The Objective Primate Problem

In case you forgot, here's what objective political news analysis looks like. Shockingly straightforward! I think the problem with the American media is that it's full of Americans who overestimate the importance of American micro-politics, and so, consciously or subconsciously, undertake every damn story as a public-opinion-shaping framing our counter-framing exercise and eventually forget how to report the obvious interpretation of events. This isn't willful. The obvious interpretation of events has simply become invisible to their team-spirited minds. This is not to say that there isn't, at the the same time, a very strong sense of the professional obligation to be “objective,” but that tends to manifest itself as pretending to take the other team's talking points seriously, which is really not at all what objectivity requires.

Author: Will Wilkinson

Vice President for Research at the Niskanen Center