The Nation

News, as the columnist Walter Lippmann wrote a century ago, comes to us “helter-skelter.” This is fine, he said, in simple cases like a baseball score or a weather report, but where the picture is more nuanced, “as for example in the matter of the success of a policy, or the social conditions among a foreign people…where the real answer is neither yes nor no, but subtle and a matter of balanced evidence,” then journalism “causes no end of derangement, misunderstanding and even misinterpretation.”

One could hardly find a better example of the maladies Lippmann diagnosed than in President Donald Trump’s on-again, off-again orders to attack Iran. Reporters are desperate to write the kind of hushed-breath tick-tock accounts in which experienced warriors and diplomats make life-or-death decisions based on a careful weighing of geopolitics, allied advice, and national interests.

Read More.