Magazine May 4, 2020, Issue

The Blather and the Bile

A network television technician captures President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, Washington, D.C., April 7, 2020. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Local news, what’s left of it, has been great. Hard, sad stories, uplifting tales, appeals to community, Blitz spirit. I work on a local paper and couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve done.

On the other hand, though: The big national news media, a purveyor of blather and bile in the best of times, have spent the last month wearing a caul of rotten blubber. But, you say, things have been horrid. Historically horrid. The news from overtaxed hospitals is miserable; the economic toll is harrowing. True. But an occasional piece of good news would be nice. A little sliver of

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