Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #BoThSiDeS

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Imagine looking at the path Republicans have taken *since* 2015 and thinking: “You know what we need more of? Both-sides false equivalence!”

It’s a proper “Tell me who you really are” moment from one of the high priests of white dude (increasingly reactionary) centrism. Image
As is often the case with Silver, and so typical of the white male reactionary centrist pundit brotherhood, what is presented here as bold out-of-the-box truth-telling is little more than silly contrarianism in style and well in line with white elite orthodoxy in substance.
Silver is a key figure in a group of ostensibly liberal pundits who have become widely revered apostles of centrist realignment in American politics. Almost all of them are white men in their late 30s to mid-40s - Silver, Yglesias, Barro, Mounk…
Read 28 tweets
🧵🪡
It’s a big edu/policy research conference week (#APPAM2022 #ASHE2022 #UCEA22) and here’s a short thread on ideological diversity in edu-research and edu-journalism #edchat using the Greene/Heritage studies as a hook

1/ ImageImage
Some formal edu research/journo communities have tolerated increasingly far-Right stuff for years, in part because of a genuine commitment to multi-perspectives, and also out of fear of being labeled ideological or against free speech themselves

2/
And in the #edchat journalism space there is some of the notorious #bothsides pressure too, to give voices to the Heritages and Catos if the world.

This is why people like Corey DeAngelis routinely are quoted as expert researchers when they’re really political activists

3/ Image
Read 10 tweets
No, no, no. The problem is not “the extremes of political parties” (plural!), it’s not “both sides,” it’s not #polarization.

The key problem is the rise of far-right extremism and the accelerating anti-democratic radicalization of the Republican Party. 1/
Zakaria concludes that in America, “democracy has actually become minority rule, and the minority rule holding power is unrepresentative, angry, and increasingly radical.” An apt description of what’s happening on the Right - only he means: on both sides! 2/
It’s a remarkable statement in a situation in which one party is fully committed to erecting minority rule against the will of the majority and there is absolutely no equivalent anywhere near the center of the Democratic Party or mainstream liberal / progressive thinking. 3/
Read 53 tweets
This is a perfect example of the type of distorted coverage the mainstream media’s “neutrality” dogma produces: “We’ve been plenty critical of those Republicans – better demonstrate how neutral we are by really going hard after this Fetterman thing!”
In the specific case of CNN, there may well be a more deliberate anti-progressive / anti-left element at work – it would certainly be in line with what we’ve seen from the new CNN regime over the past two months or so. But the issue on display here goes well beyond CNN.
It’s the same dynamic that brought us Hillary’s emails: In a desperate attempt to “prove” how there is no liberal bias, mainstream media are playing up “issues” about Democratic candidates and end up amplifying and legitimizing rightwing talking points and attack lines.
Read 19 tweets
Introducing the Media and Democracy Project 📰 📺 📻:
We are a grassroots group of concerned citizens who launched an activist campaign in 2020 to demand that our media provide truth, context, and transparency in every piece of reporting. #FixMediaNow 1/ MediaAndDemocracyProject.org
We believe an informed citizenry is the bedrock of a democratic society. The information we receive from media affects and shapes our opinions, voting decisions, degree of civic engagement, and ultimately determines the health of our society. We must @FixMediaNow #FixMediaNow 2/
Robust news and democracy go together. “A popular [democratically elected] Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance…” —James Madison #FixMediaNow 3/
Read 15 tweets
“Heated exchange”

White man yells at Black woman in a mixture of reactionary rage and bad faith, intending to undermine and sabotage her candidacy for a position for which she is supremely qualified; Black woman answers calmly and substantively. “Heated exchange.”

Just bizarre.
This is a major issue. This type of framing is not only factually inadequate, it also builds on and perpetuates the pervasive idea of #BothSides being to blame for “Washington” being a dysfunctional mess - a narrative that strongly privileges the Right’s assault on government.
It’s getting really hard for me to believe that there should still be people at these media outlets who are simply unaware of what they’re doing and oblivious to the disastrous effects. A lot more plausible to assume that this type of framing is the result of a deliberate choice.
Read 10 tweets
Why does the “cancel culture” idea play such an outsized role in liberal / mainstream media coverage?

We need to look at both ideological and structural factors: a confluence of reactionary centrism and a system that incentivizes #BothSides “balance” above all else.
Reactionary centrism is the ideology that animates many of the people who shape media coverage. A disproportionate percentage of those people are white men, and the fact that elite white men face a little more scrutiny today than in the past has caused quite a bit of anxiety.
#metoo is another excellent example of this dynamic: As soon as traditionally marginalized groups gain enough power and enough of a platform to make their demands for respect and accountability heard, certain white people (predominantly men) start bemoaning “persecution.”
Read 16 tweets
I’d say 5 percent of the blame goes to Biden for constantly evoking “bipartisanship” throughout 2021, opening the door for such criticism.

But 95 percent of the blame goes to Chuck Todd for framing this as anything but a result of complete Republican obstruction. Just bizarre.
This is the clearest example of how too much of the establishment media is actively complicit in the Republican assault on the political system in the exact way it was during the Obama years: All Republicans have to do is make functional governance impossible and blame Democrats.
I’m as frustrated as anyone by the fact that some establishment democrats still insist a return to “normalcy” is imminent (any minute now!), when Republicans could not be clearer about the fact that they consider Democratic governance fundamentally illegitimate.
Read 17 tweets
On a rainy Sunday afternoon, a somewhat gloomy thought on January 6 and the mainstream media: This past week, every major outlet published pieces emphasizing the acute threat to democracy. Good! But that was the easy part. The tough part: What happens during the rest of the year?
I’ll mention this intervention by the @nytimes editorial board as representative of the many such pieces that have come out: I agree with every word in it. But the question is: Is the NYT willing to make sure that the paper’s political coverage actually reflects these warnings?
I think the @nytimes, as an institution, would have to make some serious changes if it really took the idea that “Every Day Is Jan. 6 Now” to heart and made it the paper’s operating principle going forward.
Read 9 tweets
Went on the @KreuzundFlagge podcast for a conversation about the past and present of U.S. democracy and what is animating the anti-democratic radicalization of the American Right.

I am more pessimistic now than I was a year ago - and unfortunately, @ardenthistorian agrees…
This is part 1 of a 2-part conversation. Here is an incomplete list of the topics we discussed - and I’ll include a few links to previous reflections on the state of American politics to provide some more evidence and receipts (in English):
Why Donald Trump is the favorite to be the next Republican presidential candidate, as the GOP and the American Right in general are basically unified behind him and, more importantly, his political project…
Read 10 tweets
I’m grateful to the @nytimes editorial board for publishing this. After all, the key question in America today is whether or not enough people in positions of influence and power are as committed to preserving democracy as Republicans are to abolishing it.
However, it should also be noted that the NYT - just like other mainstream media outlets - is often complicit in obscuring the anti-democratic radicalization of the Republican Party and the acute threat to American democracy emanating from the Right:
By dissolving everything into a tale of “partisanship” and “polarization” that always implicates #BothSides, thus upholding a “neutrality” dogma that provides cover for extremism and leads to severe distortions…
Read 8 tweets
Completely agree - but due to the pervasive pathologies of journalistic and political culture, when they do take a look in the mirror, they’re likely to tell themselves “You are doing a great job by not giving in to ‘partisanship,’ and by staying ‘neutral’ and above the fray!”
…and considering the existing incentive structures in journalism and politics, they’re also likely looking at someone who - strictly in terms of advancing their own careers - is doing everything right. That needs to change.
The “neutrality” dogma demands this kind of coverage: As defined by too many journalists and political observers, it means keeping equidistance from #BothSides. But with the GOP rapidly radicalizing, the “neutral” position provides cover for extremism and leads to distortions.
Read 7 tweets
A distorting #polarization framework and the never-ending search for “both sides” equivalence produce seriously misleading political analysis.

Let’s dive into an especially egregious example: A PBS @NewsHour interview with sociologist James Davison Hunter. Brace yourselves. 1/
Right off the bat, JDH claims that the culture wars have turned into “class culture wars”: America split into two camps, a progressive elite vs the conservative middle and working classes. This, however, completely obscures the actual fault lines of the political conflict. 2/
This idea of “class culture wars” misrepresents the political coalitions on either side of the conflict. First of all, it ignores how enormously important a wealthy reactionary elite is in funding and defining the conservative political project. 3/
Read 28 tweets
Meanwhile, South Dakota’s Attorney General killed a man, lied about it (he claimed he thought he’d hit a deer even though the man’s glasses were found in his car after his head smashed through the windshield) and is facing impeachment over it. #BothSides!
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Read 4 tweets
If you want to understand the @CNN / @joerogan situation, think of the media as a clique-obsessed high school.

A brief thread:
Rogan is the stoner who does wild stuff, breaks all the rules with with few consequences, and hangs out with shady characters (and some straight-up criminals). Therefore most of us don’t want to be associated with him, even though a bunch of us secretly love to get high with him.
CNN is the pompous rich kid who lives in a bubble. He gets high, too, but rarely faces the kind of accountability he preaches for the stoner. That drives some of us crazy—but we tend not to say anything, because you’d rather stay on his good side. Plus, he throws awesome parties.
Read 8 tweets
Sadly, the rule followed by many political journalists is: If someone says it’s raining, and another person says it’s dry, you make no effort to inform the public who’s right and who’s wrong, because you need to be seen as neutral, and so you describe it as partisan bickering.
And if you really want to score points with most of the mainstream media establishment and moderate elites, you present this as yet another indication of how “polarized” everything is and lament the unwillingness to compromise: Why can’t these politicians meet in the middle?!
A lot of issues won’t be as cut and dried as the question of whether or not it’s raining. But many - including some of the defining political conflicts of our era - really are. And as @RottenInDenmark points out, news media will still choose “neutrality” over adequate analysis.
Read 7 tweets
Can Rod Rosenstein land the plane?? 👀

washingtonpost.com/investigations…
You'd think such a targeted attack on journalists around the world would inspire journalists to focus on the

#DarkMoney forces & politicians who support anti-democratic technologies like this? 🤔
All the groups who use this military-grade spyware are autocrats or their enablers

US media need to stop #BothSides-ing #Jan6 & calling out attacks on democracies.
Read 18 tweets
On Friday June 4, 2021 I attended a meeting with Secretary of State Blinken. The purpose of the meeting was to talk all things #Palestine
#SheikJarrah #Silwan #Jerusalem #Gaza #EqualityforAll #OneLove
Full thread in 1 convenient viewing location here: maysoon.com/mz-goes-to-was…
I attended as an individual. I am not affiliated with any PAC or organization. I obviously do not speak for or represent the #Palestinian people. There’s like 7 million of us at least, and like 2 million of #Palestinians stuffed in #Gaza alone.
To the #Palestinian Americans who boycotted this meeting after the #Biden Administration handed Israel $735 million dollars in weaponry following the merciless attacks on Palestinians locked in Gaza.
Read 56 tweets
@DrEricDing @ddiamond I mean, this guy is right, just not the way he means...
@DrEricDing @ddiamond Dear @FrankLuntz: Are you out of your mind?? You really think DONALD TRUMP would do a joint appearance with President Biden, much less that doing so would have any positive impact?
@DrEricDing @ddiamond @FrankLuntz Ah, I see they had to try and #BothSides this as well: "Republicans may be endangering hundreds of thousands of people's lives by refusing to get vaccinated against a global pandemic which has already killed 3 million people...but do Democrats have to be so *pushy* about it??"
Read 3 tweets
So this #60Minutes segment on the origin of #COVID19 is a real error in judgment. Why are we back to the debunked Trump admin theory that China cooked up the virus in a Wuhan lab? This is presented as a #bothsides story with no conclusion that will only fuel anti-Asian rhetoric.
Jamie Metzl, a member of a WHO advisory committee, says China did its own investigation of the Wuhan lab. His and his team's argument is that Wuhan has a grade 4 level virology lab and there was no serious investigation of whether there was an virus leak in the Wuhan lab.
Peter Daszak is an expert on zoonotic diseases. He also works with the Wuhan lab. Daszak says that bats infected wild animal food farms. The WHO agreed this is the most likely transmission. Daszak says the lab did not have the virus. He is frankly more believable on this issue.
Read 4 tweets
📣 Weekly Update: Which *counties* have the highest cumulative per capita rates of #COVID19 cases & deaths? 1/
acasignups.net/21/02/20/weekl…
A year later, #COVID19 has become truly nonpartisan by even the most cynical POV:
--Cumulative cases per capita are 8.9% higher in Red Counties
--Cumulative deaths per capita are now 3.3% higher in Red Counties
#BothSides!
Counties w/highest cumul. #COVID19 cases per capita:
1. Crowley County, CO
2. Chattahoochee County, GA
3. Bent County, CO
4. Lincoln County, AR
5. Buena Vista County, IA
6. Lake County, TN
7. Dewey County, SD
8. Norton County, KS
9. Bon Homme County, SD
10. Buffalo County, SD
Read 6 tweets
This defense of Trump is like the upside down world.
Good lawyers refrain from absurd statements, understanding this undermines one’s credibility. This person is refraining from any non-absurd statements.
Phew. I was worried we’d go 10 minutes before hearing #BothSides.
Read 41 tweets
Everyone who says "#BoThSiDeS" can shove that phrase right up their backside, because of the @GOP using the turocharged capitalist equivalent to #warlordism in #congress and #senate, holding the entire nation as hostages for their reactionary bullshit!

And this "political #instability" and "#political uncertainty" is making the #USA a worse place to invest, conduct business in or with and to have to deal with in general.
Because Ghouls like #McCornell are just being #assholes for the sake of doing so and not facing #accountability for it!
Read 37 tweets
No, sorry.

War crimes don't get the #bothsides treatment.
Wherever you stood on the wiseness of the Iraq war, committing war crimes in it, in this case massacring 17 unarmed civilians, is not some kind of #bothsides issue.

Whether from a human rights perspective or just a cold desire to win the war, it was inarguably wrong + stupid
It is inarguable that US military repeatedly was angered by how contractor force and Blackwater in particular was undermining its COIN efforts
brookings.edu/research/cant-…
Read 7 tweets

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