Access Journalism

Watching some coverage of the disgraceful Roy Moore situation, I was bothered by the lack of difficult questioning of GOP senators. Then it hit me: journalists are generally unwilling to ask the powerful difficult questions and fail to challenge lies because their jobs depend on access. If a journalist is too tough or if a journalist calls a lie a lie–politicians will stop talking with that journalist. So, there is a nearly insurmountable reason for journalists to be soft in the company of politicians.

I’m not sure if there is a solution to access journalism. On some level, I understand why journalists aren’t as confrontational with politicians as I am when I’m left talking to my television. Still, I know the losers in this dynamic are the American public. When politicians make it abundantly clear that efforts to expose the truth will be met with retaliation, the truth can be hard to find.

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