MixedThe Washington PostTaibbi aims a cannon, blasting an American media industry he accuses of taking sides and manipulating the audience for profit—\'different news\' elevated to a business model ... Few are spared, including the author, who admits to a reporting career catering to liberal readers ... Taibbi is right to sound the alarm about the temptations that have tarnished news reports since Donald Trump’s election, resulting in more programming that appears designed to ratify an audience’s political beliefs. But he overreaches ... saddling journalism with blame for the nation’s current state of animus lets an awful lot of suspects walk free. Taibbi, an experienced campaign reporter, is more effective in his autopsy of the conventional wisdom that plagued coverage of the 2016 election. His sharp analysis of the media obsession with \'electability\'—a maxim Trump’s victory should have vanquished but that persists “as journalism’s version of junk forensics\'—sounds an important and worrisome note for 2020 ... Taibbi favors a cynical style evenly applied across the universe of real and perceived journalistic trespasses, challenging a reader to sort mortal from venial. The author laments a growing elitism in journalism and the loss of blue-collar voices like that of Mike Royko, the late Chicago newspaper columnist. I wish he had remembered Royko’s famous admonition against peeling a grape with an ax.
PositiveThe Washington PostOn one level, Abramson’s book is a love letter to journalism. Its most admired characters are the reporters whose heroics she weaves throughout engrossing, sometimes gossipy profiles of the four companies, women and men working at the top of their game ... But these valentines appear alongside Abramson’s unflinching assessments of executives’ miscalculations ... Abramson was researching her book as stories broke in the Daily Beast and the Times about rampant sexual harassment at Vice, but her account is in many ways the richest. Her years writing and editing long-form investigative journalism are on display ... The nation’s shriveling local news report is an industry crisis, and I missed Abramson’s reporting applied to that story ... Her account of losing her job reads as a small memoir within the book, a melancholic reconstruction ... I suspect that this book, which provides Abramson’s first full depiction of the period, will reignite that conversation [about sexism in the workplace].
PositiveThe New York Times Book Review\"... [Rusbridger\'s] painstaking account is fascinating, even for those of us who lived both the peril and the promise ... It will be his successors who write the story of how journalism [came into the present] moment, but Rusbridger’s early assessments are among his most sober.\