Media Coverage Undermining Democracy

Media coverage of the upcoming election is undermining our democracy, and encouraging passivity and cynicism.

Everything is part of a campaign strategy. I wrote about this recently in a letter to the LA Times . The Times treated a new attack on Kamala Harris as just one of many campaign tactics, and the fact that the attack was false and racist got lost in the shuffle.

This approach also turns plans and platforms with valuable ideas into just another campaign tactic.

When there is so much spin we lose track of reality. We lose track of the sense that there are clear differences between approaches, and that we can take action to address our challenges.

It should be possible for a reporter to write about one candidate’s plan to address the climate emergency without treating it as a strategy to get votes from youth and progressives. And it should be possible to state simply and directly that the other side doesn’t believe in facts, and has no plan.

So much coverage takes the “a plague on both your houses” slant Recently we heard that Congress could not agree on a pandemic relief bill, as if both sides were being obstinate and we didn’t need to understand the substance of the difference. So many times we hear that Congress hasn’t acted on something – without hearing that a bill to address that very problem has passed the House and has been sitting on Mitch McConnell’s desk in the Senate for many months.

And it’s difficult to understand why important news falls out of our attention simply because there hasn’t been any breaking news to announce, or a news analysis to roll it into. It has been weeks since we’ve seen prominent coverage on the Russians offering bounties to mercenaries to kill American troops.

No actually, I did see something about it recently- in the context of Amy McGrath’s campaign strategy.

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