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Flat Earth Bipartisanship


Paul Krugman has wide enough exposure that I have generally not linked to his columns or blog. You don’t need me to point you to him. But I was struck by a short post of his two days ago, so I will over-ride my practice of Krugman eschewal in order to bring it to you. In the post, he gives yet another example of the mainstream media’s guiding principle that every issue must have two sides.

Long ago I said that if liberals said the Earth was round, while conservatives said it was flat, the news headlines would read “Shape of the planet: both sides have a point.” But I encountered a new wrinkle today.

I was tentatively scheduled to be on a broadcast dealing with — well, I won’t embarrass them. But first they had to find someone to take the opposite view. And it turned out that they couldn’t — which led to canceling the whole segment.

In a way this goes beyond my original point, which was the unwillingness of the news media to referee a controversy by actually reporting the facts. Now it seems that a fact isn’t worth reporting unless someone is prepared to deny it.

Krugman links in his post to his column from November 1, 2000, written just a week before the election. I followed the link and realized that I remember reading the column. Krugman kept saying, in the run-up to the election, that Bush was flat out lying on economic issues. People didn’t want to listen, and most of the media Bush him a pass, as they continued to do for years. Read it and weep.

Categories: Journalism
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