June 2, 2019

I spend a lot of time grousing about how the media is failing us. But I also think they're failing themselves. They seem stuck playing rules of a game that the Republicans abandoned a long time ago. And it doesn't appear that they know how to get themselves out of that mindset.

The issue that the media can't quite get their head around is fascism. The Republican Party is no longer the party of conservative ideology but of fascism. Writer Jared Yates Sexton wrote on Twitter how that changes the way they should be covered:

What defines fascism isn't that it's an ideology, because it isn't steadfast or permanent at all. What defines it is that the fascists are concerned with maintaining or gaining power at any and all costs. Principles are nonexistent outside of the principle of wanting power.

Right now, covering Trump, we have a news organ that just constantly points out that Trump contradicts himself. That Republicans contradict themselves. That doesn't matter for anyone WITHIN the sphere of the group. What matters is that they can move based on the moment.

We have to move beyond just pointing out gotcha hypocrisies because they simply don't matter. We have to start examining WHY the hypocrisy happened, what power it gained, why the winds shifted. We have to give context as opposed to simply marking down a nonexistent point.

The truth is that fascism isn't a political movement. It's a power movement. It's a reaction movement. It's about a group that's in trouble of losing power consolidating power through violence, force, intimidation, and constantly shifting narratives that are weaponized

It's not enough to say, look, Republicans were against deficits here, they're for spending here. We have to look at who is getting the spending, who is getting the favors, and how and why the coalition is being created. We have to move beyond how we cover politics now.

It requires much more thought than the horserace coverage that the Sunday shows devolved to. It demands more fairness than the banal version of both-siderism practiced by the news outlets. It forces news producers to give up the familiar roster of talking heads to look for those actually impacted by policies and experts, rather than the bobbleheads.

So that's why it will never be done.

ABC's "This Week" — Reps. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio; Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., a 2020 presidential candidate; Javad Zarif, Iranian foreign minister. Panel: ABC’s Matthew Dowd, Rachael Bade of The Washington Post, former Obama communications director Jen Psaki and Lanhee Chen, former policy director of the Romney-Ryan 2012 campaign.

NBC's "Meet the Press" — Beto O'Rourke, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate; acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney; former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. Panel: radio host Hugh Hewitt, Carol Lee and Kristen Welker of NBC and historian Jon Meacham.

CBS' "Face the Nation" — Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and John Kennedy, R-La.; British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt. Panel: Jan Crawford of CBS, Jamal Simmons of Hill.TV, Susan Page of USA Today and Ramesh Ponnuru of National Review.

CNN's "State of the Union" — Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan; Reps. James Clyburn, D-S.C., and Seth Moulton, D-Mass., a 2020 presidential candidate. Panel: former Mayor Andrew Gillum, D-Tallahassee; former Congressman Diane Black, R-Tenn.; Joe Lockhart, former Clinton White House press secretary; and former Congresswoman Mia Love, R-Utah.

CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" — A panel with Anne Applebaum of The Washington Post; Bernard-Henri Lévy, French philosopher and political commentator; and Beppe Severgnini, columnist at Corriere della Sera. Other guests are Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times; Jiayang Fan of The New Yorker; and Jamie Metzl, technology futurist and author of “Hacking Darwin.”

CNN's "Reliable Sources" — Bill Nye, host of the “Science Rules!” podcast, on climate-change coverage. A preview of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” with executive producer Warren Littlefield and Emmy-winner Ann Dowd, who plays Aunt Lydia. Barbara Starr, CNN Pentagon correspondent, and Chris Arnade, author of “Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America.” Panel: Elaina Plott of The Atlantic; Noah Shachtman, editor in chief, The Daily Beast; and Sarah Ellison of The Washington Post.

"Fox News Sunday" — Mulvaney; Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga. Panel: Karl Rove, former senior adviser to George W. Bush; former Congresswoman Donna Edwards, D-Md.; former Congressman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah; and Juan Williams, co-host of “The Five.”

So what's catching your eye this morning?

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