Election 2016

Sean Hannity's Suggestion that "Journalism is DEAD IN AMERICA!" Is Slightly Exaggerated

A recent interview of Newt Gingrich by his "sex-obsessed" Fox News colleague Megyn Kelly shows that there's still a beating heart even in cable news.


Sean Hannity is having a tough time dealing with the ups and downs of Election 2016. Here's an actual god's-honest-tweet the Fox News host posted recently, declaring in all-caps outrage that "Journalism is DEAD IN AMERICA!"

Let's stipulate a few caveats before engaging Hannity's, um, thesis. Yes, there is media bias in American journalism, with most reporters who cover politics leaning toward views that are decidedly more friendly to figures such as Hillary Clinton and parties such as the Democratic party. There are all sorts of blind spots, especially in so-called legacy media, which at this point not only includes outfits such as The New York Times but also greying institutions such as…Fox News tbh. To the extent that the media isn't liberal, it's conservative or, even worse, simply reactionary to everything new and different. I could go on, but I think most of us—especially when us is a dog whistle for libertarians, that happy breed that feels like we never quite get the respect, attention, and column inches we so richly deserve—can agree that media bias exists.

Sean Hannity, Twitter

And yet… Has there ever been a better time for consumers and producers of news, journalism, commentary, and whatever else you want to talk about? I don't think so, especially if you're part of what used to be call the alt-media (back when something called the mainstream kind of existed).

I've been at Reason since 1993 and I know our trajectory has been upwards (I rush to note of course that correlation doesn't imply causation!) my entire time here. A large part of that was due to the person who hired me, then-Editor Virginia Postrel, who had a strong vision for the print magazine in terms of in-depth, serious policy and think pieces and also got us going on the web back when most media outfits didn't give a fuck about that sort of thing. During the 2000s, we seriously beefed up our online presence and the range of topics we covered and material we produced. Thanks to the vision of Drew Carey and Reason Foundation president David Nott, we launched Reason TV in 2007, taking advantage of ever-cheaper technology and distribution possibilities to create online videos. Under the auspices of Reason mag Editor in Chief Matt Welch and, since earlier this year, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Reason is approaching its 50th birthday (we were started as a mimeographed 'zine in 1968 by the late, great Lanny Friedlander) with a vastly larger and more-influential audience (that's a compliment to you, gentle readers!) than we ever imagined. And we're still growing in size and offerings! More than 4 million visitors a month at this website! About 2.5 million viewers for our vids on YouTube and Facebook! And check out our refurbished podcasts! Subscribe here and here!

So screw you, Sean Hannity, when you say "Journalism is DEAD IN AMERICA!"

To be clear, Donald Trump's presidential dreams may be dead. Part of Sean Hannity's soul may be dead. A subset of Republican bigwigs, especially those who embrace the past and fear the future may be dead.

But journalism? Not so much.

Even or especially at Fox News. Consider this kinda-sorta epic smackdown between Newt Gingrich and Hannity's intra-channel rival Megyn Kelly. What you are witnessing below is the end of the former Speaker, who helped usher in decades of Republican control of the House of Representatives, admitting that he's got absolutely nothing left to talk about or think about that might be of interest to the dwindling number of his newsletter subscribers. He's more stuck in the goddamn '90s than Snapple, Oasis, and the cast of Full House.

By virtually all accounts, Donald Trump will lose on Election Day and he might even drag the Republican Senate down with him. As someone who finds both Trump and Hillary Clinton and the GOP and Democrats unacceptable choices due to their anti-freedom policies, I approach November 9 with decidedly mixed feelings: Why can't both of them lose?

The good news? Even if Trump does somehow win (the sound that you're hearing? That's Sean Hannity talking about mistaken Brexit polls!), there will be plenty of work for the living, breathing, thriving journalists at Reason and elsewhere to do. For god's sake, the only thing as bad as a Trump win would be a Clinton win—and vice versa.

Come the day after the election, Sean Hannity will probably spend a lot of time tossing midget footballs into the Long Island Sound and cursing the media but the rest of us journalists—well, at least those of us at Reason magazine, Reason.com, and Reason TV—know that Election Day is simply the renewal date of a full-employment act for folks who want to bring about "Free Minds and Free Markets."

NEXT: Bill Weld Tells Republicans to Vote Against 'Unhinged' Donald Trump (UPDATED)

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  1. Yes, there is media bias in American journalism, with most reporters who cover politics leaning toward views that are decidedly more friendly to figures such as Hillary Clinton and parties such as the Democratic party.


    1. Only 96% of them are firmly pro-democrat. That’s not so biased.

      1. And even then, a decent portion of the 96% are simply reporting what social scientists tell them is fact.

        1. I don’t think for a moment that even half of that 96% has given their views any real thought.

          1. I’m making over $15k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.
            Go this web Site and click to Tech tab to start your work… http://www.Trends88.com

    2. Well. somebody’s given up on being hired by a respectable media outlet.

  2. It’s not dead, just redefined as social justice activism in the guise of factual reporting.

  3. 10AM

    It’ll soon be all over for Donald Trump.


    She will be our next president, and Trump won’t.


    Donald Trump will lose on Election Day

    I don’t see what he’s complaining about; Journalism is *thriving*.

    1. ED is a problem for many men, not just Trump.

      1. Electile Disfunction has been successful at raising a lot of dicks to prominence.

        1. *rises too feet, applauds raucously, single tear runs down cheek

          Seriously well played, sahib.

    2. Clearly anyone who is capable of acknowledging that Trump’s chances of winning are, at this point, quite small isn’t a REAL journalist.

      1. Is straw-manning something you do to convince yourself of things, or others?

        1. This is actually pretty rich coming from you, considering the several recent instances where you’ve jumped into the middle of discussions I’d been having with other people and then proceed to completely misrepresent my argument. But I digress, what exactly is your point here? That by saying Trump will lose, Reason is guilty of poor journalism? Why? Would it be ok as long as they had qualified it (e.g. “It will likely soon be over …”)? Or were those quotes and your ensuing comment saying something else?

          1. I digress, what exactly is your point here?

            It was originally simply pointing out that Reason has devotes the majority of its coverage to a single topic. Which seems to involve stating desired-outcomes as established facts. Its not exactly the most stellar representation of ‘serving the public interest’. Its particularly laughable that they engage in back-patting-themselves while doing it.

            My second point to you was asking = Do you straw-man things because you think it convinces others, or just yourself?

            1. You picked three sentences out of how many articles? And a political commentary outlet noting that Trump is, in all likelihood, going to lose is hardly evidence of poor practice. Are they supposed to be PC and act like it’s 50/50 who will win on November 8th?

              1. You picked three sentences out of how many articles?

                the previous 4.

                I think you answered the straw-manning thing for me, btw. best of luck.

              2. 30 people showed up at a Clinton /Kaine rally a few days ago in Florida.


                They can’t even BUY good crowds anymore.

                It’s not a 50-50 shot come November 8th, not at all.

                And our entire media is complicit in perpetuating that lie. Including Reason.

  4. A subset of Republican bigwigs, especially those who embrace the past and fear the future may be dead.

    Wouldn’t that subset be better off if Trump loses? Won’t that likely usher in a snapping back to the status quo, where outsiders will have learned their place and GOP primary voters will fall into line lest another drought of Republicans from the taking residence at 1600 Penn?

    Bee tee dubs, the midterms will see Hillary lose much of if not all of the gains she might make in Congress two weeks from now. So there’s that.

    1. I don’t think that statement was necessarily based on Trump’s chances. The GOP establishment is in a tough spot win or lose.

      1. Yes they are, but that is not for the reason Nick thinks. Nick operates under the assumption that globalism and open borders are the future when in fact nationalism and closed borders are likely the future. If anyone doesn’t have a future it is the transnational elite in both parties. All over the world voters are turning on globalism and embracing nationalism. Whether that is a good or a bad thing depends on who you are and your political views. That it is happening, however, is undeniable.

        I don’t know what the politics of this country will be in ten years. Whatever it is, it will be decidedly more nationalist and more populist. The GOP establishment is in a tough spot because its big money donors and important people to the party are on the wrong side of that trend. The Democrat establishment has the same problem. Just like if Trump losses there will be another Trump in the GOP field in 2020, win or lose this year, there will be another Sanders as well.

        1. All over the world voters are turning on globalism and embracing nationalism.

          Is this really true, or just the loud, angry, shouting of a few? I feel like the real movement of humanity is quiet but statistically apparent.

          A possibly bad analogy: all the rage derp at patriarchy and sexism directed at the target audience of the female Ghostbusters — that was loud and commented on daily in the news cycle. I saw a vid where people analyzed the Youtube comments for the trailer, overlaid with interviews of the cast saying sexism is the only reason the movie is taking flak — long story short, they found that only .0039% of the Youtube comments were of the obvious trolly ‘That one girl looks like a gorilla’ type.

          1. I think it is true. Look at the election results in Germany or France. Look at the result of the BREXIT vote. Look at the Philipines.

            1. Look at the UN bringing Cholera back to Haiti. Look at Africa walking away from the ICC. Look at Venezuela’s collapse relative to other previous C. American economic collapses. Look at immigration through C. America to the US border. Look at the shipping and trade industries asking questions like ‘What if we’ve reached peak trade?’

            2. Germany and France have multi-party systems. A party can become relevant without representing a majority, or close to a majority of the population. The AfD in Germany is around 15% in national opinion polls for the next election. Le Pen is losing handily in one on one matchups against virtually everyone except Hollande, who is very unlikely to make it to the final round.

              And I think calling Duterte a nationalist is oversimplifying. He is anti-US, and also anti-UN because they’ve condemned him, but he’s all about cozying up to China. If there’s a single issue his rode to power, it was his law-and-order stance, not foreign policy.

        2. Yeah, John, except for abortion, gay marriage, foreign intervention, a border wall, drug wars, and their Iraq War position Trump and Sanders are totally the same.

          If you are bemoaning the rise of nationalism and populism (I’m Left Libertarian that enojoys people of all creeds and colors so I’m with you, comrade) why the fuck are you voting for Trump?

          1. Yeah dipshit. Abortion and gay marriage are totally international issues. You are too fucking stupid to participate in the conversation. You can’t even properly troll. No one cares. Just move along and go rant on a Trump thread or something.

            1. By the way, Bernie mostly agreed with Trump on immigration, because it tends to depress wages for low-skilled and unskilled workers.

            2. Trump is pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, against foreign interventions, was against the Iraq war, wants illegal immigration stopped and is against drugs.

              Just like Bernie.

          2. Unless sanders is still anti gay marriage and anti abortion due to some deep religious conviction I’m not aware on, I’m not really sure where the two of them actually disagree on any of this.

            Trump’s outright commented on how harsh you would have to be to actually enforce an abortion ban by speaking the truth: that you would have to go after the mothers who do it. He’s given no real sign of being anti abortion. And he’s actively tried to court the Gay vote, and doesn’t care about most of the conservative “anti-gay” policies.

            Still, I admit I don’t know much about Sanders policies. But, from what I know about Trump, and your insistance that Sanders is the opposite, these must be his policy positons:

            1) Abortion should be illegal
            2) Gay marriage should be banned.
            3) We need more foreign interventionalism
            4) The boarder wall the more or less already exists should be reduced, not expanded, and we should continue not enforcing existing laws.
            5) I don’t really know trumps position on the drug war.
            6) Iraq was a good idea and we need more like that.

            So, if this is what Sanders believes (since you say he’s opposite of Trump) I have to ask what reason you have for voting or supporitng him?

        3. “All over the world voters are turning on globalism and embracing nationalism.”

          I think you’re cherrypicking a couple examples that fit that narrative, and then assuming that this trend will last for the foreseeable future. Even the most notable example, Brexit, passed by a 52/48 margin. It’s not as if the entire UK decided to leave in unison. Trump is in all likelihood going to lose the election, an election that could have been won easily by the Republican candidate against someone as disliked as Clinton. Sanders also lost the primary to Clinton. Additionally, I think it’s simplistic to the point of being wrong to view Sanders vs Clinton as nationalism vs globalism. Sanders rails against free trade, and for a left-winger isn’t big on expanding immigration, but he also advocated for amnesty and against deportation. Also, nationalism isn’t the only reason people oppose free trade – the far left generally opposes it on anti-capitalist grounds. Immigration was barely an issue at all in the Democratic primary, and trade was one of several reasons why he got support. I don’t think all the young kids excited about free college and single payer were voting for him because they want nationalism. And if we are talking about this from a global POV, in Europe the nationalist parties and movements are often weaker among young voters (see Brexit again as an example).

          1. The squirrels ate my post. You are confusing nationalism for conservatism. They are not the same thing. You can be a national socialist. The youth would embrace nationalism in a heartbeat. It just has to be packaged in the right language of tolerance. if you don’t believe that, look at how they fell for Bernie Sanders. Sanders is just as much of a nationalist as Trump. He is just the socialist side of it.

            Beyond that, open borders are being rejected everywhere. Even Sweden has turned against open immigration. The EU is dying and you will likely never see a transnational organization like it again. Nationalism is on the rise in Russia, eastern Europe, China, all over Asia. Transnationalism is dead.

            Lastly, even if you think that America will continue to embrace open borders, that will mean the culturally liberal issues you list as the future are doomed. No place on earth is as culturally liberal as the US and Western Europe. And mass migration from less liberal places is not going to make it more liberal. it will. make it more culturally conservative. How much is anyone’s guess. But if the immigration trends continue, today is the high water mark of the sort of cultural liberalism you and Nick think is the future. I don’t think that is a good thing and see it as a really good argument against mass immigration. You and Nick seem to live in denial about the connection between the two issues.

            1. I already explained the flaws in the Sanders-Trump comparison. Your entire basis for the comparison seems to be that he’s also anti-trade and he’s not as pro-immigration as other people on the left. However, you neglect to see that anti-trade sentiment on the left isn’t always based in nationalism, and is often an expression anti-capitalism, even among very internationalist far leftists. Additionally, Sanders was still in favor of amnesty for illegal immigrants, and immigration had very little to do with why anyone picked their preferred candidate in the Democratic primaries. Even if we did assume that Sanders is a nationalist and that he got the young people to support a nationalist, it’s only relevant to making future predictions about support for nationalism if that is why people supported him. And I don’t think that was why most of his supporters, particularly young voters, supported him. A candidate could run on Sanders platform plus more open immigration and any impact on their success would be negligible.

              I don’t think America will “continue to embrace open borders” because America isn’t even currently doing that. “Open borders” doesn’t mean “less immigration restrictions than I would prefer” no matter how many times you repeat yourself.

          2. If you don’t think the youth will embrace nationalism, explain how they have bought the “Russia is the new evil trying to destroy our elections” line so easily? Basically the youth are whatever the culture tells them is “tolerant”. And the day the culture starts telling them that means to be nationalist, they will embrace nationalism.

            1. Regarding the Russia example – if that’s enough to constitute nationalism, then we’ve already been fully nationalist for decades or centuries and thus there’s no reason to talk about any sort of shift. Globalism doesn’t entail never criticizing foreign governments.

              1. Yes we have been fully nationalist. The US has always been a nationalist country. Internationalism has never commanded the support of the public.

  5. He’s more stuck in the goddamn ’90s than Snapple, Oasis, and the cast of Full House.

    He is what I imagine the Snapple Lady looks like today. Also, I think the other Olsen twin needs a father figure to date. That could be Newt. The other one is with someone who looks like Ted Cruz, so it might be their type. Just food for thought.

    1. I think the other Olsen twin needs a father figure to date

      That did not work out well for Sarah Lynn.

      1. That show got real dark in the end. 🙁

        1. The first two seasons were brilliant and really dwelled on what an irredeemable urchin Bojack is without romanticizing his scumminess. The scene on the boat still haunts me.

          The third… I may need to rewatch, but I was not impressed. It’s gotten a bit rote.

    2. He is what I imagine the Snapple Lady looks like today.

      Not quite? The first pic is recent.

      1. Did you google or had you been following her progress throughout the years?

        1. His google alerts are set to “Snapple” and “cocaine,” and they finally merged.

        2. I had quite forgotten about her so had to Google to remember what she was.

    3. Don’t date an Olsen twin – one of them killed Heath Ledger!

      1. Allegedly killed. You know…”allegedly.”

  6. I just took a look at my ballot for the November election

    I share it so you guys understand *why* I recommend adopting the paradigm of someone living in the Soviet Union in the 80’s when contemplating the arc of our government.

    1. Damn that is brutal. An unfortunate downside of adopting geographic-based representation, particularly in a two-party system, is that in a lot of areas one party never has to worry about losing their seat. And as we see here, the other party doesn’t even bother running in some instances. I’m also guessing MA has pretty restrictive ballot access laws for third parties?

      1. Comrade, why do we need so many political parties when children are going to bed hungry? One party is all we need. The democratic party acts on behalf of the people. Any other party would merely interfere.

    2. Wouldn’t it be easier to have 1 big “PLACE THUMBPRINT HERE” mark?

    3. “Green-Rainbow”? They thought “Pony Farts” was too on the nose?

    4. Good Lord.

      “You can have any colour you want, as long as it’s black.”

      Ooooops. Implicit racism above. I denounce myself.

      1. you are summarily de facto denounced.

    5. Sorry to break it to you guys, but the Soviet elections in 1989 had more parties and opposition figures than this and quite a few of Communist leaders were defeated.

      Election data available so far shows a net gain to unofficial candidates in the voting for 1,500 seats in the new Congress of People’s Deputies.

      Some Communist Party officials have failed to gain election and despite the absence as yet of many provincial results, there appears to be a swing against the party establishment.

      These included five members of the central committee and one Politburo member.

    6. You could live here in CA where the choices are:

      US Senate
      Kamala Harris (D)
      Loretta Sanchez (D)

      US Representative
      Richard Alarcon (D)
      Tony Cardenas (D)

      1. What amazes me most is the large overlap between people who support this “open-primary, top-two” bullshit and believe in mandatory voting (or, at least, complain about turnout being “too low”).

        You will be forced to vote for people you don’t want to hold office!

      2. Country AND Western!

        1. that was exactly my first thought

    7. Your ballot looks like an inversion of mine. 75% of positions uncontested. There is a total of three Dems and two Libertarians, and two of those are running for Prez. Everyone else are Repubs.

    8. Here in Cali no republican ran for a senate race because everyone knew they couldn’t win. Sad state of affairs, we are doomed. I’d move but I’m self employed with 33 years in one locations with lots of regular clients I don’t want to start at the bottom again.

      1. Thing about thinking like that is you will soon have no choice but move. You can either prepare your family and leave on your terms or wait until taxes are completely oppressive, violent and property crimes are at an all time highs and all your regular clients flee too.

        Then you can’t sell your house, get a U-Haul truck or get out of the camp for Libertarian misfits.

        Some states are doing far better economically, so you would find new regular clients easier and probably be able to expand your business because costs are lower.

        1. [contd]
          Look at it like playing the stock market. Those who sell on time, make out. Those who hold on too long lose a everything.

  7. Let’s take the assertion about Megyn Kelly at face value. That doesn’t make her a bad person.

    1. If anything I like her more if that is true.

    2. Eh, she’s getting that hard, bitter look that is offputting no matter what your genetic gifts may be.

  8. He’s more stuck in the goddamn ’90s than Snapple, Oasis, and the cast of Full House.

    This is awesome, coming from a guy who is still wearing the Fonz’s leather jacket.

    1. Actually, a nice zinger.

    2. Technically, The Jacket wears Nick.

      1. Does he even wear The Jacket anymore? I haven’t seen him appear in it in several years.

      2. Does he even wear The Jacket anymore? I haven’t seen him appear in it in several years.

    3. Oooh, snap.

  9. We need more of this shit in politics today. Settle it the ancient way.

    1. Trump would kick Biden’s ass. Biden is only tough when speaking ill of blacks.

      ‘Biden falsely boasted that Delaware was a slave state to explain why he would remain competitive in southern primaries.
      “You don’t know my state. My state was a slave state ? my state is the 8th largest black population in the country,” he said.’

  10. When leftists were concerned about corporate bias in the media, they went out and created publications like the Village Voice and Mother Jones, which wore their politics on their sleeve but also produced some really interesting commentary and investigative journalism.

    When conservatives were concerned about liberal bias in the media they went out and created the Grandpa Babysitter radio netowkr and Roger Ailes Adult Friend Finder.

    1. I thought they created Drudge and the entire alternative media on the net. Hello, it is 2016 not 1995. Wake up grandpa, the present is calling.

      1. the present is calling

        *frantically waves arms and mouths “I’m not here.”*

    2. And the ratings for Grandpa Babysitter radio netowkr and Roger Ailes Adult Friend Finder versus the Village Voice and Mother Jones?

      But I guess it’s, like, totally different because you and all your friends know that the cool kids all read the latter.

      1. It is almost like Murdock started Fox News to make money or something rather than be cool like Hugh. What a dumb ass.

    3. U forgot to say faux news and call Rush fat. Otherwise, nice Tony impersonation

  11. I think he’s right. At least as we know it. I have more faith in random blogs than major media including Hannity.

    1. Sugar Free does seem to have an inside source giving him tons of privileged information.

  12. For god’s sake, the only thing as bad as a Trump win would be a Clinton win?and vice versa.

    Like you really believe that. I saw that debate you “moderated”, you came off less rational and composed than a Black Lives Matter activist on meth.

    1. Just forget that FS. He was channeling his inner Candy Crowley and was bleeding out of his whatever.

      1. That’s not being fair to Candy Crowley. She at least exercised some modicum of impulse control, if only to maintain plausible deniability about her conduct.

        1. I was waiting for Anderson Cooper to press his index finger to The Don’s lips as her interrupted him with a, “Shhh, just let the magic happen.” Nick should let me coach him on moderating.

  13. Journalism is dead Nick. You just don’t want to call it what it is now: propaganda. How’s all that reporting on Wiki and Project Veritas going? I can’t wait til you “journalists” show us the truth from the lies on those.

    1. Ouch. That’s gonna leave a mark.

    2. I’m sure once queen Hill gets Citizens United overturned, Reason will cease to be media and become an evil kochperation, then get shut down for campaigning…

  14. Journalism is dead. Long live journalism.

  15. Who killed journalism? Where’s the murder weapon? This potentially makes for a great Christie murder mystery. Is she still alive?

    1. Perhaps someone killed her.

      1. I bet it was Doyle. He was jealous at the upstart.

      2. Lead pipe, Study, Professor Plum.

    2. Agatha’s been dead for decades, sorry.

    3. Who killed journalism? Where’s the murder weapon?

      It was Professor Marx in the study with a candle stick.

    4. “And Then They Were Dumb”

    5. is it murder when you suffocate from sticking your head up your own ass?

  16. More than 4 million visitors a month at this website!

    That’s just all y’all changing your handles on the daily I reckon.

    1. 2.5M Tulpa visits a month!

  17. Oh God now we have to sit through months of Trumpalogia. “He was not a modern day Hitler-wannabe!” “Clinton is almost as bad!” “We were just following orders!”

    1. “We published 60% more anti-Trump articles than anti-Clinton!”

  18. Fuck it. I’ll say it. That is an awesome tweet of the Don. No, he still sucks, but talk about imagery. That’s outstanding.

    1. It really is. I think they hate Trump so much because he has them pegged for what they are. Make no mistake, they don’t care about the country and they certainly don’t give a shit about an authoritarian getting elected. So that is not why they hate him.

      1. But what WTF do I know about this stuff? I just like seeing stuff get nuked. Especially assholes that have it coming.

        1. Your know a lot more than your typical beltway journalist.

    2. No kidding, that guy deserves major props for putting that one together.

  19. Journalism is dying. Nick is kidding himself. It is dying because its business model of every city having a big newspaper that gave hundreds of journalists middle class livings is over. Now being a journalist is about like being an actor. Sure a few make it big most journalists have to work a second job to support their journalism habit. Going into journalism is no longer any kind of a ticket to a decent living.

    Since money talks and smart people can be successful in lots of fields, the death of the old business model has taken a huge toll on the intellectual quality of journalists. Go back and read a New York Times or Washington Post from the 1980s sometime. They were the same partisan rags they are today but the quality of the prose and writing was a level above anything they put out today. This is because the people who work for those papers today are not as smart or as well trained as they were then.

  20. One of the things to come out of the wikileaks is the chief political writer for Politico sending his story to Jon Podesta for clearance. What is remarkable about that is not that it shows him to be a leftist hack. Everyone already knew that. What is remarkable is that it shows that Thrush is so stupid and incompetent he can’t even write a pro Hillary hack piece without running it by the campaign and letting them okay it for him. Campaigns didn’t used to have to do that because they could rely on their friendly hack reporters to know what to do without being told. Now, they have in the words of that great beltway philosopher Ben Rhoades “20 something liberal arts majors who know nothing” who have to be told what to write. That is the death of journalism.

    1. I don’t know, the problem there might just be that it is exceptionally difficult to write a pro-Hillary piece because 1. it is difficult to not contradict her prior stance (public or private) and know what her current stance is or whether she even wants anyone to know what her current stance is. and 2. there is so little positive to write about Hillary in the first place

      1. Those are only problems if you have any shame or integrity, which someone like Thrush doesn’t have. It is very easy to write a pro Hillary hack piece. The problem is people like Thrush and the rest of them are so stupid they can’t even do that. Why do think they created the journolist? It is because they were too stupid to figure out the talking points on their own. Think about it; they have to be fed the talking points and language and then regurgitate it word for word. They all agree with one another. And the pro Dem spin on a given story is not hard to figure out. Yet, they have to coordinate and go with set talking points because they can’t rely on everyone not to fuck it up. These people are stupid. They didn’t go into journalism because they had a lot of other career options.

        1. Yeah, that’s true – they don’t have to be honest when they write a pro-Hillary piece. Hacks like Krugman are good at projecting leftist desires onto Democrats without actually being honest about what the Democrats really stand for.

          1. Krugman is an old guy. Though he is nuts, he is a PHD economist and you can’t say he lacks intelligence at some level. So Krugman is able to get the spin and the talking points right without being told. The current generation of journalists can’t because they are generally stupid and make up for it by being poorly educated.

    2. he chief political writer for Politico sending his story to Jon Podesta for clearance

      There are innumerable examples in the wikileaks dumps illustrating the collusion between Hillary’s campaign/the DNC and a compliant press.

      That, however, is not really the most damning of them at all, and harping about it just weakens the case against the media’s political one-sidedness.

      Anybody who speaks to sources (and campaigns are sources) will generally run those sources own quoted comments back to them once they’ve been put in print. Not just the quotes, but the context in the piece, to ensure they have an opportunity to either amend their statements or clarify.

      Its standard practice. I did it in a variety of contexts.

      Yes, it can actually look like some sort of underhanded collusion taken out of context. And the guy’s own comments seemed to reinforce that he was doing his best to make podesta/hillary “look good” – and that may in fact have been *true*.

      But what he did – simply running stories back to sources pre-publication – isn’t proof of anything by itself.

      As i said, i think there were a dozen things that were probably more significant and better examples of a politically-captured-press; e.g. i think the whole recently disclosed “Strategic Oversampling” in polling is something that shows the level to which the media-arm twisting goes…

      1. He didn’t just run the quotes back. He sent the entire story. As you point out, he knew that was wrong. That raises the question of why he didn’t just run the quotes back to Podesta or ask Podesta to confirm whatever factual statements he was making in the story instead of sending the entire article? That would have accomplished the same thing and not looked bad. The reason he did that was because he is stupid and was worried he wasn’t getting the right spin on the story.

        That story isn’t so much about media corruption. As you point out giving them the story, while frowned upon isn’t necessarily a huge ethical breech. That story is about how stupid Thrush is.

      2. Thrush wasn’t fact checking – he sent text from his story to Podesta for approval, which is against Politico’s stated policy. A reporter from the New York Times sent emails asking for quote approval from the Clinton campaign, which is against the Times’ stated policy, and I think the same reporter was sending the Clintons stories to approve as well, which is against another policy of theirs.

        These journalists were caught not following the journalistic standards their employers set, and neither the journalists nor their employers seem bothered by it.

        1. Exactly. And the question is why break the rules here? What is the need to send the story to the campaign? The only reason you do that is because you don’t trust yourself to get the proper spin on things. Hack reporters in the past didn’t send their stories to the campaigns because they didn’t have to. They were smart enough to know how to be a hack without being told. These idiots are not.

        2. These journalists were caught not following the journalistic standards their employers set

          ok, but the criticism being made seems to be that there was any exchange at all. Or at least it seems to me that a lot of critics seem to have misunderstood the typical type of communication that goes back/forth between sources & writers.

          Even if that instance was more-egregious than i seem to have taken it (esp since i’ve never seen it mentioned that it was contrary to the publication-policy), I still think there have been far *better* examples.

          And that fixating on that example seems to allow the press very easy ways to defend themselves – and in fact they’ve made exactly the defense i point out = that its “standard practice” (whether true or not in their case, i don’t know). What’s it called, “Weak-manning“? When someone cites multiple examples of wrongdoing, and a person simply defends themselves against the weakest-accusation? It seems to set that sort of situation up perfectly.

          *and sort of reminds me of nicks defense of ‘journalism’ here.

          1. Should someone within/friendly to the Trump campaign have his or her e-mails hacked by Wikileaks and made public, I’m guessing that the hacking won’t reveal news organizations allowing the Trump campaign or its hangers on to preview news pieces before publication. This “standard practice” is probably bit one-sided. I’m happy to be disabused of this notion.

            1. I never said that there wasn’t any bias in the media. I just said that the example cited wasn’t de facto proof of anything highly suspect.

          2. esp since i’ve never seen it mentioned that it was contrary to the publication-policy

            The Hill has written about it, and I do not believe they are a biased publication (in general), and The Observer (biased for sure) covered the issue very well.

            I’m not saying it is the most important aspect of the wikileaks emails, but it demonstrates that journalistic integrity – which should be of the utmost importance for a journalist – comes and goes depending on the subject. In a just world every story published by Politico should be looked at even more suspiciously than usual.

    3. Journalism used to be a craft/trade. The people who entered the profession often had a background and experience outside of journalism. Now journalists are university educated and that’s all they know. Add the problem of the decline of the press and you have a major problem. Blogs are often a source of better analysis and better writing.

      1. Yes. It used to be a craft. And journalists started at the bottom of the big papers and had editors who taught them how to write and report. Now they don’t get that. Someone like Matthew Yglesias seems to pride himself in not being able to spell or use proper grammar. The quality of writing is just terrible and the quality of thinking even worse.

        Ben Rhoades told the truth. Journalists are ignorant and will believe about anything someone in authority and on their partisan side tells them.

        1. And journalists started at the bottom of the big papers and had editors who taught them how to write and report. Now they don’t get that. Someone like Matthew Yglesias seems to pride himself in not being able to spell or use proper grammar. The quality of writing is just terrible and the quality of thinking even worse.

          Remember the scene from Full Metal Jacket where Joker and the PA platoon are sitting in their hut going over their stories? The comments from the 1 Lt chief editor were funny, but that’s basically what editors consistently did for their junior writers–find flaws in their writing and correct them. Not that this doesn’t happen anymore in a general sense, but one of the weaknesses of the weblog era is that most of these people never received the proper mentorship in crafting a good story using the full range of the English language to express it. Guys like Yglesias and Ezra Klein got where they did based on social connections and their Asperger-like fixation on politics, not because of their talent or even their work ethic. 50 years ago, they’d probably be editing the sports page at this stage of their career, not running Vox.

          1. Remember the scene from Full Metal Jacket where Joker and the PA platoon are sitting in their hut going over their stories

            Not really, no. I had forgotten that was even the narrator’s job in that film until you reminded me.

  21. FoxNews, Breitbart, RedState, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Drudge Report, etc., etc. and still conservatives complain about bias. Is there anything that will stop their bitching and bitching and bitching and bitching and bitching and bitching and bitching and bitching and bitching and bitching and bitching and bitching and bitching and bitching and bitching and bitching and bitching and bitching and bitching and bitching

    1. Does it ever bother you that you have to lie to get what you want?

    2. If you had as many lines of conservative news outlets as you had of bitching, you might be on to something.

      Oh and a list of progressive news outlets would run for pages and pages.

  22. As IowaHawk said:

    Journalism is about covering important stories. With a pillow, until they stop moving.

  23. Except, how much of what Reason does is properly considered “journalism”. I see a lot of terrific analysis of the news, but very, very, very little original reporting. And, don’t get me wrong. That’s fine. Generally, I value the openly biased but rigorous and intellectually coherent analysis I get from Reason. It’s certainly preferable to the incoherent reiterating of the left’s party line presented as objective news by the major media.

    But, if the news has become little more than reiterating what the “right” sources issue in their news releases, how much of the traditional media can be said to be engaged in journalism.

    1. Except, how much of what Reason does is properly considered “journalism”.

      This is a good point, and sadly probably their own best-defense.

      When they cover stories no one else does, i think they deserve that label. When they copy-paste things from others, and slap on the house-spin? less so. When they reiterate the same tired arguments, insisting everything is proof of a libertarian moment, confirmation of an increasingly irrelevant thesis, etc… least of all.

      They do occasionally publish original reporting. The takedown of the NYT ‘nail salon’ piece was (imo) the sort of stuff they should spend more of their time doing. It at least involved doing some fact-checking and reaching out to sources. Balko’s work re: Cory Maye, the LA forensic guy, also come to mind.

  24. I have to admit, when Trump nearly inevitably loses, I will be extremely satisfied to watch Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Ann Coulter have meltdowns of epic proportions.

    1. Are you kidding? A Hillary administration will be great for their careers.

      1. Same reason Michael Moore probably wants Trump to win, deep down–he knows a Republican administration to whine about is the only way he becomes relevant.

  25. Not dead but it’s been shot and it has full blown AIDS. One foot in the grave and another on a banana peel might be a better descriptor.

    1. Journalists make a crappy living and are as a group more hated and mistrusted than lawyers. Why would anyone in their right mind who had any other options want to be one? Only the crazy and the stupid would pursue the field. And one look at their product confirms this.

  26. “Journalism is DEAD IN AMERICA!”
    Yup, give it a few more years and it will have all the relevance and social cachet of ‘crossing road sweeper’.

  27. Journalism dead? I wouldn’t go as far as saying that. I believe journalism has completed it’s first cycle and is back where we started, Yellow Journalism. In my mind’s eye, there is very little between our Murdoch’s and Ailes of today and the Hearst’s and Pulitzer’s of yesteryear. The news is about nothing but printing what will bring in the most revenue, not the truth or information that we really need to know. To paraphrase Dan Rather, journalism died in this country when it became “for profit”.

    1. The original ‘yellow press’ was hugely profitable, this iteration, less so.

      1. Yes, this iteration seems all to happy to bleed readers and lose revenue in order to push their preferred narratives.

        1. But back in the day the newspapers were king. There was a huge appetite for partisan reporting, and the papers sold in massive numbers. The problem today is that there is just too little demand for actual newspapers. A modern yellow press would thrive if newspapers were as popular as they once were.

          1. Correct. And during that heyday thrived left and right leaning papers. What do we have today?

  28. ‘Yes, there is media bias in American journalism, with most reporters who cover politics leaning toward views that are decidedly more friendly to figures such as Hillary Clinton and parties such as the Democratic party.’
    Does Nick really believe that most reporters ‘lean’ towards the Democratic Party. I think they have long since toppled over in that direction.

    1. I think they have long since toppled over in that direction.

      Yup, to the point of stumbling over each other. In fairness, Reason is still somewhere in the ‘leaning’ to’ leaning heavily’ region with their eyes fixed on her. So, they haven’t stumbled over anybody yet and probably won’t see it when they do.

    2. “Does Nick really believe that most reporters ‘lean’ towards the Democratic Party.”

      It’s editors and owners that make the important decisions. Not reporters.

      1. Yes, and they mostly lean Democrat too.

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  30. “And we’re still growing in size and offerings! More than 4 million visitors a month at this website!”

    Reason doesn’t turn a profit.

  31. Okay, it’s more undead than dead.

  32. Journalism is not dead, but it is rapidly degrading itself turning tricks and accumulating some really nasty diseases in service of the Democrat Party in general and Clinton campaign in particular.

  33. Journalism has been pretty shitty since the Philadelphia Gazette. The field is filled with people who went into journalism “to make a difference” not to search out facts and enlighten the populace. Making a difference can, and often does, mean saying what’s necessary to accomplish the desired change irrespective of the facts. Although modern journalism is a virtually fact-free zone, it’s not the worst it’s ever been. Roosevelt’s toadies during the Great Depression make modern journalists look like Sherlock Holmes.

    Whether its obvious morons like Sean Hannity or Melissa Harris-Perry who never allowed a heretical thought to pass through their heavily armored-against-reality skulls, or the less brain damaged types like George Will, you are not looking at people that will draw rational conclusions based on facts.

  34. Is journalism dead?

    Is reason still ignoring the Project Veritas videos and most of the Wikileaks scandals?

    Well than.

    1. Actual investigative journalism that challenges one of the major parties just doesn’t interest reason. Funny that.

  35. Keep dreaming, and watch the news show ratings after this election.

  36. The one thing that you can be sure of after the election is that some Republican, who hasn’t heard from in years as if he were in the witness protection program, will appear on every talk show especially the Sunday ones. That’s how the party begins to push their new establishment hope for 2020. Last time it was JEB. Before that Romney and before that McCain. Even though that strategy failed disastrously with the half wit’s half wit winning the nomination, the Repubs can be counted on to repeat their mistakes again and again. They devised a system to turn a plurality into unanimity by selecting a candidate and having multiple bad candidates run against him. They never anticipated that their “golden one” would be unable to gain a plurality against a deliberately huge field.

    The party heads were warned that they should not attempt to nominate another of the hereditary princes of the party. They ignored this and the result was the nomination of the single worst candidate to ever run at the head of ticket for the Republicans. The term “Republican principles” is now acknowledged to be more than an oxymoron. It is the demonstration of the complete vacuity of thought within Republican circles. “Republican Principles” should be on the headstone of the party when it’s buried in 2018.

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  38. I suspect Sean Hannity was referring to mainstream news in his comment that journalism is dead.

    Mr Hannity is not one to recognize, let alone be familiar with alternative news.

    Mainstream news has been dying for years. It’s just with Donald Trump’s ascendancy, the death of mainstream news, of which Mr Hannity is part, has accelerated. Mr Hannity could even be looking for another job next year. So certainly he feels the sector of the news industry, in which he is employed, is dying.

  39. He’s just mad that no one calls Sean Hannity.

    Also, I have been deliberately avoiding watching that Gingrich-Kelly clip but Nick convinced me I might get something worthwhile out of it. I did not. I assumed I might side with Kelly, who I usually don’t mind. I did not. I ended the clip wanting to rip out both their tongues.

  40. It appears the Senate is completely detached from the Presidential election. That may be because both major party candidates are viewed as horrible.

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  43. Maybe i’m losing a lot of detail on the past, but it seems to me the country used to swing fairly regularly between republican and democrat in the White House. We would have Ford, then Carter, then Reagan, then George the Elder who ran on the coat tails of a very popular Republican President, but who only served one term, showing the pendulum was swinging back to the dems with Slick Willy serving two terms, then George the Younger, surprisingly serving two terms despite him being a disaster, and then we’ve had 8 seasons of Barry’s World. Given how spectacularly shitty the Obama administrations have been, one would think the swing would be back toward the Republicans, but it does not look to be the case.

    I’m wondering if the overwhelming media bias toward the left has finally resulted in a consistent shift to the left for the country. The pendulum is no longer balanced, and now spends most of the time on the left side. My home state, CA is now more openly hostile to Republicans than ever before. It’s looking like a progressive world for some time to come.

    1. You might be right, but I think it’s more likely that the Republicans just fucked up and nominated the one guy with the highest negatives with swing voters in history. If they had trotted out their most generic nice guy (Rubio) they’d be strong favorites.

  44. Hannity wouldn’t know journalism if it bit him on the nose.

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