In a terrific piece, Dan Froomkin explains how the political press is failing us in its coverage of the federal shutdown by refusing to acknowledge that one group of extremists is responsible:
In the current political climate, journalistic false equivalence leads to an insufficiently informed electorate, because the public is not getting an accurate picture of what is going on. Journalists have been suckered into embracing ‘balance’ and ‘neutrality’ at all costs. But the lack of accountability is arguably even worse because it has the characteristics of a cascade failure. When the media coverage seeks down-the-middle neutrality despite one party’s outlandish conduct, there are no political consequences for their actions. With no consequences for extremism, politicians who have succeeded using such conduct have an incentive to become even more extreme. The more extreme they get, the further the split-the-difference press has to veer from common sense in order to avoid taking sides. And so on.
Read Froomkin’s entire piece here.