The Sentence That Sums Up What Was Wrong With Election Coverage

Here’s the sentence that sums up what was wrong with election coverage ’10, courtesy of the New York Times‘ Peter Baker (11/3/10):

Was this the natural and unavoidable backlash in a time of historic economic distress, or was it a repudiation of a big-spending activist government?

Clearly, the economy was the main thing on the minds of American citizens, and we needed the media to lead a serious discussion of what to do about it. Instead, we got a bogus debate in which the left-wing pole was that nothing could be done to improve the situation–when the actual progressive view was that a great deal more could have been done–and the right offered an attack on federal spendingbut was never required to offer a coherent explanation of how this eliminated jobs. This is a framing that the right could not help but win by default.

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.