Misinformation isn't just on the right
Leftists and even moderates have their own problems
I don’t have any specific commentary to offer on the recent meltdown at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government centered on misinformation expert Joan Donovan.
But the incident seems like a good opportunity to write about my annoyance at the way the “misinformation” construct has been wielded in the Trump era as a kind of partisan cudgel and all-purpose excuse.
It’s unfortunate, because I really do believe that media is an important factor in politics and that in particular, the dynamics of right-wing propaganda media on cable and talk radio are crucial to understanding the world we live in. But beyond that, the general subject of what people know about politics, what they think they know, and how that matters is interesting.
In a democracy, those who govern are accountable to a mass public that overwhelmingly comprises people who don’t think much about politics and policy and who really don’t know much about it. That real-world citizens are not idealized deliberators is a really import…