HATE INC. receives a starred review in Booklist

For clarity, “media” here refers to the political reporters covering the savage, suffocating, unending U.S. presidential campaign cycle, and not the local press just trying to report on city-council proposals, regional business, crime, sports and the like—a noble effort that gets tarred by the same brush used for cable news. Taibbi (I Can’t Breathe, 2017), who covered the 2016 campaign season for Rolling Stone, makes a number of points that stick: reporters have often become unwitting props in the amped-up, WWE brand of politics practiced by Donald Trump, even as their organizations have profited mightily from it. Reporters have narrowed the bandwidth for what makes a “worthy” presidential candidate by asking irrelevant questions like: Would voters like to have a beer with candidate X? Most saliently, Taibbi cites the devastating global consequences of the press’ failure to call the Bush administration’s bluff on WMDs in the run-up to the Iraq War. He also makes the controversial, and probably premature, case that the media’s assumptions in reporting on Russiagate are the modern-day equivalent of its WMD debacle. “The news is a consumer product,” Taibbi stresses, by way of explaining the marketplace in which the political press must operate. But, like some other consumer products—food and medicine come to mind—news is still essential to our health.

Verified by MonsterInsights