Jun 13, 2018
They’re not lies, they’re “falsehoods”; it’s not racism, it’s “racially charged comments”; it’s not torture, it’s “enhanced interrogation.” For years, U.S. media has prioritized, above all else, norms and civility.
Mean words or questioning motives are signs of declining civility and the subject of much lament from our media class. However, op-eds explicitly advocating war, invasion, sanctions, sabotage, bombing and occupation or cutting vital programs and lifelines for the poor are just the cost of doing business. What’s rhetorically out of bounds - and what isn’t - is far more a product of power than any objective sense of "civility" or “decency.”
Where did these so-called norms come from, who do they benefit, and why is their maintenance–-even in the face of overt white nationalism––still the highest priority for many liberals and centrists in U.S. media?
We discuss this, and more, with The Huffington Post's Ashley Feinberg.