Media’s Three Bad Practices


June 30, 1898.

Three bad practices frame media’s political discussions: bad logic, faulty premises, misplaced conclusions. Add to these missing facts, lack of context, irreverent comparisons, and appearances posed as essences. Bad logic: Mexico will pay for a wall on the border; otherwise, we will deny Mexico economic benefits (faulty premise). All undocumented families must be deported (false conclusion). Reduce these families and their role in the economy to legal status only (stripped comparisons). Yet it is widely known that deporting undocumented workers will not boost the economy (confusing appearances for essence).

The media has consistently abdicated any challenge to false narratives–in the forms above or other forms–and has limited its coverage to endless repetition of the 24 hour sound bite, preferring brief video clips as “reaction” pieces. Depth, coherence, and clarity are missing; subjective factors become media’s objective; panels its dependable format; ratings its secret focus. Media mirror the flaws in the campaigns.

By design, media reflects a corporate view. Its packaged transparency is advocacy by absence: for months, the horrific tragedy in Flint was missing; it has never covered the Kansas budget crisis Gov. Brownback created with conservative austerity that did not create jobs; it ignores the role of poverty in crime, and avoids featuring best practices for fixing problems and solving issues. Collectively, it will do a miserable job of covering the 2016 elections.

Truth and Trumpism


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