Sunday, October 31, 2021

The Excluded Perspectives

Newspaper outlets have spent months privileging the perspective of the extremely small minority of employees who quit rather than get vaccinated after the imposition of mandates, and now the small minority of parents who don't want to get their kids vaccinated. The most charitable view (but still not an exonerating view) of this emphasis is that the imagined reader of all of these publications is someone who OF COURSE is vaccinated and who OF COURSE wants to vaccinate their kids, so these pieces are "explaining" these weirdos, though not presenting them as weirdos, to that reader.

It's the same justification for endless profiles of Trump voters, or endless pieces putting conservative perspectives at the front of center. Puff pieces about anti-abortion activists, neo-nazis, people opposed to the public existence of trans people, basic racists dressed up with the latest intellectual veneer, etc... *Our readers* who share none of these views must *understand* these people.

Of course often missing are the actual perspectives, voiced by, say, trans women, or reproductive rights supporters, people who dislike Nazis, etc. The idea is these perspectives are banal and understood, mainstream, widely shared by readers, and don't need to be restated.

But this isn't true at all. These perspectives are actually rarely communicated, and certainly rarely communicated without a "Both Sides" politics coverage of them, at least in news pieces.