Robert Reich: Why Is Mainstream Media Failing To Report Accurately On Upcoming Election? – OpEd


You wouldn’t know if you relied solely on the mainstream media that Americans face an election on November 5 of this year in which one of the two likely candidates was engaged in an attempted coup and has given every indication of wanting to substitute neofascism for democracy.

Again and again, the mainstream media have drawn a false equivalence between Donald Trump and Joe Biden — asserting that Biden’s political handicap is his age, while Trump’s corresponding handicap is his criminal indictments.

But Trump is almost as old as Biden, and Trump’s public remarks and posts are becoming ever more unhinged — suggesting that advancing age may be a bigger problem for Trump than for Biden.

Why isn’t the mainstream media reporting on Trump’s increasing senescence?

Similarly, every time the mainstream media reveal another move by the Republican Party toward authoritarianism, they point out some superfluous fault in the Democratic party in order to provide “balance.”

So readers are left to assume all politics is rotten.

A recent Washington Post article was headlined: “In a swing Wisconsin county, everyone is tired of politics.”

“How do Americans feel about politics?” The New York Times asked recently, answering: “Disgust isn’t a strong enough word.”

But where is it reported that the mainstream media have contributed to making people tired and disgusted with politics?

And where is it acknowledged that this helps Trump and his Republican allies?

They want voters to be so turned off of politics that they’re unaware of Biden’s accomplishments, such as an economy that continues to generate a large number of new jobs, with real (adjusted for inflation) wages finally trending upward, inflation dropping, and no recession in sight.

Plus, billions of dollars pumped out to fix and improve the nation’s roads, ports, pipelines, and internet. Hundreds of billions allocated to combat climate change. Medicare now lowering the cost of prescription drugs. Billions in student debt canceled. Monopolies attacked. Workers’ rights to organize, defended.

One person interviewed by the Post admitted, “I can’t really speak to anything [Biden] has done because I’ve tuned it out, like a lot of people have. We’re so tired of the us-against-them politics.”

As if the “us-against-them politics” is the fault of Democrats as much as it is Republicans, when in fact the GOP is the party of dysfunctional politics.

Much of the GOP no longer accepts the rule of law, the norms of liberal democracy, the legitimacy of the opposing party, or the premise that governing requires negotiation and compromise.

Why isn’t this being reported?

Trump and his allies want Americans to feel so disgusted with politics that they believe the nation has become ungovernable. The worse things seem, the stronger Trump’s case for an authoritarian like him to take over: “I’d get it done in one day.” “I am your voice.” “Leave it all to me.”

By focusing on Trump’s rantings and ignoring Biden’s steady hand, the mainstream media are playing directly into Trump’s neofascist hands.

What can you do? 

When you see the mainstream media commit these errors, write to the editors and point them out. Second, don’t rely exclusively on the mainstream media for your news. (I read The Guardian every day. Please offer us your suggestions for reliable sources of news and analyses.) Also: Boycott all advertisers on Fox News. 

Other ideas welcome.

This article was published at Robert Reich’s Substack

Robert Reich

Robert B. Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies, and writes at Reich served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written fifteen books, including the best sellers "Aftershock", "The Work of Nations," and"Beyond Outrage," and, his most recent, "The Common Good," which is available in bookstores now. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, "Inequality For All." He's co-creator of the Netflix original documentary "Saving Capitalism," which is streaming now.

One thought on “Robert Reich: Why Is Mainstream Media Failing To Report Accurately On Upcoming Election? – OpEd

  • January 3, 2024 at 8:09 am

    Please remind people that when Trump appeals to the courts to grant Presidents absolute immunity from prosecution he is asking the court to declare that Biden has the right to shoot Trump and fear no consequences. Is the person who develops a strategy like this going to be the best choice for America?


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