What You Need To Know:
- Journalist Jon Krakauer’s new book “Uncovered” criticizes mainstream media for being detached from the general public and abandoning its principles, leading to the loss of public trust.
- Krakauer draws from on-the-record interviews with prominent journalists and media personalities, such as Tucker Carlson and Piers Morgan, to outline the problems fueling the public’s distrust of the media, including their egotism, self-absorption, and perverse financial incentives.
- The rise of social media and a culture of instant gratification have contributed to the decline in public discourse, making it difficult to restore public trust in the mainstream media.
In his new book, “Uncovered: How the Media Got Cozy with Power, Abandoned Its Principles, and Lost the People,” journalist Jon Krakauer criticizes the mainstream media for their detachment from the general public, leading to a loss of public trust.
Krakauer draws from on-the-record interviews with prominent journalists and media personalities, including Piers Morgan, John Roberts, Amy Chozick, Bob Ley, and Tucker Carlson. These interviews outline the problems fueling the public’s distrust of the “Acela Media” – elite institutions based in Washington, D.C. and New York.
Krakauer argues that the mainstream media is geographically and culturally isolated from the vast majority of Americans. Highly credentialed and prone to “egotism and self-absorption,” they are loath to admit mistakes and correct them.
Additionally, they have become absorbed into The Establishment, growing too cozy and incestually involved with the powerful figures they’re supposed to be scrutinizing, too aloof and even hostile toward the public they’re supposed to serve. These problems existed long before 2016 but were exacerbated by Trump’s shocking victory (over Hillary Clinton), annihilating the brains of the Acela Media, furthering their detachment from the general public.
Krakauer’s book cites examples of the mainstream media’s indefensible behavior, including their treatment of COVID-19, false narratives surrounding “Hands up, don’t shoot!” in Ferguson, Mo., and the Hunter Biden laptop controversy.
He also highlights the media’s refusal to upset Harvey Weinstein and their handling of the “lab leak” theory. Krakauer’s proposed solutions to restore public trust in the mainstream media are not as compelling as his diagnosis. The rise of social media, among other factors, has broken our brains, eviscerated our attention spans, and imbued in us a viral culture of instant gratification.
Politics has become a “prime cultural activity,” and journalists are particularly susceptible.