Former Hillary Clinton strategist Adam Parkhomenko shared a post by journalist Sam Youngman that puts the media on notice about its propensity for false equivalence in political coverage. Parkhomenko, an unrelenting critic of a broken media culture that he believes chases shiny baubles while ignoring important stories, frequently tweets examples of how the current media culture feeds the worst instincts of its consumers. And he often reshares Youngman on the subject:
The reason DeSantis thought bullying a 15 year old reporter would work is because it worked on all the adult reporters.— Sam Youngman (@samyoungman) September 1, 2023
This week Youngman gave Parkhomenko a droll, sad, exemplary encapsulation of the false equivalence that both men assert riddles the current media landscape. He writes:
I covered a lot of political campaigns. I never covered a single one where one candidate’s age would have been a bigger deal than another candidate being called a rapist by a judge.Sam Youngman
I covered a lot of political campaigns.— Sam Youngman (@samyoungman) September 11, 2023
I never covered a single one where one candidate’s age would have been a bigger deal than another candidate being called a rapist by a judge.
The tweet about Biden’s age vs. the results of one of Trump’s numerous legal cases refers to news covered in this report by NBC News: “U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan noted Monday, the jury did find Trump liable for sexually abusing Carroll during an encounter in the dressing room of a New York City department store in the mid-1990s, and the details of that finding show that her having maintained that Trump raped her is ‘substantially true‘.”
Youngman has covered campaigns (see his bio at USC’s Annenberg School) with sundry characters like John McCain, Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Jon Edwards and John Kerry — all with backstories and claims that tested the credibility and skills of the media.
Yet while Youngman and Parkhomenko characterize the current moment’s barrage of false equivalence as worse than ever, approaching plague level as exemplified in the tweet above, there remain pockets of strength where media do work to try to exact accountability from public figures, according to Parkhomenko. He praised Mehdi Hasan for his Vivek Ramaswamy interrogation below.
If you watch one thing today make it this pic.twitter.com/dErPnUXI2R— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) September 7, 2023
Hasan, though on the left-leaning MSNBC network, also interrogates liberal lawmakers, as seen when he interviewed Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD).