Someone at city hall in San Diego thought they could
betray the public trust and Neil Morgan called
their bluff.
Someone considered segregation an option in the
South and Bill McIlwain suggested they
reconsider.
Their response: Adversarial journalism.
We need to reclaim the phrase. It’s gotten a bad name
of late, as if it’s the errant stepchild of muckraking
and entertainment.
At a time when politics are so polarized, and so much
of the outrage is theater, let me put the phrase in
context.
It speaks to our obligation to recognize the difference
between the powerful and the powerless, those who
are oblivious to shame and those who are devastated
by it, those who deserve to be challenged and those
who are desperate to be consoled.
I wonder if it isn’t best understood in the cynical light
of the advertorial journalism so prominent today.
In his first column after replacing the irreplaceable
David Carr at The New York Times, Jim Rutenberg
described the mutual dependence of Donald Trump
and the modern media.
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