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Sep 07 2020

Pondering the Pundits

Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news media and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

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Margaret Sullivan: Here’s what the media must do to fend off an election-night disaster

I learned about the hazards of election night the hard way. In late 2000, only a year into my job as the Buffalo News’s top editor, I had to make the high-anxiety wee-hours decision about a main headline for the paper’s first Wednesday morning print editions. The problem was that no one knew for certain whether it was George W. Bush or Al Gore who had won the presidential race. [..]

This time, with the stakes of the election so high, news organizations need to get it right. They need to do two things, primarily, and do them extraordinarily well.

First, in every way possible, they must prepare the public for uncertainty, and start doing this now. Granted, the audience doesn’t really show up in force until election night itself, but news reports, pundit panels and special programming can help plow the ground for public understanding of the unpredictability — or even chaos — to come.

Second, on election night and in the days (weeks? months?) to follow, news organizations will need to do the near-impossible: reject their ingrained instincts to find a clear narrative — including the answer to the question “who won?” — and stay with the uncertainty, if that’s indeed what’s happening.

Are network executives ready to do this?

Robert Reich: On Labor Day, remember this: Trump’s America works only for the rich

We are eight weeks from a momentous election. If Joe Biden wins, he must work to redistribute income – and power

On Labor Day weekend, eight weeks before one of the most consequential elections in American history, it’s useful to consider the inequalities of income and wealth that fueled Donald Trump’s victory four years ago – and which are now wider than ever.

No other developed nation has nearly the inequities found in the US, even though all have been exposed to the same forces of globalization and technological change. Jeff Bezos’s net worth recently reached $200bn and Elon Musk’s $100bn, even as 30 million Americans reported their households didn’t have enough food. America’s richest 1% now own half the value of the US stock market, and the richest 10% own 92%.

American capitalism is off the rails.

The main reason is that large corporations, Wall Street banks and a relative handful of exceedingly rich individuals have gained enough political power to game the system. [..]

But if Biden is elected, he would be well advised to remember the forces Trump exploited to gain power, and to begin the task of remedying them. The solution is not found in mere redistribution of income. It is found redistributing power. Income isn’t a zero-sum game in which some people’s gains require other people’s losses, but power indubitably is. Some have it only to the extent others don’t.

Amanda Marcotte: Trump calls dead U.S. troops “suckers” and “losers”: Why don’t his voters even care?

All that right-wing flag-hugging was a cover story for racism, more than a sincere expression of patriotism

Donald Trump is likely lying, of course, in denying a new report by Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic that accuses the president of calling the fallen American soldiers of World War I “suckers” and “losers.” [..]

All of this is why it would be unwise to hold your breath waiting for this story to put a dent in that stubborn 41 to 43% approval rating, below which Trump has rarely dipped throughout his entire presidency. Nor will Trump’s voters be fussed about the Washington Post adding to Goldberg’s reporting with a story sourced to a “former senior administration official” that Trump had “told senior advisers that he didn’t understand why the U.S. government placed such value on finding soldiers missing in action because they had performed poorly and gotten caught and deserved what they got.”

he Trump base, which is stable enough to keep Trump within stealing range of the 2020 election, loves to talk about how patriotic they are and to make a big show out of how much they supposedly love the troops. As this unquestioning loyalty to Trump makes clear, it’s all nonsense. Given a choice between white supremacy and support for the men and women of the military, Trump voters will pick racism every single time.

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