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The “News Business” Becomes the “Bad News Business”

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Two destructive impulses distort media coverage of far too many major—and minor—events. And both of these instincts were on powerful display in the recent distortions involving a non-violent, Lincoln Memorial exchange between pro-life, Catholic high school boys from Covington, Kentucky and activists representing “Indigenous Peoples” and “Black Israelites.”

First, reporters tend to blame conservatives for anything that goes wrong, even when there’s scant evidence to back them up. Second, the media almost always exaggerate anything that does goes wrong.

Any problem—from the environment, to the economy, to the political system to schools and even foreign relations—automatically becomes a catastrophe. The idea is that the public will pay more attention if you can make them worried or scared: the news business becomes the bad news business, promoting an unduly pessimistic view of our country and the world.

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