Spotting the gorilla in the news room, after all these years! What. Do. You. Know.
The answer to the press’ myopia lies elsewhere, and nobody has produced a better argument for how the national media missed the Trump story than FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver, who pointed out that the ideological clustering in top newsrooms led to groupthink.
Just after the election, presidential strategist Steve Bannon savaged the press on the same point but with a heartier vocabulary. “The media bubble is the ultimate symbol of what’s wrong with this country,” Bannon said. “It’s just a circle of people talking to themselves who have no fucking idea what’s going on.”
Hand it to JACK SHAFER and TUCKER DOHERTY, the first of whom ran a very good Headlines (?) report at Slate many years ago — was laid off in 2011, picked up by Reuters, then by Politico in 2015 — for laying it all out, somehow disposing of the bias claim as such while supplying for it ample evidence.
So what? They put it to their fellows as a major problem and even suggest solutions. He’s no Steve Bannon, of course, but you know? That’s all right.
Addendum: Years ago, I called it the lemming problem: Newsies for most part followed their leaders in re: national news. Second (and third and fourth etc.) City syndrome. Once, through possibly unethical subterfuge, a Detroiter and I scooped the NY Times — by two hours, enough to find the city editor waving the wire copy as I got back from wherever, not in Chicago. Which said more about us as a group than me as enterprising.