The news media in America has a complicated relationship to partisan politics and political ideology. The mainstream news media continues to prize ideals of objectivity & neutrality, but countless outlets offer an explicitly partisan takes on the news. We should be worried? Is partisan media a problem for democracy, or is it fitting in a democracy with robust protections for freedom of the press? And what are news consumers to make of claims about bias in the ostensibly neutral news media? Is the ‘mainstream media’ really liberally biased? Or do other biases—such as those toward celebrity, scandal, and novelty—outweigh any ideological bias? And how does all of this connect with the business incentives of the media we discussed a couple of weeks ago?
Despite enjoying popular support, federal gun control legislation seems all but impossible. Is the NRA really bribing representatives? Not exactly, but they have an awful lot of influence, and we explore the politics of interest groups to understand why.
In the first of our series on how to think about the media, we explore the economics of the news business. Who owns the media? How does the profit motive explain much of what you see, hear, and read? And what--if anything--can we do about it?
In light of FISA reauthorization earlier this year and the FISA-related accusations leveled against the FBI & the Obama Administration in the Nunes memo, it’s a good time to remind ourselves what exactly FISA is, where it came from, what Americans should and should not be worried about, and what it means that both parties in Congress and the President just decided to reauthorize it without much public discussion or controversy.