You (Don't Really) Decide

Hate Inc.: How, And Why, The Press Makes Us Hate One Another

Call it the Original Lie of campaign journalism, the serpent and the apple story of manipulative political reporting.

It stares you in the face at the outset of each campaign season. You’ll typically see it in a graphic.

On Fox, it’s YOU DECIDE. ABC has been going with YOUR VOICE, YOUR VOTE. CNN prefers AMERICA’S CHOICE.

As much as possible, the press underscores the you-ness of elections. It’s all about you! You get to choose! We’re just tabulating the results!

Except the networks do not actually believe this. Most of the top campaign analysts in the biggest print outlets don’t believe it, either.

It doesn’t take much digging to find different analyses of what elections actually are, or what they’re supposed to be, in the eyes of the pundit-o-sphere. The real slogan should be:

YOU SORT OF DECIDE!

Or:

2020: YOU DECIDE. AFTER WE DECIDE.

Here’s what Nate Cohn wrote in the New York Times in early 2015, as part of an argument for why Donald Trump could never win the nomination. Check out the o…

This post is for paid subscribers