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Reporters Become Participants in Tribal Political Warfare

Journalists, like other Americans, will have an easier time only when the struggle for control of government stops mattering so much.

Christian Monterrosa/Sipa USA/NewscomChristian Monterrosa/Sipa USA/NewscomEven before a left-wing mob laid siege to conservative commentator Tucker Carlson's house, the publication on Twitter of the home address of liberal journalist Matthew Yglesias, and the White House stripping CNN's Jim Acosta of his press credentials after he verbally sparred with the president, journalists were nervous that they had become targets in a politically polarized country. Heated rhetoric, threats, and violent attacks led many media outlets to step up security measures, and hundreds of news publications coordinated simultaneous editorials condemning President Donald Trump's criticism of the news media.

Journalists better get used to it. In a country divided between political factions that hate each other, most of the media have chosen sides. That makes them participants in, rather than observers of, the strife around us.

That America's political tribes hate each other is difficult to deny. "[I]f you're wondering why American democracy seems to have decayed so quickly, the graph below gives a big part of the story," social psychologist Jonathan Haidt tweeted in October, pointing to data from political scientists Marc Hetherington and Jonathan that shows growing domestic political animus. "When groups hate each other, they more easily believe that the ends justify the means," Haidt added.

In their book, Hetherington and Weiler point out that after 2000, "the percentage of partisans with hate in their hearts rose with each election: from the 20s and 30s for Democrats and Republicans in 2008, to 48 and 50 percent, respectively, in 2016. Clearly, hating the opposite political party is no longer a fringe thing."

Journalists have certainly not stayed aloof from the fray. Long accused of spinning their work to suit partisan and ideological preferences, media outlets in recent years have become more open about their leanings. Most have tilted to the left, while Fox News leads the small pack of outlets favoring the right (and with a few, such as Reason, wishing a pox on both their houses). That outbreak of honesty is probably a positive development, since it acknowledges a reality of which people were already aware. But, in a volatile and violent environment, it means that journalists have openly joined in political combat.

Some of the combat—like the long feud between CNN and Fox—is relatively harmless and even entertainingly popcorn-worthy. But Vox's Matthew Yglesias mused that he "cannot empathize with Tucker Carlson's wife at all" after she was terrorized by the attack on her home, and that his only objection was that the siege was "not tactically sound" (no word yet on the tactical wisdom of his own doxing). Maybe he was just following up on the suggestion of ThinkProgress justice editor Ian Millhiser that his co-ideologists "confront Republicans where they eat, where they sleep, and where they work" which, it turns out, is rather nastier in real life than in a tweet.

But neither Yglesias nor Millhiser have as prominent a pulpit as the blowhard in chief, Trump himself, who publicly characterizes the press as "the enemy of the American people" and "the opposition party" guilty of spreading "fake news" (it's often overlooked, but his predecessor took a similar view of the conservative press, calling Fox News "destructive" and illegitimate). Before the mid-term election, Trump praised Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) who physically attacked Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian. That's more than troubling coming from an official who wields the vast power of the state.

The assault on Jacobs was high-profile, but not really isolated. "The field crews get the brunt of the public abuse—it's not just from one side," news photographer Lori Bentley-Law wrote in a blog post explaining her reasons for leaving her job, including widespread hostility and physical assaults. "We get it all the way around, pretty much on a daily basis."

"I don't need to tell you that we live in a political and ideological era that has become far more than acerbic; much more than toxic. It is now dangerous," writes Dan Shelley, executive director of the Radio Television Digital News Association.

This isn't the first time that American journalists have faced anger and peril while practicing their profession.

"Before the Civil War, running a newspaper could be pretty dangerous if an editor ran pieces against slavery," Becky Little wrote for the History Channel. "Basically, you had to accept that violence was part of the job."

"Slavery was a fundamental issue that needed to be resolved—I don't see anything quite as compelling as slavery in today's political environment," the University of Illinois's John Nerone, author of Violence Against the Press, told Little. "Nevertheless, when you have this kind of volatile political environment, you anticipate that there'll be a certain amount of violence."

Even short of violence, there's plenty of hostility for journalists in an era of rising populism and political polarization. Surveys of public attitudes in Europe find that "those who hold populist views value and trust the news media less, and they also give the media lower marks for coverage of major issues, such as immigration, the economy and crime," according to the Pew Research Center. Sure enough, a Knight Foundation/Gallup poll finds that "[m]ost U.S. adults, including more than nine in 10 Republicans, say they personally have lost trust in the news media."

Unsurprisingly, in these divided times, trust and distrust tend to be selective, with Republicans, in particular, favoring those few news outlets they consider to be in their corner. "Republicans who can name an accurate source overwhelmingly mention Fox News," notes Gallup.

That Democrats are less focused in their loyalties likely reflects the larger number of outlets that voice their views on political issues.

Which is where all of this begins: politics. Americans battle each other over politics in increasingly nasty and violent ways. Journalists are part of the society on which they report and have become participants in its tribal political battles.

"When Americans have less to fear no matter who wins political office, they'll be less prone to viciously fight each other for control of government," I've written about our political strife. Having joined the melee, journalists, like other Americans, will have an easier time of it only when government is rendered less dangerous and the struggle for power stops mattering so much.

Photo Credit: Christian Monterrosa/Sipa USA/Newscom

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  • loveconstitution1789||

    You mean propagandists.

    Once we acknowledge that much of the media are propagandists, then its easy to understand why they try and get all the tribal emotional blood raging.

  • VinniUSMC||

    Not only propagandists, they're basically all just paparazzi now.

    It's all about getting into people's faces to get that "gotcha" moment. I'd be pretty much constantly pissed of all the press if my life was in the spotlight like that.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Many of these young writers are so ignorant of history and things that happened before their time that it nearly impossible for them to even ask intelligent in depth questions to politicians and bureaucrats.

    They pride themselves on being "Journalists" but they are not even close.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    It doesn't help that a J school degree is almost worthless.

  • Truthteller1||

    This is largely the problem.

  • MoreFreedom||

    I agree as the author writes "most of the media have chosen sides." The side they haven't chosen to support is the side of ethical and honest journalism. Consider, there have been many news reports, based on anonymous sources (typically at least two), that have turned out to be lies that the propagandists chose to support by writing the fake stories based on those lies. Then when the lies are discovered, the propagandists still give the liars anonymity rather than exposing them; thus, encouraging insiders to produce more lies so they can write more stories generating ad revenue generating clicks. If these people were honest and served their readers as journalists, they'd expose the liars for what they did.

    Tuccille doesn't mention this. Nor does he get into how government has captured the media, which has been done via all sorts of incentives: licensing broadcast stations (i.e. limiting competition), politicians giving access only to propagandists that support them (that exclusive interview, and inside government info), and the revolving door between MSM and political jobs in PR, speech writing, and communications whereby propagandists jockey for high paying government jobs, etc.

  • Rossami||

    As you point out at the top of the article, those reporters made their bed by giving up even the appearance of objectivity. I have little sympathy for them now.

    I blame the Columbia School of Journalism for leading the erosion of the goal of objectivity.

  • JesseAz||

    Most of the legacy "top" papers long ago gave up objectivity. Wapo, nyt, Atlantic... Have all been lionized as the top of their profession, yet each hasn't been objective in decades. Media brought this on themselves when they gave in to cultural Marxism.

  • wootendw||

    "...journalists, like other Americans, will have an easier time of it only when government is rendered less dangerous and the struggle for power stops mattering so much."

    They will have an easier time of it because they'll be out of their jobs.

  • Remember to keep it all polit||

    Journalists, like other Americans, will have an easier time only when the struggle for control of government stops mattering so much.

    This, a thousand times this.

    Government fucks us over because it intrudes in our lives so much that everyone finds it more productive to sic government on business competitors, annoying neighbors, obnoxious classmates, anybody we don't like, than to simply get on with our lives and mind our own business.

    Before the Civil War, and except for slavery, no one paid a ot of attention to the government. About all anybody ever dealt with was the post office. In almost every other aspect, they left people alone, and people got along or at least put up with each other. Some went o the frontier, but most stayed put and got on with their lives.

    Can't do that today. The waste and inefficiency is mind boggling. People waste time equivalent to 3M full time jobs on just personal income taxes -- how much better we'd be with that spent on productive work!

    Federal, state, and local governments spend $9T a year -- $25K per person. Does a family of four actually get $100K of benefit from governments? Hell no! Even with the feds borrowing $1T a year, that's only $3K per person, $12K for a family of four -- we are paying $22K per person every year in taxes. Sales taxes, property taxes, tariffs, income tax, fees and licenses and permits.

    What a fucking waste.

  • buybuydandavis||

    They'll have an easier time when they stop lying to us.

  • Ship of Theseus||

    This sounds like a threat, you gutless POS.

  • Whorton||

    Actually, when the realize they may report anything they desire, but they may NOT dictate how people respond or what they believe.

    They have been on their damn moral high horse of self righteousness and moral indignation so long they are truly out of touch with the reality of most all of America.

    You poke at anyone or any living thing long enough, it will respond. The American people by and large have been slow to anger, but Its coming.

  • sarcasmic||

    Government is a one-way-ratchet. It will only become more powerful and more dangerous. It is a parasite on society that, like a giant tick or leach, will continue to bloat until the host shakes it off or dies.

  • perlchpr||

    If you put too much weight on a ratchet, it breaks.

  • Rebel Scum||

    Reporters Become Participants in Tribal Political Warfare

    I don't think this is a new phenomenon.

  • Ron||

    it actually does date back to the founding of this nation when newspapers were actually open about their actions. but at least they admitted to being partial.

  • Rossami||

    Yes, partisanship was rampant at the time of the Founding. Worse even than the worst that we see today.

    But starting about the 1890s, journalists started to espouse a goal of objectivity and impartiality. That grew into a so-called Golden Age of Journalism. It started to die with the ascendancy of the Columbia School of Journalism in the 1970s or so. They basically argued that "perfect objectivity is impossible therefore it's more 'honest' to not try to be objective at all" - a classic case of allowing the perfect to become the enemy of the good.

  • Whorton||

    You are correct, but somewhere between the depression and the 1960's Reporters and news media had come to be trusted and credible. Not to mention most every town had at least two thriving and opposing newspapers in addition to Radio and television.

    My perception of when it really started to change for the worse, was when Walter Cronkite, elected to pontificate, as if delivering news, that the Viet Nam war was unwinnable. And right after the TET offensive, which was a major loss for the NVA on every front except the now compliant news media. . . Coincidently, from the COLUMBIA Broadcasting System.

  • DiegoF||

    "Populism" is an even dumber and more vapid term than "alt-right" (as used by the media). It's just something the centrist-authoritarian elite calls anything that even vaguely looks through their lorgnettes and monocles like a peasant revolt. Socialism, racism, protectionism, corporatism, majoritarianism, anti-science, demagoguery, autocracy--these are things libertarians can address with clarity. But not when these are just elements added vaguely to a narrative casting the centrist-authoritarians of the world as the heroic and sophisticated guardians of "liberalism" against the dirty people (left and right) threatening their hold on power. And when they themselves use show little aversion to using any of the above list of things when it suits them just fine.

  • ||

    Poopulism.

    I like Poopulism.

  • Jerryskids||

    conservative commentator Tucker Carlson

    liberal journalist Matthew Yglesias

    I saw something recently about some kind of flap about Sean "I Know Kung-fu" Hannity appearing at a Trump rally and the subsequent argument that this somehow did/did not violate some kind of rules about journalistic integrity - Sean Hannity, like Rush and O'really, is not a journalist reporting the news, these guys are pundits paid to opinionate on the news. Now people like Rachel Maddow, Chris Cuomo, Matt Yglesias - those are journalists who get paid to opinionate on the news. See the difference?

  • DiegoF||

    One of the good things about this piece is that it makes clear that ideologically polarized parties and voting public, and openly partisan journalism, is the historical norm in this country. And that there's probably little to romanticize about the oft-lauded anomalous post-WW2 period, the good ol' days when Beltway Democrats, Republicans, and journalists were all great bosom buddies and helped each other out as they spoke in one, responsible, adult voice, with a commitment to basic truth and decency, to the country they benevolently led and guided.

  • Jerryskids||

    Exactly. You think back to the good old days when everybody who was anybody all agreed that the peasants didn't need to know - for their own good - that Dear Leader JFK was a frail drug-addled sex addict with a fictionalized background mostly written by TH White and family connections to the Mafia and a little brother who could literally get away with murder. We were so much happier then before we found out what a very silly place Camelot was. Ignorance is bliss and we all need to remember to take our stupid pills so we don't question what exactly is in that fancy dish of merde au pain avec en plus fromage.

  • CLM1227||

    Rush is actually pretty forthright that he is, in fact, an entertainer. He actually uses that word on his show.

    I don't know about Hannity (who is an entertainer and isn't a very good interviewer), but the others demand to be taken seriously as reporters of the truth. They may bloviate opinions, but they want to be taken seriously.

    Rubin is probably one of the best interviewers out there, capable of letting his interviewees talk without putting his opinions center stage in an interview.

  • DiegoF||

    Rush was a seasoned drive-time DJ who never really stopped doing that. He is all about good radio. Smart progs in the business revere his genius, and lament the fact that they don't seem to be able to recruit anyone who can truly be his counterpart--who truly understands good radio and being an entertainer above all else. (Howard Stern, whom you can probably call a prog these days, and Jerry Springer understand entertainment but do not do political content.) Donahue was an interesting, rather unique case--a skilled TV entertainer, but also a rather decent and somewhat serious guy who seemed to care a lot about being fair to everyone and having a meaningful discussion.

    Rubin gets a bit of clowning even from his ardent fans, but the more you see him the more you can appreciate how old-school skilled he is. His disarming and hyperagreeable manner really gets his guests to open up and reveal themselves--and that, we have somehow managed to forget too often, is after all the name of the game. Joe Rogan is probably decent at that too, but I've watched even less of him.

  • ||

    Stern dabbles in politics. And it's horrific. Rush is waaaayyyy more informed.

    So Stern should stick to whatever it is he does these days (his interviews are the best) because he's certainly not edgy anymore.

    I can't stand when he talks about class when his entire shtick was based on exploiting freaks and porn stars.

    He got soft with age. That's okay. Just don't be a fucken hypocrite about it.

  • damikesc||

    Rubin and Rogan are actually quite good at interviewing. Rogan and Rubin will treat people you know they disagree with quite respectfully and won't demean or insult them. But they also don't tend to let shit slide much, either.

  • Eric||

    Rogan is my favorite when he's on his game. But sometimes he forgets he's interviewing and starts to dominate the conversation.

    I can't listen to Rubin anymore. He puts his guests on a pedestal and lets them spout nonsense unchallenged. I don't mind that they spout nonsense, but I'd like for Rubin to coax more substance out of their arguments.

  • ThomasD||

    I've always thought Glenn Beck to be a huckster, but did give him credit when the opening of his radio show flatly admitted it to be a mix of "entertainment and enlightenment."

  • Arizona_Guy||

    The main problem with Hannity is that he's a blatant shill for Team Red.

  • ThomasD||

    Blatant is good. Pretending is bad.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    He isn't just blatant, he flat out says he's a Reagan conservative. He says it all the time. I don't k ow how anyone can claim he's pretending to be anything else when he clearly is not.

  • Arizona_Guy||

    I'll clarify. My problem with Hannity isn't that he's un-objective. It's that he cheerleads for Team Red no matter what.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    The people who host fox's opinion shows are very forthcoming about e fact that they are not objective news people, and are providing news analysis from their own ideological perspective. I would be shocked if the hosts of the other network's shows were that honest.

  • Whorton||

    Just for the record, I've not been able to stomach Hannity for several years. His first year or two, and back in the Hannity and Combs show, was more or less balanced.

    Since he has been solo, He has become the worst propagandist. He repeats the same phrases endlessly. He is worse than listening to Bananarama from the 80's, constant bombardment.

    Look Sean, Most Fox adherents are not low intelligence idiots, incapable of listening and making a rational decision. At least Rush presents the facts and moves on. Its like you are a petulant teacher dressing down a bunch of sugar pumped 3rd graders. (with apologies to third graders.)

  • ThomasD||

    "See the difference?"

    Wait a minute. Are you suggesting that the oh so free thinkers at Reason are prone to unquestioningly accepting the received wisdom about how the media is presented?

    The Hell you say!

  • Tony||

    There may be tribes, but one tribe respects facts and evidence, while the other side never lets those get in the way of power. If you guys agree with the sentiment about how the media supports government power, think about which tribe is actually more guilty. Like in the real world, not a tired stereotype. Hint: two fat media figures showed up at a presidential rally and all of them used their power to bully the real press like fascist assholes.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Facts like the Pulse shooter being a closeted gay man instead of a murderous Islamist who looking for a softer target than Disney?

  • JesseAz||

    No. More like trayvons killer being a white Hispanic. The one in five will be raped fact. Trump removed mlks bust fact. Tony has never seen a corrections page in his life.

  • ThomasD||

    That we know all about the guy who mailed out a bunch of not bombs, but know nothing about the guy who murdered jews at a synagogue.

  • Whorton||

    Or that rat bastard in Vegas that chose to attack a largely conservative audience. Funny how they can't figure out anything. Have yet to even release how many weapons he had. How the Hotel just overlooked the bizarre behavior.

    The guy is more cryptic than Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby or the evasive "Raoul."

    That takes some doing.

  • Tony||

    What a small-minded fool you are. Those are your bitches in life? Poor, poor Trump.

  • ||

    Why do I get the image of Tony stroking it while eating ice-cream as he types?

    And when he's done he shoves the ice-cream cone into his forehead.

  • JesseAz||

    Have a lot more bitches, but we are calling out how stupid you are Tony.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Tony, your side are shameless liars, period. Your claims to the co Tracy are laughable on their face.

  • DiegoF||

    If he had been unsuccessful, his puzzlement over where all the women were in this club would have been hilarious. RIP victims.

  • Sometimes a Great Notion||

    No thanks tried the Dems when I thought they would stop making war in the ME, get rid of or at least reign in the patriot act, stop the abuse of executive orders... and they lied to me over and over and over again. Not only did they not do any of this but actively expanded them. Obama is scum and I hope one day he wakes up to that fact and can somehow atone for the evil he has inflicted upon the world.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I hope Obama one day wakes up and finds himself in a SuperMax facility. And then wakes up the same way for the rest of his life. He deserves that kind of living Hell for what he has done.

  • JesseAz||

    In Tony's world all non liberals are racists and bigots, and that's a fact. Really justifies him not studying in school. He can finally accept his stupidity as a good thing since *his* source of truth is pure.

    You're an idiot Tony.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    It's rather remarkable how our resident progs all have the fact that they're a bunch of hayseed hicklibs in common.

  • Mazakon||

    (it's often overlooked, but his predecessor took a similar view of the conservative press, calling Fox News "destructive" and illegitimate).

    I'd say ignored is the word you're looking for. He also went after a reporter and publications' phone records but because he was on their team, the media was still completely chummy with him afterwards. Also, he took that view regarding anybody who disagrees with him, not just those in conservative press.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Well, conservative reporters are not part of the guild, really. Abusing them does not count. Besides, if a journalist was chastised by the Obama, he probably deserved it.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Journalists have always chosen sides. You can go back to the original newspapers in America, with names like the Democrat Gazette. They started out as political fliers with some news thrown in to attract readers.

    For a while in the middle of the 20th century there was a fad of pretending they were objective. But that's all it ever was, a pretense, and who was taken in by it? Maybe the journalists themselves, but probably not even them.

    What's different today isn't that they've chosen sides. It's that almost all of them have chosen the SAME side.

    And it's not an accident, it's the left's march through the institutions, which the right stupidly didn't oppose. They knew the left were taking over the media outlets, and didn't lift a finger to secure any for themselves. Now it's going to be a long hard slog to create competing outlets from scratch, when they could have had established outlets that went on the chopping block for a song.

  • Tony||

    If "the left" has taken over the press, does that mean FOX News is objective? Or is there no such thing as objective reality?

  • sarcasmic||

    None of the new outlets are objective. They're all run by people with agendas.

  • Tony||

    So who gets to claim to be best at reporting objective truth? Or are you saying there's no such thing to report?

  • sarcasmic||

    It all depends on how you align with the agenda of the people reporting the news.

  • Tony||

    So that's a vote for "no such thing as objective truth?"

  • sarcasmic||

    When it comes to opinions, yes.

  • Texasmotiv||

    Why is it not surprising you have trouble telling fact from opinion?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Lefties are propagandists, so they will likely never push anything resembling truth.

    Even something as factual as shooter shoots up Orlando gay club gets spun into gun control, pro-gay rights, and protect muslims.

  • CLM1227||

    Event reporting (saturday night, around 8pm, a shooting occurred on the corner of 5th and main. No names have been released. More will be reported as information becomes available) is the only place to get actual facts.

    And to get as many facts as possible, you can't rely on one publication. Bias limits which facts are reported.

    For instance, last weekend, a man shot an unarmed man in a Brooklyn (or Bronx) Target. Almost every outlet reported it exactly as that. What wasn't reported (except by the local news) was that the gunman was chased into the target by a group where some were wielding machetes.

    Now, let the opinions reign on the need for gun control or immigration, but these are the facts that exist. They may or may not support the opinions being expressed.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    When you have Lefty propagandists involved, every event has facts that need to be exploited or protected.

    Luckily, Americans have finally caught on and ignore most Lefty propaganda.

  • JesseAz||

    How about not relying on other people telling you stories in 140 character tweets dumbfuck tony.

  • bevis the lumberjack||

    "Or are you saying there's no such thing to report?"

    There is such a thing to report, but nobody's doing it. Nobody.

    As someone who is not a fan of either of the tribes, I can tell you that there is absolutely nowhere for me to go to get objectively reported news.

  • sarcasmic||

    Aye.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    All you can do, all it's ever been possible to do, is to use a lot of different news sources with DIFFERENT biases, and try to piece things together.

    The problem today is finding news sources that haven't been taken over by journalism's monoculture. Often I have to resort to foreign newspapers; They're still biased, but often their biases aren't relevant to our domestic squabbles.

  • Ship of Theseus||

    ^This is correct.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Shop for new online.

    You can piece together a semi-decent event summary by jumping around free articles. Any media company that charges for news is probably a propaganda outlet.

    Ron Paul News
    RonPaulNews is a pretty good news aggregator.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    If you look at the media surveys from the 2016 election, FOX was about as close to treating Trump and Clinton the same as any outlet' Their coverage of Trump was "only" 73% negative vs 27% positive.

    EVERY outlet except for the Washington Post and Fox gave Clinton better coverage than that, usually much, much better.

    So it wasn't a matter of Fox favoring Trump, they were just marginally less hostile than the other media outlets.

    There is objective reality. The question is, do the media have any interest in reporting it?

  • Tony||

    But Trump is objectively a worse human being, so a media outlet treating him equal to Clinton is being biased and distorting reality.

  • CLM1227||

    That isn't objective. That is your opinion.

  • Tony||

    So how likely is it that both Trump and Clinton were equally well- or ill-behaved during the election? It would be an amazing coincidence, no? Especially considering Trump is... Trump.

  • sarcasmic||

    mumble mumble like assholes mumble mumble all stink

  • CLM1227||

    Without employing the same objective standard, it is impossible to tell.

    Without objective standards, we have only subjective analysis. To you, Clinton was better. To me, Trump was better.

    Actually, Trump actually campaigned, so he naturally has both better and worse moments (his help with the flooding being a positive). Clinton was largely absent from the campaign, so she has fewer moments to observe critically.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Being somewhat better mannered does not necessarily make you a better human being. There is a totality of personality, and Clinton's angry sense of entitlement and sense that norms simply should not constrain her says she is not a better person than Trump.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    It's not a question of their behavior, although Hillary's behavior was rotten enough, too; She just got less exposure of her bad behavior, because of media that were concentrated on hating Trump, and because she spent so much time in hiding.

    It's a question of media who have, indeed, chosen ideological sides, and they've virtually all chosen the same side, even as the public remind close to evenly divided.

  • Microaggressor||

    Tony doesn't know what objective means. I think that sums up his entire posting history.

  • Rock Lobster||

    To the properly indoctrinated prog, the subjective is objective, and the objective does not exist.

    I know. It makes my head hurt, too.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    That's the sort of opinion you're likely to mistake for objective reality if you live and work in an ideological mono-culture.

  • JesseAz||

    Would be easier to explain to Tony he doesn't understand the idea of objectivity.

    Tony treats politifact as objective truth even though they often rate subjective opinions. They are also famous for the "true, but other stuff" subjective analysis of truth. Politifact has done more to destroy the definition of objective than almost any other entity.

  • CLM1227||

    I read a "False" analysis there once where they said almost every point was true, but this technicality was wrong, so the statement is mostly false.

    Last time I used that.

  • KevinP||

    Hillary Clinton Equates Gun Control Opponents With Terrorists


    Quote:
    During a CNN "town hall" yesterday, Hillary Clinton said she was disappointed that Congress did not pass new gun control legislation following the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in December 2012. "I believe that we need a more thoughtful conversation," said the former secretary of state and presumptive presidential candidate. "We cannot let a minority of people—and that's what it is, it is a minority of people—hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people."

    Evidently Clinton's idea of a more thoughtful conversation about gun control involves equating disagreement with terrorism while claiming some opinions are so dangerous that "we cannot let" people hold them.
  • loveconstitution1789||

    I equate gun control advocates with traitors to the Constitution, so there's that.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Trump, at election time was not responsible for the deaths of anyone. He was a real estate developer, weird business entrepreneur, and a reality TV 'star'.

    He cultivates the mantle, in public, of a boorish vulgarian and may. in fact, be just that.

    Hillary, on the other hand was directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds by that time.

    And that, all by itself, makes her an objectively worse person than Trump.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Exactly. On any reasonable list of pros and cons for Hillary and Trump, Hillary's cons column would continue onto a second page.

  • NashTiger||

    Real Estate Fraud, Bank Fraud, Mail Fraud, Witness Tampering, Obstruction of Justice, Securities Fraud, Witness Tampering, Whatever you want to call stealing the raw FBI files of 800 political opponents and later leaking against many of them, Treason, Selling National Security assets for Campaign Cash, Influence Peddling, Mishandling Classified Info, and I'm just getting warmed up on Mrs Clinton

  • Rebel Scum||

    does that mean FOX News is objective?

    No. But I think some of their personalities try harder than other msm networks. Either way, you leftists need to stop with "FAUX NEWS!!!" shrieking.

    is there no such thing as objective reality?

    Yes. Objectivity should be the goal, even if it is unattainable due to internal biases.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    FOX was started by a tabloid Australian. Of course it is not 'objective' since few media outlets even try.

    FOX does discuss Lefty positions in the context that they are being pushed, which can be infuriating for people who know that Lefty propaganda leans false. Why not call out the lies directly?

    Lefties hate FOX so it must be doing something correct.

  • Eric||

    Needs more 'lefty', LC.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Thanks Lefty.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    "If "the left" has taken over the press, does that mean FOX News is objective? Or is there no such thing as objective reality?"

    Their opinion shows are honest, but clearly not neutral. Nor do they claim to be. Their straight news programs, like Shep Smith's, and Bret Baeir's are pretty good. So it depends.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    And it's not an accident, it's the left's march through the institutions, which the right stupidly didn't oppose

    There were some on the right who saw this and were warning about it for decades, but yeah, most of the rest ignored them until it was too late.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    And by the way, you can now add Reason Magazine itself to the list of American institutions that the left has successfully infiltrated and taken over!

  • Brett Bellmore||

    I've been pointing that out for months.

  • JesseAz||

    Most of the writers are in the monoculture north east.

  • Ship of Theseus||

    Grow up.

  • sarcasmic||

    Until a Democrat is in the White House. Then it will be a conservative rag again.

  • Here for the outrage||

    So they'll make reasonable arguments for reducing the welfare state prior to allowing hundreds of millions of people into the US, starting in 2024?

    Can't wait

  • Eric||

    No one likes it when their team gets bad press.

  • Eric||

    No one likes it when their team gets bad press.

  • CLM1227||

    The Koch brothers ruin everything they touch.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The Koch Brothers are not Libertarians.

    They are rich businessmen who try and influence things they want to influence.

    If I had billions, I would fund Libertarian filmmakers and tv shows and conservatives like D'Souza.

    I would also buy Reason, fire KMW, Gillespie and all the other non-Libertarians, and have Libertarian themed articles and videos showing Lefties and Republican or generally making fools of themselves.

  • Tony||

    You're a libertarian like a hamster is a nuclear physicist.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You're a moron, like....

    You're just a moron. No analogy needed.

  • sarcasmic||

    Hey Tony, thanks for the laugh. That was a good one.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    So lately you've been on the side of the Rev. And Tony. Think about that.

  • Rock Lobster||

    That's Tony--always finding a creative use for hamsters.

  • Headache||

    The Koch brothers may work together on business matters. But, David sponsors Nova on PBS and Charles sponsors Reason anti-Trump movement.

  • ThomasD||

    "Journalists have always chosen sides."

    Journalists cannot not choose sides, and by our very nature. We live in a world of limited time and limited resources. We cannot know everything, and we cannot tell everything. Therefore we must choose what to communicate and when to communicate.

    This inevitably will involve biases of one sort or another. To think or say otherwise is a lie.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I would trust a journalist who tries to be objective.

    The current MSM does not even try to be objective anymore, if they ever were. They used to lie and said that they were and acted superficially like they might be.

    I always laughed when lefty media wanted you to pay them in some form to see if they were objective. They knew that if millions of people did that, they would make money and did not have to give up their propaganda schtick.

    Now newspapers are mostly red by old people who are dying off and young people dont read newspapers. Most young people also dont watch tv relating to late night or news programs.

    People on Reason mentioned radio which is also another medium that most young people dont use.

  • ThomasD||

    I trust a journalist who is upfront about his priorities and assumptions.

    Then the information presented can be objectively assessed.

    It's hidden agendas and the repeated, willful, and obvious misrepresentation of one's own character (e.g. proggs who pretend to be libertarians) that have resulted in the general distrust of the media.

  • DS84||

    News is entertainment in the pursuit of profit. 24/7/365

  • sarcasmic||

    Who pays the bills at FOX, CNN, Google and Facebook?

    Advertisers.

    That's who the real customers are.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Lefty propaganda is the pursuit of making the USA into the total socialist state.

  • Mickey Rat||

    The journalists by and large are on the side of the government being the only trustworthy source of benevolence in society, therefore are on the side of extremely powerful and dangerous government. They advocate for who runs the government mattering a great deal.

  • SQRLSY One||

    ""Slavery was a fundamental issue that needed to be resolved—I don't see anything quite as compelling as slavery in today's political environment," [said] the University of Illinois's John Nerone..."

    Well, today we are slaves of Government Almighty, 50%, 50% of our earnings go to Government Almighty...

    Seems to me that this is an issue that needs resolved as well!!!

  • Microaggressor||

    The income tax is only part time slavery. That makes it okay. That also makes health care a right, because they've found a way to make slavery seem acceptable.

  • JesseAz||

    "who publicly characterizes the press as "the enemy of the American people" and "the opposition party" guilty of spreading "fake news" "

    You're a reporter. Get it right. The one thing Trump is consistent about is calling fake news the enemy of the people, not all press. Stop validating his claims.

  • MikeP2||

    Evidence of a partisan hack:

    Using an inflammatory picture of a right-leaning reporter, while only acknowledging it is both sides deep in the article.

    You should be ashamed Tucille. Only one side of the press is being attacked in our current climate. When CNN reporters start having mobs show up at their houses, get harassed in restaurants, or shouted out of bars, or having lunatics scream profanity at their children, then it will be acceptable to claim moral equivalence. But that isn't happening. Only one side is being personally harassed when off the job, while the other claims victimhood over simple criticism of their paid job.

    It's is appalling that you would equate such. Eventually, these harassers will overstep outside of the deep-blue metropolitan gun-free zones and we're going to have an 'incident'. And frankly, it's not going to bother most of the country too much.
    You will have contributed to this with the appallingly absurd comparing of protesters violating and vandalizing a home, versus a rude reporter losing priviledged access.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    When CNN reporters start having mobs show up at their houses, get harassed in restaurants, or shouted out of bars, or having lunatics scream profanity at their children, then it will be acceptable to claim moral equivalence.

    Where would you place receipt of pipe bombs or being body-slammed on the continuum, you half-educated, bigoted, superstitious rube?

    (After watching you try to spell privileged, I suggest you ask an educated person to define continuum for you. If there is no educated person in your depleted backwater town, you could call your state university's department of English.)

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Where would you place receipt of pipe bombs or being body-slammed on the continuum, you half-educated, bigoted, superstitious rube?

    Right in the same place as the receipt of ricin, you hicklib hayseed.

  • Azathoth!!||

    There were no 'pipe bombs'. There were nonexplosive props crafted to LOOK like pipe bombs.

    And they were not sent to the media. The ones that went to CNN were sent to people the freak had seen on CNN and could find no other address.

    And that bodyslam was a personal response to an individual, in the moment--not a general attack on media.

    A 'general attack' would be something like a reporter making up a fact--such as the idea that most mass shootings are committed by white men (most mass shootings are committed by black and Hispanic men, though they're called 'gang violence' to hide that fact) and that therefore there should be some kind of 'white man ban'. That's a 'general' attack.

    So, on the continuum of 'general attacks on the media' the bodyslam is nowhere. The 'pipebombs' are alongside all the other terroristic sham attacks. And the "mobs show up at their houses, get harassed in restaurants, or shouted out of bars, or having lunatics scream profanity at their children" are serious issues.

  • MikeP2||

    "half-educated, bigoted, superstitious rube". Wow, the self-hate is strong with you. It's called projection and it is one of the more manageable mental disorders. Please seek help. Or go for a long swim in shark infested waters. It's all good.

    "Priviledged" Not a misspelling, just obsolete usage. I guess I read too many old books in my half-educated, illiterate life.

  • Dadlobby||

    News reporting is dead and gone. Edward R. Murrow and others spoke of the news being tainted by ratings and the networks turning it into entertainment and that's exactly what has happened. And the need to label (and not let the reader decide on the facts) is what is driving tribal politics in this industry, even this author decides to tell us who is "conservative" and who is "liberal" (btw, I classify Tucker Carlson as centrist). And Acosta wasn't booted for arguing with Trump, he was booted for not following protocol at a Presidential Press Conference and trying to take over by hogging the mike, even to the point of pushing a young woman away when the President called on someone else.

    Murrow's illustrious career in the media came to an end in the early 1960s. In 1958, following the cancellation of See It Now, Murrow delivered a scathing speech to a meeting of radio and television executives, chastising them for the shallow and mundane nature of television programming.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    News reporting is dead and gone. Edward R. Murrow and others spoke of the news being tainted by ratings and the networks turning it into entertainment and that's exactly what has happened.

    Oh, come on. Let's not act as if the history of journalism in this country is that of a Glorious Crusade for truth or anything like that. Have you actually read ANY newspapers from the 19th century? One newspaper in my hometown, in its early years of operation during the Progressive era, gained a reputation for using its reporters to dig up dirt on various local officials and businessmen, then blackmail them into buying ad space or outright bribe the paper to not publish it, and took bribes to end negative press coverage. Even Jim Acosta would become a raging conservative if someone paid him enough, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

    Journalists have been partisan creatures for most of the country's history. Even FDR had newspapers who hated his guts. The relatively anodyne era of "objective" reporting that took place only came about because of World War II, when pretty much everyone got on board with winning the war, and thus a climate of cooperation was established wherein most newspapers mainly just became mouthpieces for the Chamber of Commerce.

  • Jerry B.||

    I generally look to AP news on the WTOP site and the BBC website for less partisan U.S. and world news, since the Post's site ignores world news or anything else that can't be used to dump on Trump. The fires in SoCal, for example, are his fault, per the Post.

  • Rebel Scum||

    liberal journalist Matthew Yglesias

    The trouble with liberals is that they are not.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    "Slavery was a fundamental issue that needed to be resolved—I don't see anything quite as compelling as slavery in today's political environment,"

    B-b-but... ORANGE HITLER!!!11!!! NAZIS!!!1!!!!!!111!!! HERPA DERPITY DERPY DOO!!!11!!!11!!!!!!!!!1

  • perlchpr||

    White House stripping CNN's Jim Acosta of his press credentials after he verbally sparred with the president

    That's a funny way of phrasing "committed battery against an intern".

  • Ron||

    Teh lefts uprising against the media started with Clinton attacking Rush Limbaugh and then Obama attacking Fox news and anyone on teh right and of course Antifa actually committing violence with the approval of both the media and left leaning politicians all of which predates Trump. I would say Trump is a defensive reflex to the violence of the left

  • ||

    The only problem is Trump is one guy against a massive machine. They can keep doubling down and not be killed.

    Unless they're a paper tiger and will eventually wilt.

  • Tony||

    Since when did libertarianism become a dick-sucking machine for powerful politicians?

  • Mr. JD||

    Started? I'm pretty sure FDR awarded a Nazi Iron Cross to a reporter he didn't like.

  • ThomasD||

    Woodrow Wilson had them jailed.

  • Rock Lobster||

    The original progressive.

  • ||

    Yglesias is a sociopath retard.

    I can't believe someone cuts Milton Waddams a check. There has to be some glitch.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    If your political party is based on people who do not trust mainstream media while believing fairy tales to be true, your prospects seem limited.

    Thank goodness.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    If your political party is based on people who do not trust mainstream media while believing fairy tales to be true, your prospects seem limited.

    So what's your excuse, Buford?

  • Here for the outrage||

    How's that Russia stuff coming along?

  • ||

    Well, there are incidences where liberal/progressives are victims but let's not kid ourselves.

    The divisiveness and vitriol has been largely one way: From the progressive left.

    Has anyone paid any attention since 2016? They've lost their stupid minds.

    How nutty is it? Fricken people are protesting the firing of Sessions - a guy they spent two years denigrating for being a fool and a racist like my pal in Boston.

    These people aren't even sophists. I don't even know what they are.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Leftist media people are propagandists.

    Lefties are idealistic socialists who are seeing power in the USA slip away.

  • Tony||

    Stop mainlining FOX News you goddamn boor.

  • ||

    What does that mean?

    Unlike you Tony, I don't wait to get my marching orders on what to think and say.

    My consumption of broadcast news or traditional media is limited. I think I figured out how to digest it over the years.

    I'll be damned if I waste a second on a publication like the NYT who hired a stupid racist cunt to write for them.

    I'd rather read Archie comics than that shit.

  • Tony||

    Well I have some bad news. They could replace Fucker Carlson with you and a stupid wig and nobody would tell the difference. You're getting your phantom evil libruls from somewhere. You're one irritating skin condition away from ranting about San Francisco values. It's not original, and more than that, it has nothing to do with reality.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Tomy, you're such a faggoty twat. You have noting of substance to add. You're the one spouting falsehoods while the rest of us are telling the truth.

  • Eric||

    I think that regardless of the outcome of 2016, one side was going to "lose their minds". I guarantee if Hillary was POTUS, the right would be as fully unhinged as the left is acting now.

  • MikeP2||

    The Right went through 8 years of Barack Hussein Obama with far less outward insanity than the Left has displayed in 2 years.

    Or were you born in 2016?

  • Rock Lobster||

    Mobocrats? Kleptocrats? Democrats?

    At this point, what difference does it make?

  • Nardz||

    "These people aren't even sophists. I don't even know what they are."

    They are psychotic puritans in the midst of a collective nervous breakdown.

  • Dillinger||

    sculpted the Golem all on their own, no?

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Yes, politically we have separated ourselves into tribes. Fortunately, Elizabeth Warren belongs to all of these tribes and will unite us.

  • NoVaNick||

    I would be much more scared to speak out as a conservative/republican who lives in an urban area, than as a prog/democrat living in flyover country.

  • Tony||

    The blacks don't target people for political views unlike the rednecks.

  • NoVaNick||

    Agreed-most black people are apolitical and vote for democrats out of habit more than anything else. Its the white trustafarian progs like Antifa who live in cities and are happy to assault anyone who disagrees with them

  • NoVaNick||

    With a few exceptions, rednecks tend to not bother anyone who doesn't bother them

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    People like Tomy don't ever leave other people alone. Tony wants to force us to watch and embrace his perversions and be forced to accommodate and celebrate them. Any contrarian opinions are to be met with financial sanctions and violence.

    That's what Antifa is for. I'm sure Tony is gleeful when they terrorize the family of "Fucker Carlson". Because, why not, right? Carlson holds contrary opinions that Tony's owners don't allow. So 'Fucker' must be destroyed. If it ends up get it g his family killed too, even better in Tony's mind.

  • Wrath0fKahn||

    I think it would be healthy to stop legitimizing the American media by calling so many of them reporters and journalists when they commonly don't rise to that level. I'm not going to call someone a software engineer just because they chose that title, and I don't see why we should indulge in the fantasies and egocentricities of the chattering class this way either.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I already switched to calling most of them cunts and assholes already.

  • Rock Lobster||

    We could call them "infotainers," I suppose.

    The problem is most of them are neither informative nor entertaining.

  • Rock Lobster||

    Most people who have ever had any experience with "journalists," even at the humblest local level, has seen how words can be twisted, sliced and diced, and taken out of context to fit the stories whose conclusions have been predetermined by whatever editorial narrative the reporter or their organization is trying to construct.

    For the average person to give any reporter the time of day, much less a substantive response or even a seemingly innocuous quote, is an act of naivete. Reporters, like anyone else with an agenda to push, rarely act in good faith. Using people is what they do.

  • Kim Jong Unfollow||

    E Pluribus Unum Lunaticus

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