This is why I subscribe.

Yes, the catharsis of shouting into the media wind feels good, but describing what we all were seeing so accurately is illuminating and just as satisfying:

“Throughout the debt limit standoff, the Republican extortion was normalized, and Biden was repeatedly criticized for not negotiating with the extortionists. Republicans were excused for starting the fire and Biden was at fault for not putting it out fast enough.”

Thank you!!

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This was the take I absolutely needed today and I don't much care about whether it's constructive or not. Thank you so much, Dan! It's absolutely *maddening*. Democrats literally had a backup plan that they *implemented* to make sure that when McCarthy, who famously cannot count votes, couldn't count votes, that this would still reach the freaking finish line. At least we can take some solace that half the Republicans are too stupid to pretend they won and are running around screaming about how they lost to a "senile" old man. Even pretend moderate Nancy Mace.

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It's cathartic to read a lament of the media like this. Thank goodness for Crooked Media and similar folks contributing to the careful process of untangling noise instead of finding the message that will ring loudest and shouting.

But question: did the media coverage play into Bidens hands? By him taking all those public hits, did we end up with a way better deal for folks in the process? I guess if the media covered this as a "default on our loans" story instead of a "debt limit" story, the leverage may have shifted back to Joe during negotiating but to what end? The right wing media ecosystem is so disjointed that McCarthy would still have had no choice but to force a budget deal over the debt limit increase. I just wonder if the last few months McCarthy getting bashed by the media (instead of Biden) would have helped or hindered the deal that by all accounts is better than expected for Dems.

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Jun 2·edited Jun 2

I love the quiet way the President picked McCarthy's pocket, and took the bad medicine for the nation. But Dan is so right: the medicine should not be this bad. Our press--political journalism in America--is failing the American people. We may laugh that so few Americans understand the debt ceiling, but it should never have been framed by the press in that manner. What happened was a Party of mean spirited, ignorant and deranged Republicans threatened to default on our legitimate debt, so as to attempt to strip away benefits, programs and resources from the people who need it most while not holding the wealthy who have not paid their share responsible. That is what America needs to know about this fracas--that Biden and team effectively managed. Thank goodness the Republicans do not understand how the government works. So we allow them the stage and the theater for a time. Our journalists needed to do a better job.

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Women of a certain age know this script by heart. White collar, blue collar, green collar - we have lived through this kind of double standard of assessment and reward all our lives. I wish we had a sure-fire way to rebut and deter, but we don’t, other than to call it out, and then work twice as hard for twice as long. I think that’s the only thing those of us in the pro-freedom coalition can do at this point.

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I can’t believe no one called KM on his math. Last I checked, “95%” of 218 is about 207 votes...and he got what, a 149? He needs to take math lessons from Pelosi.

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It’s good to see Dan acknowledge this. It’s been going on for decades and is baked into the political media. Jake Sherman is a stenographer for the GOP and Kevin. Remember, he was on the phone with him on 1/6. Why so many people treat him as a serious journalist is beyond me. Our political press and the WHPC do a disservice to the country with their terrible coverage. They are the ones driving the “Biden is too old” nonsense. Just take a look at the awful NYT Op Ed piece with 11--11!--Voters who chose Biden in 20 and have now “soured on him.” An actual question the Times asked them: if Joe Biden were an animal what kind of animal would he be? Are you friggin kidding me? This is supposed to be informed and informative journalism? The only consistent coverage they given Biden is about his “low poll numbers.” (Ok and his age.)

The good news is that now it’s not just a handful of people who see what’s going on. Many see through this biased BS. But it does still work. Their unbalanced coverage obfuscates just how bad the modern GOP has become and shapes negative attitudes of Dem officeholders and candidates. Thankfully you and others, from Dana Milbank and Jen Rubin to James Fallows, Dan Froomkin, and a growing number of others are consistently calling this out and yes, keeping us sane, confirming it’s not just in our heads

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Hey Dan,

On Yesterdays pod you asked how the Biden administration could get standing to challenge the Debt Celling. They could probably get it by minting multiple $1 billion coins during a time when the Debt Limit was lifted. Ostensibly they could use the coin's to pay off some of the debt. It would probably cause a suit at which point they could assert that they have the authority to both mint the coin and ignore the debt limit under the 14th amendment. The reasoning would be that if the debt shall not be questioned the payment should not either if in legal tender. The courts could decide to not address the 14th amendment aspect but they would have a hard time doing so if the use of the coins were directly tied to the debt itself.

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In the 2016 campaign, I called into a then-popular and respected NPR radio show called The Diane Rehm show. They had a Friday News Roundup with a variety of reporters. They were re-gnawing the bones of the Hilary email tempest in a teacup for the nth time, the chief complaint of the day being their dislike of Hilary’s latest apology. When I got on the air I said something like, “The press is vastly over-inflating this story’s importance. It is nothing but a media storm created and driven to a crazy extreme by the press itself.”

Diane Rehm, a notoriously intelligent and thoughtful newsperson, screeched at me that it was clearly a big story because the press was constantly talking about it. I didn’t even get to say “I rest my case” before the line went dead. And all that happened in (sort of) the good old days, comparatively.

I can’t think of a single news organization that is consistently decent at their job.

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Thank you for this, Dan! On yesterday’s pod, I was shocked to hear Favreau trying to grade My Kevin on a curve, and grateful that you called him on it immediately. I hope he reads The Message Box today!

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They are celebrating McCarthy's victory over the Democrats because he pulled off a victory over a higher powered, more "savvy" party. He owned the Libs.

The Democrats demanded nothing.


No reforms.

No ethics rules.

No term limits.

No campaign finance reform.

Democrats demanded jack shit and got it.

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I just wish we would stop conflating “media” with “journalism”.

They are not one and the same. Nor have they been since the days of Murrow.

Yes, the media does demonize dems and regale the gop when they just barely tone down their nihilism. That is what drives “clicks”, “views”, “retweets” … engagement et al.

We collectively feed the beast with our “outrage” at the skewed “coverage”.

It has all become so mind-numbingly performative.

We are equally complicit… as a fan of message box, crooked, the Atlantic … etc, institutions that also engage in hyperbole and breathless admonition of the GOP (certainly a counterbalance in the information space)… we stoke the outrage inferno.

We need journalism. We need balls and strikes. We need somewhere to turn that not only plainly calls out the fascist tilt of the GOP but also closely examines and objectively measures our own progressive proclivities.

I look at Schumer, AOC, Jeffries, Jayapal - and profoundly respect their position and politics. They are among our best politicians.

But we need more Porters, Schatzs and Klobuchars… among our best legislators.

We live in an age of Politics… and it is the uroboros that is eating our democracy.

We need to live in a age of legislation, journalism and an objective calibration of our own values.

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I’m just glad it’s over with.

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Not on point at all, but I love message box. And I apologize for calling you. I’m a new subscriber and did not recognize the charge.

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Do you think it would help for Dems in office to push back on the press? That seems to be a right-wing thing, to the point that "msm' is a slur. I feel like outlets like NYT and WaPo push predetermined outcomes based on little to no science. They counted Obama out, and I felt they did this with Bernie - who I did prefer to Hillary Clinton. I also feel like Elizabeth Warren was counted out before she should have been. But this part you are talking about is critical - how is journalism balanced if it isn't also honest? There's plenty to criticize Dems about. Being dumpster fires isn't one of them.

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