‘Fake News,’ Media, & Voters: Shared Reality Must Be Acknowledged

Consuming Journalism 101

Iused to be a newspaper editor, a cog in the wheel of the dreaded “mainstream media.” I’ve written for the New York and Washington newspapers, and even — angels and ministers of grace defend us! — Politico. And the checks go both ways: I am a paid-up subscriber to the New York Times. Call me an enemy of the people.

Here’s a little secret for you: The news ain’t fake.


For conservatives, hating the media is a reflex, and sometimes a funny one: Speaking on his “Morning Minute,” Sean Hannity once read breathlessly from an Associated Press report on a federal surveillance program, ending with the instinctual harrumph: “The mainstream media won’t tell you about that!” There is no media more mainstream than the Associated Press, which is a nonprofit cooperative owned by its member newspapers, television networks, and radio stations. Its reports appear in practically every daily newspaper in the United States, and big scoops like the one that caught Hannity’s eye routinely lead front pages from sea to shining sea. The Associated Press has bias problems and some notable competency problems, and, like any organization that does any substantive reporting, it makes errors. But it does not, for the most part, traffic in fiction….continue reading


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