Both Democrats and Republican Claim To Defend the “Little Guy.” Who Is Lying? Medianism can help.
The Hill recently wrote that both Democrats and Republicans are claiming that they are defending “average citizens” from the other party who is protecting corporate interests and Wall Street. Unfortunately, the article does not help us understand which side’s claims are true. That is partly because journalists do not know how to measure the wellbeing of, “American families and small businesses”.
This is utterly vacuous. First of all, we should care about people and not “small businesses.” Secondly, the article leaves the reader completely in the dark about who is lying because it uses a lazy he-said, she-said format without investigating who is lying. It is as if they wrote an article about the shape of the earth that simply says that opinions differ about whether the earth is flat or not. What The Hill needs to do to be able to inform its readers is to measure the shape of the world in order to judge the merits of the competing claims. Medianism offers exactly that kind of measure for economic policy. Competing proposals can be judged as to whether or not they benefit the median American. And past political accomplishments can be judged as to whether or not they actually achieved more benefit for the median American in hindsight. Journalists rarely go back and evaluate past programs to see if they actually helped the average (median) American or not and that makes it hard for voters to evaluate their political representatives and hold them accountable.
It will always be tempting to write lazy articles about differing opinions on the shape of the earth, but if medianism were taught in journalism school, it could give a new way to define ‘balance’ in journalism. More on that soon.