In late 1811 and early 1812, the town of New Madrid in the Missouri territory was hammered by three major earthquakes. “The ground heaved and pitched, hurling furniture, snapping trees and destroying barns and homesteads,” wrote Elizabeth Rusch in Smithsonian Magazine.
Like those earthquakes, the election of 2016 produced two “rivers” in U.S. media. One of those rivers is thoroughly inundated with anti-Trump, #NeverTrump debris and sediment. The other is almost wholly free of those ingredients.
It isn’t just cable news, the “two rivers” effect is mostly the result of the self-selected flows we direct ourselves to via Twitter feeds and chosen for us by Facebook’s and Google’s almighty algorithms.
The rise of partisanship on every issue, unmediated by respect for basic decency, is accelerating. Tapping the brakes, and eventually making a U-turn, is what the media need to do.
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