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The [Tuesday] Papers

"Bernie Sanders on Monday told NBC's Chuck Todd that he ran as a Democrat to get more media coverage," Politico reports.

"During a town hall-style event in Columbus, Ohio, the independent Vermont senator said, 'In terms of media coverage, you have to run within the Democratic Party.' He then took a dig at MNSBC, telling Todd, the network 'would not have me on his program' if he ran as an independent."

True. Consider the implications. The media treated Sanders - and Donald Trump - as non-serious candidates for a long time. Trump got tons of coverage anyway; Sanders barely got any. If Sanders had run as an independent, he wouldn't have gotten any coverage at all.

But the more Americans are exposed to him, the more many of them like him. Sadly, the same seems to be true of Trump (and in equal parts, the more Americans are exposed to him, the more many hate him), but it speaks to the power of media as gatekeepers in a way that should force a reconsideration of how that role is handled.

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Also, Sanders isn't really a Democrat and Trump isn't really a Republican, and yet both threaten to take over each party. Fascinating.

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"Money also played a role in his decision to run as a Democrat, Sanders added.

"To run as an independent, you need - you could be a billionaire," he said. "If you're a billionaire, you can do that. I'm not a billionaire. So the structure of American politics today is such that I thought the right ethic was to run within the Democratic Party."

Money, too, serves as a gatekeeper - along with the parties themselves.

The Political Odds
See who the Beachwood Bookmaking Bureau likes tonight.

The Ohio Miracle
"Ohio has indeed gained several hundred thousand jobs since Mr. Kasich took office, and he turned an imposing budget gap into a surplus while also cutting income taxes, all accomplishments that back up his boasts," the New York Times reports.

"But a closer review of his record shows the reality is more complicated. Other states recovered from the recession more quickly than Ohio did. He closed the budget shortfall in part by cutting aid to local governments, forcing some of them to raise their own taxes or cut services. And increasing sales taxes helped make the income tax cuts possible."

This seems to be a fairly well-established pattern - states balance budgets on the backs of local government, and income tax cuts are subsidized by sales tax increases. The result: Shifting the tax burden to those who can least afford it. We see it over and over and over. And it never works. Learn, dammit!

Objectively Speaking
"Actually, many people are alarmed [about Donald Trump], but it is difficult to know that by observing media coverage, where little journalistic alarm over Trump is expressed," Glenn Greenwald writes for The Intercept.

"That's because the rules of large media outlets - venerating faux objectivity over truth along with every other civic value - prohibit the sounding of any alarms.

"Under this framework of corporate journalism, to denounce Trump, or even to sound alarms about the dark forces he's exploiting and unleashing, would not constitute journalism.

"To the contrary, such behavior is regarded as a violation of journalism. Such denunciations are scorned as opinion, activism, and bias: all the values that large media-owning corporations have posited as the antithesis of journalism in order to defang and neuter it as an adversarial force."

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I disagree with Greenwald on this one. I have found plenty of alarm expressed in the mainstream press - oodles and oodles of columns and commentary, for example. That may not be the same as in news reports, but it counts.

I have also seen a growing number of news reports describing the increased violence - and threats of violence - at Trump rallies, as well as pieces wherein reporters themselves describe their experiences being spat upon and harangued. Perhaps these pieces should have come sooner, but maybe we've just reached a tipping point.

Greenwald also ascribes the problem to large media outlets, but I'm certain this is a far bigger problem at small media outlets that serve large swaths of America.

Finally, I see the objectivity issue a bit differently. I disagree with Greenwald that we should all just admit our biases and write subjectively - and I find it odd coming from someone whose work is so factually rigorous. The issue is how we define objectivity. To many reporters, repeating what a public official has said is an objective form of reporting, regardless of whether the official's claim can be shown to be untruthful. To me, the most objective a reporter can get is to vet such a claim and state outright that it is false, if that's what the reporting proves. To me, objectivity is in both the pursuit of the facts regardless of a subject's party or ideology, and in the clear stating of a reported conclusion, if such a conclusion can be made. And such a conclusion ought to be the goal of any reporter.

Today's Worst Person In Chicago
Meet Richard Cooke, who might judge you one day.

Imagined Narratives, Part A Zillion
"So the citywide trend appears to be (for now) exactly the opposite of what that CBS 2 report claims," Rich Miller writes at Capitol Fax.

Fauxgressive Fauxdorsement
Oh No, Proco Joe.

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Fioretti Watch

* Bob Fioretti Pads His Resume With False Law Professor Claim.

* Maybe Jesse Jackson was out of town last spring and nobody told him.

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* "He's a real guy."

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* Chris Christie: The Bob Fioretti Of Presidential Politics.

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* Speak of the devil.

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Chicagoetry: All The Panthers Are Rose
Only one can be Leader.

March Madness Money: Who's Getting Paid
Hint: It's not the athletes.

The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Wussy, Chvrches, Turnover, Megadeth, The Who, Reginald Robinson, Kill Ritual, AWOLNATION, Simmer Down Sound, Radkey, Chelsea Grin, Hippie Sabotage, The Infamous Stringdusters feat. Nicki Bluhm, Daughter, Tommy Roe, Lake Street Dive, Chris Montez, Vivian Green, Jennifer Nettles, Carly Rae Jepsen, Fall Out Boy, and Waste.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Chicago Way.



Permalink

Posted on March 15, 2016


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Vizio Settles Spying Complaints.
POLITICS - WikiLeaks Reveals Staggering Breadth Of CIA Hacking.
SPORTS - Fantasy Fix Draft Guide Pt. 3: The Professor!

BOOKS - Bannon, The Best And The Brightest.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: Ray Rayner & Friends.


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