December 09, 2012

he said / she said journalism and 2012 election . . .

The Lawyers, Guns & Money blog calls this "the cult of false equivalence" . . . somehow much more to the point than my own "balance" lines earlier . . . Dan Froomkin calls it How the Mainstream Press Bungled the Single Biggest Story of the 2012 Campaign . . .
... according to longtime political observers Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein, campaign coverage in 2012 was a particularly calamitous failure, almost entirely missing the single biggest story of the race: Namely, the radical right-wing, off-the-rails lurch of the Republican Party, both in terms of its agenda and its relationship to the truth.

Mann and Ornstein are two longtime centrist Washington fixtures who earlier this year dramatically rejected the strictures of false equivalency that bind so much of the capital's media elite and publicly concluded that GOP leaders have become "ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition."

The 2012 campaign further proved their point, they both said in recent interviews. It also exposed how fabulists and liars can exploit the elite media's fear of being seen as taking sides.

Dan Froomkin's column has valuable links to Thomas Mann's and Norman Ornstein's work.

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