You would imagine that America’s political journalists would have learned by now that democracy faces an existential threat, which means that freedom of the press — among many other freedoms — is on the block along with our system of government.

You would be wrong.

There are some honorable exceptions in major news organizations, but the reality is that coverage simply does not reflect the threat in a way that these times demand. For whatever reasons — inertia, timidity, business models, and outright cowardice, among others — Big Journalism refuses to do much more than notice the threat, and even that is a glance, not a deep look.

One way you know that it’s business as usual for journalists is that so many have remained on Twitter, a platform whose owner has taken right-wing trollery to extremes lately. He loudly supports people who want to install a fascist government in the United States, and it’s clear enough that he would support fascism if and when it arrives. Yet only a smattering of journalists left, and far too many have stuck around actively posting. They would deny this, but the inescapable truth is that active use of Twitter is active support of its owner’s business.

If fascism arrives, a lot of these journalists will be fine. After all, they’re helping to create the conditions for a new Trump presidency. But a lot more will not be fine — and even the ones that are in favor under a Trump government will eventually realize that their safety and livelihoods are at the whim of the extreme right-wing cultists who’ll be in control.

There’s so little time left for journalists to wake up, and it’s clear to me that they won’t. They may be good and kind and talented people in other ways, but in this they mocking their duty. They will be remembered, if historians of the future are honest and have access to the facts, as complicit — if not outright collaborators — in the American experiment’s demise.

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