The one idea that the American media is afraid to touch
In a world of 27/7 cable news shout-a-thons, it's hard to imagine what story would be too sensitive for the American media to discuss. Race? Human sexuality? Of course not. But what about a provocative book by two of the most frequently interviewed non-partisan pundits in Washington, claiming that gridlock is all the fault of one political party:
Last month, Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein published an Op ed and a book making the extremely controversial argument that both parties aren't equally to blame for what ails Washington. They argued that the GOP — by allowing extremists to roam free and by wielding the filibuster to achieve government dysfunction as a political end in itself — were demonstrably more culpable for creating what is approaching a crisis of governance.
It turns out neither man has been invited on to the Sunday shows even once to discuss this thesis.
Ornstein also noted another interesting point. Their thesis takes on the media for falling into a false equivalence mindset and maintaining the pretense that both sides are equally to blame. Yet despite the frequent self-obsession of the media, even that angle has failed to generate any interest. What's more, some reporters have privately indicated their frustration with their editorial overlords' apparent deafness to this idea.
That makes a lot of sense -- journalists so afraid of being accused of being unbalanced that they won't publicize the theory that "balance" is actually the thing that's harming any serious effort to report on the reality of American politics. Is this a great media or what?