Sunday, January 1, 2017

You can’t condemn the outcome and condone the process

There are lots of people in this country (arguably a plurality) who are deeply disturbed by the results of this election. We have had more than our share of dire predictions and frightening analogies, but what we have not had nearly enough of it is serious discussion of the process that brought us here. This is in no small part because the figures in the media who have the most influence over the conversation are generally the ones with the most culpability for what just happened.

While virtually everyone was caught off guard by just how badly things went wrong, a number of us tried our best to call out the bad practices and declining standards that brought us here. I won’t list the specifics now -- if you’d like a taste, just search this blog for the terms like “journalism,” “Trump,” and “the New York Times” -- but I will say that the list is long and damning.

Put bluntly, journalism has gotten so bad that it constitutes a clear and present danger to the republic. It misinforms the public, promotes bad science and technology, distorts markets, comforts the comfortable, afflicts the afflicted, and, as mentioned before, undermines the democratic process. Until we demand and get better from the profession, things are only going to get worse.

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