Broadcast and cable news’ reluctance to talk about gerrymandering, let alone address the outsized impact it has in state and federal elections, has allowed American democracy to quietly become less representative. As movements build behind redistricting reform, the question remains: Will TV news ever care about gerrymandering?
As Senate Republicans began holding votes to take away health care from tens of millions of Americans, Fox News’ Sean Hannity still chose to focus primarily on phony Clinton pseudo-scandals. Similarly, Fox’s Tucker Carlson Tonight focused on irrelevant and often offensive stories while largely ignoring health care.
As Senate Republicans unveil the draft of their health care proposal, the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, media have already taken to framing the Senate GOP’s attempt at destroying the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as “more moderate” than a similar bill passed by the House last month. But comparing the Senate bill to the House bill whitewashes the portions of the proposal that are in fact at least as extreme as the previous one and the immense harm they would do to American people if this bill became law.
Over six weeks after the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) on May 4, Senate Republicans finally publicly introduced their health care proposal on June 22. The Senate committee that drafted the bill was roundly criticized for its “almost-unprecedented opacity” and lack of diversity. Leading up to that introduction, cable news coverage of the bill didn’t fare much better. And when cable news did cover the bill prior to its release, the guests were almost always white men.
During a May 1 interview with the Washington Examiner, Trump claimed that “had Andrew Jackson been a little later you wouldn’t have had the Civil War,” adding that Jackson “was a very tough person but he had a big heart. He was really angry that he saw with regard to the Civil War.” Trump went on to say, “People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?”
According to emails released by the Senate Judiciary Committee, first reported on by The Nation’s Ari Berman, Gorsuch’s communications with or about von Spakovsky paint a picture of their friendly relationship. In 2005, Gorsuch wrote “Good for Hans” after then-President George W. Bush nominated von Spakovsky to the Federal Election Commission.
Following President Donald Trump’s false claim that the press purposefully fails to report on terror attacks, his team released a list of attacks that were supposedly “underreported.” The list supplied, however, was entirely devoid of attacks by right-wing extremists and those inspired by the “alt-right.”
Broadcast news has completely ignored an unprecedented move by North Carolina Republicans to limit the power of the state’s incoming Democratic governor. A series of measures put forth by the Republican-controlled legislature have been criticized as a way to subvert the will of the voters
Right-wing media sought to dismiss news that the CIA concluded that Russia meddled in the 2016 election to actively help Trump by falsely claiming that the report is merely “fake news.”
Trump’s tweets about his business do nothing to squash mounting concerns over the conflicts of interest Trump could face as president, and it’s unclear whether his promised response would address these conflicts. Media are falling into Trump’s trap again by giving his tweets the front-page treatment.
By continually refusing to use headlines to call out Trump’s ties to extremists, incessant lying, and his atrocious behavior, media are normalizing his actions. There have been pleas from many in media to stop normalizing Trump. Headlines would be a good place to start.
Sunday morning political shows barely addressed — or completely ignored — the recent settlement in the class-action fraud lawsuit against Trump University. The omission provides yet another example of media continuously ignoring new revelations and investigative reporting about Trump.
During the campaign, the Committee to Protect Journalists declared Trump an “unprecedented threat” to free press. So far, his transition has indicated that won’t be changing anytime soon.