Writing in the Los Angeles Times, Nicholas Goldberg argues that Fox News is “a danger to this country,” as the headline put it. Goldberg is the editorial-page editor of the paper, and he offers the familiar lament: “We live in an era in which Americans are being encouraged to disregard or dismiss factual information, research and established sources of information in order to stay in ideological comfort zones. Trump encourages this, as does Fox, but Republicans in Congress do it too.”
Over at the New York Times, there’s a kind of companion piece hailing “The Age of the MSNBC Mom: For liberal women whose retirement years coincide with the rise of Donald Trump, there’s one place for solace and righteous indignation: cable news.” That piece is by Kat Stoeffel. (Those familiar with the cliché-ridden writing about the interests of rich white women in the New York Times will know without being told that “a ritual glass of 5 p.m. wine” figures in this account.) Goldberg in Los Angeles follows convention and puts in a little “this happens on the left as well as the right” disclaimer, but Stoeffel in New York is having none of that: “An evening with Ari, Chris, the other Chris and Rachel isn’t just about licking the wounds of 2016,” she writes. “It shores up progressive bona fides called into question by both-sides-ism and liberal hand-wringing.” Democrats apparently have had their fill of liberal hand-wringing: The lead-off letter in the current issue of Harper’s, written by Fred Kramer of Richfield, Minn., insists that what’s wrong with our politics stems from the fact that “Clinton and the Democrats were too magnanimous after Trump’s win.”
It is not obvious to me that what’s wrong with American political culture is excessive magnanimity — and I thought they were supposed to be nice in Minnesota! — but that kind of black-hats/white-hats simplification is terribly seductive.
Stupid, but seductive: It’s the Sharknado 2 of democratic discourse.