outcome had little consequence in the lives of Americans. (Of course, if you’re a member of the media elite elections don’t have many consequences for you.) And if it’s gonna be a sport, well, you need league parity to keep it interesting. So you need to ignore the fact that, for instance, W is a liar, coward, bungler,and thief who basically turns everyhting he touches into merde — all of which is quite well etsablished in the public record — and instead talk about his emotional intelligence, and his opponent’s earth-toned wardrobe. You need to ignore the question of whether Romney took the amnesty deal on his Swiss tax dodge, ignore the 100 million he somehow got into an IRA et cetera. How much better to talk about…Libya!

    It’s willful blindness, and negative hallucination: a refusal to see what’s plainly before one. Alas, until journalists are held to account for failing to report the plain truth (But why should they be held to account? No other white people are.)we will get more of the same. They’ll do everything they can to foster false equivalence, to make it a horse race every time — because that keep them Important — no matter what that does to the country. They’re scum, the Villagers, and they should be spat upon in the street.

  3. Yeah, what is there to say except it’s true, and it’s tragically sad?

    This is what we get when journalists and reporters think their job is only to repeat the words of others, without comment on the truth of those words. Even NPR does this in its political reporting (though not in its fine in-depth stories, which, ironically enough, often air information contradictory to NPR’s short regular newscasts on the same day.) Facts, truth, and reality have few media backers, and those few (for instance, Rachel Maddow) are labeled as progressive or liberal and are then dismissed as biased.

    Multiple systems have been corrupted by powerful financial interests: news-media, political, economic, agriculture, environmental, corporate, tax.

    Humanity is making Mother Earth sick, and giving her a fever (global warming) which could easily wipe most of us out. Helplessly watching it happen makes me sick.

Comments are closed.