The press: derelict from duty

Since the press in the US got cornered by the accusation of "liberal bias" it renounced any attempt to actually check facts and succumbed to the easy way out of the "two sides to every story", leading Paul Krugman to say this "The media are desperately afraid of being accused of bias. And that’s partly because there’s a whole machine out there, an organized attempt to accuse them of bias whenever they say anything that the Right doesn’t like. So rather than really try to report things objectively, they settle for being even-handed, which is not the same thing. One of my lines in a column — in which a number of people thought I was insulting them personally — was that if Bush said the Earth was flat, the mainstream media would have stories with the headline: ‘Shape of Earth–Views Differ.’ Then they’d quote some Democrats saying that it was round." (cited at goodreads)

A historian now endorses this thesis and show it’s consequences: Historian: Tea Party Rise Tied to ‘Continuing Abandonment’ Of Responsibility By Media.

A quick quote: "How has a faction consisting of no more than four dozen House members come to exercise so much destructive power? The continuing abandonment of professional responsibilities by the nation’s mainstream news sources – including most of the metropolitan daily newspapers and the television outlets, network and cable – has had a great deal to do with it. At some point over the past 40 years, the bedrock principle of journalistic objectivity became twisted into the craven idea of false equivalency, whereby blatant falsehoods get reported simply as one side of an argument and receive equal weight with the reported argument of the other side."

I won’t even mention the Brazilian press. It’s too depressing.

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