COMMENTARY BY JACK SHAFER

Why Fox Stopped Talking About Trump

A video archive reveals just how much cable news shows love to focus on the enemy.

COMMENTARY BY JACK SHAFER

Journalists Are Hooked On Polls And They’ll Stay That Way

Jack Shafer: The polls might be wrong sometimes but the solution isn’t doing away with them, just more transparency about their limits.

COMMENTARY BY JACK SHAFER

Why Has Local News Collapsed? Blame Readers

Despite all the impassioned pleas to salvage local news coverage, the reality is there’s a demand-side problem.

COMMENTARY BY JACK SHAFER

Trump Media Empire? Don’t Bet On It

He may desperately need his own platform now that he’s been exiled from Twitter, but it’s going to cost him more than he’s got.

COMMENTARY BY JACK SHAFER

The Newseum Deserves To Die

This shrine to journalism is very much like journalism itself: It’s had a declining audience and has had to lay people off. If the Newseum goes down, it will have deserved its death. Truth be told, it never deserved birth.

COMMENTARY BY JACK SHAFER

Shafer: Trump Making Journalism Great Again

Jack Shafer wants to thank President-Elect Trump for simplifying journalists’ mission and setting them free. “He has been explicit in his disdain for the press and his dislike for press conferences, prickly to the nth degree about being challenged and known for his vindictive way with those who cross him. So, forget about the White House press room. It’s time to circle behind enemy lines,” he writes.

Shafer: Fake News Cure Worse Than Disease

Fake news is mostly a demand-side problem by those drawn to it largely for the titillation effect, Jack Shafer argues. But he says it’s too important to be left to Facebook’s cure. Rather, we need to learn to live with a certain amount of it, we need to educate people in how to spot fake news and ultimately apply “small doses of reason to our media diet.”

COMMENTARY

Shafer: Trump Wasn’t A Media Fail

Trump’s win can’t be reduced to a failure of the broken press, writes Jack Shafer, who says reporting diligence was in full effect for the election. “Trump won not because the press failed but because he was selling something more valuable to voters than integrity, honesty and humanity,” he says, and that was appealing to Americans’ brighter sense of restoration and much darker senses, too.

COMMENTARY BY JACK SHAFER

The Case Against Journalistic Balance

Jack Shafer: “A slavish devotion to balance — making sure every alpha who expresses an opinion in a piece is paired with a corresponding omega, or shrinking into a defensive ball every time a critic accuses you of overcovering a topic — is injurious to good journalism. To be alive, journalism must be a little swashbuckling, a little deaf to its critics.”

COMMENTARY BY JACK SHAFER

Press Should Treat Trump Like A 2-Year-Old

On Tuesday during a nationally televised news conference, the Republican presidential nominee experienced a towering meltdown after reporters asked him to account for the millions he claimed to have raised for veterans several months ago. The performance was vintage Trump and echoed a basic set of behaviors he has exhibited all campaign long. As the emotional equivalent of a toddler, Trump can’t articulate the rage he feels, and the interrogations at news conferences seem to make him only angrier. The press is not Trump’s keeper, but we can help him better handle confrontation. Here’s how.

COMMENTARY BY JACK SHAFER

Is The Media Responsible For Trump’s Rise?

Alas, for all its power, the media did not create Donald Trump. Prior to campaign 2016, he already existed as a cultural force, enjoying greater name recognition than any of the other Republican candidates. Nobody can deny that Trump has shrewdly gamed the media for maximum exposure. But Trump’s skills at attracting publicity do not make a very good paternity case against the media.

COMMENTARY BY JACK SHAFER

How Not To Become Brian Williams

How did a man so fastidious screw up so magnificently? We give thanks for Brian Williams’ fall — not because we have anything against the broadcaster, but because from his disgrace can be distilled a medicine that, when taken as directed, will prevent others from a place in perdition.

Media Critic Jack Shafer Leaves Reuters