Journalism professor says Republicans don’t justify ‘normal’ media coverage like Democrats
Jay Rosen, associate professor of journalism at NYU and frequent guest of CNN, on Wednesday urged the media to cover the Republican Party differently from Democrats, arguing that the GOP’s actions do not warrant “normal” coverage.
In the New York Times’ new podcast “The Argument,” Rosen claimed that if he did not want the media to deliberately put the thumb in the balance for Democrats, reporters would be wrong to cover the Republican Party, which operates with “an authoritarian mentality”, in the same way.
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“I don’t think reporters should put their thumbs on Democrats because of how serious Donald Trump is. It’s not something I believe. I never wrote that. It is not my point of view, ”Rosen said.
He argued that journalists should “rethink” their long-standing practices to ensure that their coverage reflects the “radical imbalance between the two sides.”
“Rather than two roughly equal parties vying for the advantage, we now have a drastic imbalance between the two parties. One is normal. And by normal I don’t mean angelic or has all the answers. , or this is the right way to go, but it’s just a normal party. The Democratic Party is pretty much what we expect from our main parties, “he said.
Rosen continued, “The other political party bows to an authoritarian mindset and is prepared to split the electoral system in half in order to bring an authoritarian back to power. And my point is not that journalists, as I said, should put their thumbs up. It is rather that they have to recognize that the image of the politics on which they base their practices is shattered. And so, they have to rethink their practices, in a sense, from the start because the underlying premises have collapsed. “
The conflicting statements left New York Times podcast guest columnist Ross Douthat confused.
“So I just want to know, what’s the recalibration for an era where the Republican Party – or at least part of the Republican Party – does not live up to Democratic standards – what should the media do while they cover the real issues that Biden is fighting with? Jay has previously said it’s not just about criticizing Trump more, even though he’s a little off the stage. What is that ? What is the recalibration? Douthat asked.
Rosen responded by repeating how former President Trump and the Republicans are an “autocratic movement” and should be further covered through this lens by the media.
“It’s maintaining a certain sense of proportion when you have a normal president who does normal things in a normal party and tries to act normally like a leader,” he said, “and a character thug who has, through the political movement he created, the one whose driving force is the denial of reality or outright lies… ”
Still uncertain, Douthat asked Rosen what specific steps journalists could take who are not ignoring coverage of critical Biden issues like the upsurge in COVID cases due to the omicron variant or Russia’s growing aggression towards Ukraine.
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“I think that’s what reporters need to recognize, not that they should be nice to Biden,” Rosen said, “but that when they’re critical they need to define what he’s doing in it. larger context, and that’s not always what I see. “