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Jonathan Chait fears that 'the GOP's refusal to acknowledge the legitimacy of mainstream media' poses a grave threat to American democracy

New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait is very concerned about the state of our mainstream media and what that means for the future of the Republican Party. He’s just concerned about those things for dumb and wrong reasons:


Chait writes:

It’s difficult to analyze this subject without forming a view on the underlying question of the media’s bias, and there are few questions more subject to bias than the subject of media bias itself. My view is that the mainstream media does have an overall liberal lean, and that it has grown over time, as legacy media brands have hired staff from newer online organs that have no tradition of objectivity. But those changes have made their strongest mark in the coverage of culture and lifestyle, while political news has mostly retained its traditional character.

Whether the news media treats the Republican Party more or less harshly than the Democratic Party is a question that can’t be measured, and which most people settle by resorting to anecdotes. Partisans cling to examples of the media treating their side unfairly, with especially noxious examples hauled out of storage to be gazed at repeatedly, like cherished family heirlooms.

For the purposes of my argument here, I’d like to bracket it. The only point I need to make is that the mainstream media does routinely report critically on the Democratic Party. If you are watching CNN or reading the New York Times, you have encountered a steady stream of articles questioning whether Joe Biden is too old for the age, noting high inflation, pummeling the Afghanistan withdrawal, and so on. Whether you believe this level of criticism is excessive or insufficient is a matter of perspective, but the clear fact is that it exists.

Nothing like this exists within the conservative media. The communications apparatus of the conservative movement was established with the goal of advancing the right’s political interests. Its organs often borrow superficial conventions, like bylines and the inverted-pyramid structure, to create the simulacrum of a traditional news medium. But the people working in these institutions understand they are working for the conservative movement, not on behalf of the public’s right to know. Their approach to malfeasance by their side is to ignore, distort, or change the subject to some agreed-upon sin by the enemy (a practice called “whataboutism”).



There’s plenty more to Chait’s piece, of course, but we can’t post it in its entirety. Suffice it to say that the whole thing is a hot mess of projection and denial and all-around suckitude.

Guys. Like, come on.

It really is. He refuses to acknowledge the truth that so many Americans have come to see for themselves.

And despite all of this, Chait still insists that Americans should put their trust in a media that have betrayed that trust over and over again.

OK, Jonathan.




Jonathan Chait notes how obsessed anti-anti-Trumpists are with his piece encouraging liberals to support Trump

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