The Peterson Principle: Intellectual Complexity and Journalistic Incompetence by Paul Benedetti.
Today’s mainstream reporting on difficult subjects is often bereft of most of the qualities that define journalism itself. Instead, it demonstrates a lack of respect for evidence; a penchant for conflict; a desire not to understand but to confront and perhaps most dangerously, a lack of nuance. Instead of inquiry and critique, we get knee-jerk adherence to whatever the current dogma happens to be. On topic after topic that folks like Sam Harris and Peterson meet head on with facts and studies, mainstream media falls in lock step with the zeitgeist of the day: gender is divorced from biology, any critique of Islam is bigotry, cultural appropriation is abhorrent, words are actual violence. And worse, when writers or editors dare to challenge these “truths”, or deign to suggest a real conversation is in order, they are banished, fired or called racists. On the other hand, authors who pander to the flavor-of-the-month outrage are given national platforms that their shallow, mean-spirited writings don’t deserve.
But is that what people really want? Increasingly, I’m convinced that mainstream media is on the wrong track and the only way to ensure its future is to change course, drastically. Right now.