WEEKEND READER: Breaking Through Red-Versus-Blue Media

How corporate media’s partisan lens suppresses news of both parties’ corruption.
WEEKEND READER: Breaking Through Red-Versus-Blue Media

Myths and manufactured narratives now define American politics. We are told the Supreme Court is a moderate force for stability. We are told that the Democratic Party respects the idea of Democratic primary voters choosing their own representatives, without the intervention of the Democratic establishment and its powerbrokers. We are told that benevolent billionaires are altruists who want to save the world.

This week’s Weekend Reader offers some stories that debunk these myths, and show the much more disturbing reality of the American oligarchy. And we also take a look at how corporate media’s obsession with the red-versus-blue conflict in Washington often suppresses important news when it doesn’t fit neatly into a partisan frame.

Find out more in this Weekend Reader, exclusively for paying subscribers below.

Stuff The Daily Poster Reported This Week:

Stuff We’re Reading:

The Supreme Court Is Closer to a 9-0 Corporatist Supermajority Than a 3-3-3 Split (American Prospect) — “The notion that the Supreme Court has cleaved into a 3-3-3 split — with Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Neil Gorsuch making up a hard-right sect; Justices Barrett, Kavanaugh, and Roberts as the sober, center-right moderates; and Justices Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor the counterbalancing liberals — is nonsense, and anyone finding solace in these recent rulings is doing so at great risk.”

The Congressional Black Caucus’s Ideological Primary Adventures (American Prospect) — “The role of the CBC is broadly understood to be the expansion of Black political, economic, and social power. But in practice, and in its political action committee in particular, it does something very different. In recent cycles, it has shown willingness to oppose Black challengers if one of its members is up for re-election, as well as a willingness to oppose Black challengers in favor of white incumbents. Now, it’s willing to intervene in an open primary between two Black non-members, on behalf of a candidate who doesn’t even have formal majority support within the caucus. The through line, of course, is ideological. As with many other Democrats who have endorsed in this race, much of it comes down to score-settling, and a chance to knock down the Sanders wing.”

Ban Mansions (Earther) — “Individual choices about consumption won’t solve the climate crisis alone. But for the richest among us, some forms of polluting pleasure are going to have to go. At the top of the list are giant houses, which are a key reason that the world’s richest 1% have carbon footprint 175 times the size of those in the bottom 10%. That’s why, in our fight to decarbonize everything equitably, we need to ban mansions.”

James Carville Has Never Stopped Being Wrong (Jacobin) — “Whatever the era, whatever the actual debates at hand, and however many cultural and political realignments occur, there is somehow always said to be a segment of liberal voters or activists whose crank enthusiasms are alienating the good people of the hardworking, reasonable middle. The exact contours of the caricature, of course, can be amended as needed. Thus, in one fell swoop, the same cadre of Dem hacks who so cynically wielded identity politics as a cudgel against Bernie Sanders can now just as easily blame a phantom version of them for their own lackluster election results.”

How America’s Top Hospitals Hound Patients With Predatory Billing (Axios) — “Rising deductibles and out-of-pocket costs are increasingly leaving patients responsible for bloated medical bills. A new analysis by Johns Hopkins University reveals that many of the top 100 hospitals by revenue in the U.S. use predatory tactics to pursue patients with unpaid bills.”

I Was Taught From a Young Age to Protect My Dynastic Wealth (The Atlantic) — “The more interesting question is not how the men in ProPublica’s report were able to avoid paying much or anything in federal income taxes, but why. What motivates people with so much money to try to withhold every last bit of it from the public’s reach?”

The Endless Work of Trying to Win Yourself a New Life (The New Republic) — “The world of sweepers can feel small. A 2011 estimate calculated that 55 million people in the United States enter annually, but only a fraction of those are putting in the same hours as someone like Taube. On the internet, they scour aggregator websites, sharing leads and celebrating wins.”

Stuff To Watch & Listen To:

How Wall Street Cashes In On Workers’ Retirement Money (Rising) — The Daily Poster’s David Sirota joined The Hill’s Rising morning show to discuss our recent reporting on the relationship between private equity firms and public pensions.

A Message From The Daily Poster:

One of The Daily Poster’s stories this week perfectly illustrated exactly why independent media’s audiences are growing, and why corporate media’s audience is shrinking.

As you probably saw, we broke open the story of President Biden’s top domestic policy adviser Susan Rice being in a position to profit off the Biden administration’s backing of a controversial oil pipeline during the climate crisis. This is a hugely important story for obvious reasons.

And yet, for days, The Daily Poster was the only outlet to even mention it.

In so many ways, corporate media is broken — and one of its biggest problems is its partisan lens. So many corporate news outlets judge newsworthiness through a red-versus-blue prism — no matter how legitimately important a story might be, it might be ignored by a corporate media outlet if it doesn’t serve the narrative that the outlet’s particular partisan audience wants.

The Rice story was a perfect example: Had this been a story about Trump and his top aide, it would have been endlessly promoted by outlets like MSNBC and ignored by outlets like Fox News. Instead, our story was erased by Democratic-aligned media outlets, and ultimately only spotlighted by some right-leaning outlets (and now, finally, ABC News).

In corporate media — and in our larger civic culture — journalism is increasingly just seen as cannon fodder. Decisions about what to promote and ignore are increasingly based on how much media influencers believe a piece of information can be weaponized for their own partisan goals.

And it’s not just news outlets, either — it’s increasingly the same dynamic among the audience itself. You see this on social media all the time — a story about Biden corruption will get retweets and likes among Republican audiences and slammed by Democratic audiences, and then a similar story of Trump corruption will get retweets and likes among Democratic audiences and slammed by Republican audiences.

At The Daily Poster, we refuse to succumb to this paradigm. We follow the money and hold power accountable, and we don’t care which party that enrages. And we know that doing this is a huge risk — we are betting that in this partisan miasma, there remains an audience that wants real journalism, even if it surfaces truths that are inconvenient to the politicians that the audience may like.

Our big growth in our first year suggests that our bet is correct. We have found thousands of subscribers who want real journalism — and we are working as hard as we can to expand our operations.

Please know that we cannot do this without you. But also know that your support is helping us build a whole new model for independent media. Thank you for being part of the team. Onward.

Rock the boat,

Sirota

Photo credit: AP/Susan Walsh


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