How the View From Nowhere has crippled American journalism
Monday, February 29, 2016 by Dave Winer

The View from Nowhere and Access Journalism have crippled press coverage of Trump. To see how this works, imagine you, an ordinary American voter, talking with Trump in person or on the phone. How long before you interrupt him, and say, look -- I'm tired of you talking over me, I want to be an equal participant in this conversation. And then when he keeps talking, how long before you hang up? 

Well, if you're a reporter, you can't hang up because: 

  1. You don't exist (view from nowhere) and
  2. If you did he wouldn't talk to you next time (access journalism).

So every conversation with Trump is exactly the same. He repeats himself over and over, you never get a word in, and he never talks about what you asked about. Time runs out and you thank him and move on to the commercial.

As voters we can hang up, because we aren't part of the View From Nowhere and we don't have access to lose. But so many people these days behave as if they are an insider, a member of the savvy elite. That's why an obvious virus like Trump is allowed to run wild in the body of American politics, so much so that we get a little relief knowing that the military may refuse his orders if he's elected President rather than commit the war crimes that Trump is advocating (e.g. killing the families of people we suspect to be terrorists).

BTW, John Oliver has the best takedown I've seen of Trump. It's direct and unforgiving, offers no apologies or explanations for Trump, and he disclaims both the VFN and any interest in having access. He reacts as many of us would, with outrage that a person could think this way of campaigning could work (it has, and that's even more outrageous).

PS: The View From Nowhere concept is Jay Rosen's contribution, a very useful one.

PPS: In December, Joe Scarborough at MSNBC hung up on Trump. Tremendous!