Bishop45 wrote:HeatFanLifer wrote:Bishop45 wrote:Lifer, just read this book by Ezra Klein named "Why we're polarized" and thought of recent convos I've had with you and few others in my community about media literacy and the likes. He's a liberal for sure, but the takes are pretty non-partisan, you would like the book I think. Never a better, and thorough explanation on how Trump supporters are rational actors in the scheme of things.
Correct me if I’m wrong here about what Klein states Bish, but he basically says the two party system is inherently polarizing. I have no disagreement with that. The issue I have is:
1) He provides no alternative, noting a multiparty system is worse due to deadlock
And 2) He fails to note the culpability of the press in promoting partisanship
I think this current structure of the media promotion of party politics really began when Fox News called the election for Bush in 2000. After Fox called Florida for Bush, the media then instantly jumped on the badwagon calling Florida for Bush. What other outlets at the time failed to realize though, was that Fox was pulling a partisan move.
After that card was played, many in the media over a couple of years time began to realize that independent unbiased journalism does not gain viewers and since Fox was ok with who they were, liberal leaning news organization were justified in doing the same. I think this was a mistake.
The strength of the press and even the liberal structure was showing diverse points of view, including conservative views. Instead, diversity of thought began to be discouraged to unify a message and win elections (which was what the conservatices were doing). Thus began a downward spiral of breaking down barriers between actual reporting and party talking points.
This breakdown of barriers has continued to evolve to the point that now many once prominent news outlets not only fail to independently report stories that disagree with party position, they are now even banning op-eds as well. Nothing good will come of this. We need dialogue with those we disagree with.
I’m hoping this changes, but open discussions of people to people without party talking points, is necessary and should be encouraged. Something now it appears to me that social media and even the press is discouraging.
You read it already? He lays some alternatives in the final chapter, although he's disclaims everything to be of his own opinion.
He said that we'd likely be better off with a parliamentary system, but adds that if you just look at some of the governments over in Europe that you can see that it isn't a panacea for polarization. Ends it by saying that proportional representation, something like Rank choice voting, would likely work better in this country, as much as the era of Dixiecrats/Democrats/liberal Republicans/Conservative Republicans of the previous era (imbued with hopefully less racism)
The second note is unconscionable to me, maybe 3/4's of the book is speaking on the culpability of the press in this and their assist to the rise of identitarian media- especially his own Vox media. Idk about that take. I thought he spoke some grace to his profession, especially with how he shaped the convo with the APSA comittee report from the 50's stating that there wasn't nearly enough polarization at the time, a pov that overarchs our current media praxis quite succinctly imo
2000 might be a bit late, if you can remember Fox's coverage of the Clinton impeachment, but I think most of the hyper-partisan media had it's slow start with the strike down of the FCC Fairness Doctrine and Nixon's memo's of administration based media in the 70's- not from the book, but my take.
We can't have good faith dialogue when we can't agree on facts. A reality you can see reflected on any 5 minutes of any congressional hearing these days- gridlock's at a dead high. Change is the rule of everything, so it's bound to happen- albeit through reform before any real dialogue though.
I didn't expect much, but was thoroughly surprised at how deep the book went.
I skimmed it. He spends a lot of time examining the media, but my point is he seems to think all media is the same. It’s not. There is Liberal media and then there is Conservative media. Conservative media thrives on those outrage stories of the day that he notes. Liberal media however, traditionally took an in depth look into issues and thrived on advancing discussion.
Conservative media has been around for decades doing what they do like trying to get Clinton impeached as you note, but Liberal media (nor Fox news for that matter) did not resort to the official party line until after 2000.
Trump thrived on this in 2016. He was not looking to appeal to Progressive voters. They were already polarized, as were the Conservative voters as Klein notes. Rather, he was looking to appeal to enough moderate voters and did so by noting how biased media against him was. It worked. Will it work in 2020? I’m not sure. But I think the liberal media is playing the wrong game here. They need to ask tough questions to all sides. Educate liberal viewers in a diversity of thought so they can have that dialogue with moderates and even conservatives. I don’t think this is occurring anymore. It’s both sides playing the same game and that will inherently advantage conservatives. When people have uncertainty about something, they tend to go with what they know.