Foreign Policy recently ran a fascinating article on the threat misinformation poses to American democracy.
The article begins with a fantastic quote from Walter Lippmann: “There can be no liberty for a community which lacks the means by which to detect lies.” It goes on to discuss how many in the country have become unable to distinguish facts and how we have become unable to have a coherent national conversation about politics.
The article points out how the press actually did its job during the 2016 campaign. But it was the American public that didn’t do its job.
From the article:
“Contrary to the popular wisdom, the 2016 election produced a deluge of excellent journalism that made the unique horror of Donald Trump’s candidacy abundantly clear. The New York Times dove into everything from his tax avoidance to his business failures. The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold earned high praise for his meticulous takedown of Trump’s lies about his charity work, not to mention his disgusting predatory behavior. Editorial boards across the country, no matter their political orientation, came out decisively against Trump. Even the television networks, roundly criticized for providing the candidate with copious free coverage, helped popularize his many outrages, such as the time he openly mocked a disabled reporter.
It made no difference.”