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Saturday, July 6, 2024

OK, where do we stand now?

@NormOrnstein TwitterX thread, July 7th, 2024

Let me be clear: I don’t criticize our media for intense coverage of the health of the president and whether he can fill another term or stay on the ticket. Those are big stories. They are not the only stories. The fact that he is the incumbent does not excuse the inattention to the other major party candidate who was a former president, much less the dereliction of duty that comes with treating his abnormal behavior as normal.

Of course, Biden’s disastrous debate performance was the biggest news. But Trump’s serial lies was also really big, and brushed aside. The revelations from Jeffrey Epstein’s investigation, including the multiple trips Trump took with him, largely ignored. Far worse is what we know will be the consequences of another Trump presidency.

He completely ignored the question in the debate about deporting migrants. It is a clear responsibility of a free press to report on this, meaning the plans to put 12 million people in the United States in detention camps, people that he has called animals. His closest advisor and press secretary are tied directly to Project 2025. It was written in intimate connection withTrump‘s principaladvisors. That he lies openly about whether he knows anything about it no excuse for our press, largely ignoring it.

If Joe Biden has moments where he falters, there is a stellar team of top advisors and staff to keep this from becoming a policy catastrophe. As Liz Cheney has said, even if you don’t like Biden’s policies, the country regularly survives, presidents, whose policies and don’t like.

But as she says courageously and eloquently, we cannot survive the destruction of democracy and fundamental freedoms, which is openly in the game plan of Donald Trump. Trump talks about creating military tribunals to punish his enemies in an administration built around retribution. It is dereliction of journalistic responsibility beyond imagining that this gets shrugged off and not covered as if it were a four alarm fire.

The shocking decisions of the court, especially Chevron and immunity, have not been covered as front page above the full stories or as a runaway Court that will turn governance upside down. Much less Supreme Court that will end up with a 72 right wing extremist margin if Trump is elected, probably including replacing Thomas and Alito with justices at least as extreme and much younger.

Covering the deathwatch around whether Biden survives as a candidate, while ignoring the fact that this is truly an existential election, less about Biden and Trump, and more about whether our democracy survives , is simply not what mainstream press, much less everybody else, should make as their singular focal point. Don’t ignore it but please, please get a grip and make your focus what really matters.

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