Chart of the Day: The Sean Spicer Show


Here’s a fun chart from Media Matters:

(Note: I have switched the colors in the graph to the correct red-state-blue-state representation.)

The remarkable thing here is not that President Obama’s press secretary was televised so little. That’s normal. The remarkable thing is that President Trump’s press secretary is televised so much. This is, pretty obviously, not because Spicer is singularly transparent and produces loads of news. It’s because the guy is a train wreck and we can’t look away.

But here’s a question: the standard excuse for this is that Spicer gets great ratings. But does he? I know he did in his first few weeks, but are his ratings still higher than ordinary news? I can’t seem to find any evidence one way or another.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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