America’s news media is increasingly covering the growing radicalism of the Republican Party and its democracy-eroding behavior. That’s a welcome shift. But it still isn’t going far enough.
The media has long had a problematic “both sides” approach to covering politics. After Donald Trump became president, the media couldn’t avoid covering him very negatively. So the press essentially adopted a modified version of both sides, implying that Trump was an outlier but the two parties were otherwise fairly similar. Then came the attempt to overturn the 2020 election results, culminating in the Jan. 6. attack on the Capitol, all of which proved decisively that it wasn’t just Trump — much of the Republican Party was willing to break with core democratic values to hold power.
As a result, over the past year, an emboldened media has not only extensively covered the new radicalism of the GOP — its questioning of election results, targeting of election officials and push to ban discussions of race relations in schools — but increasingly described long-standing Republican tactics such as aggressive gerrymandering and support for voting restrictions as the dangers to democracy that they are.