Comedians have figured out the trick to covering Trump

While major news networks have struggled to figure out the right way to cover the Trump administration, political satirists like Samantha Bee, John Oliver, Stephen Colbert, and Seth Meyers have demonstrated why comedy can be such a powerful antidote to bullshit.

The first few months of the Trump administration have been a goldmine for late-night comedians and political satirists. Shows like Full Frontal With Samantha Bee, Saturday Night Live, and Late Night With Seth Meyers have enjoyed ratings boosts thanks to their regular lampooning of the Trump White House.

But beyond the jokes and sight gags, political satirists have done an excellent job of seriously covering the Trump administration — sometimes even better than major TV news networks. And that’s because while traditional journalists feel compelled to take President Trump’s often absurd statements and conspiracy theories seriously, political satirists have demonstrated an extremely low tolerance for bullshit.

How Jackson Pollock became so overrated

There’s an overlooked reason for Pollock’s fame. Even if you love him, you might not know the name of the man who made him famous.

Jackson Pollock is one of the 20th century’s most famous artists. But do you know the critic who made his reputation? Clement Greenberg is a well-known name in the art world, but not necessarily to art fans. However, he earned a reputation as one of the most influential art critics in the 20th century, whose legacy included the canonization of Jackson Pollock. Abstract expressionist art needed vocal champions to support challenging, unique work, and Greenberg was the most powerful and vocal in his defense of the art and, in particular, Jackson Pollock. Greenberg went from tie salesman to intellectual in less than a decade, thanks to strongly worded arguments for a new artform. Jackson Pollock was one of his favorite artists, and the two spent time together socially as they simultaneously climbed in the art world. Is Clement Greenberg the reason that Jackson Pollock is so famous? He’s definitely a part of it — and understanding the role of Greenberg and critics like him can be a useful tool to understanding art in the 20th century. Overrated is a series that takes a look at the things we all know — the books, the trends, and the ideas that have become iconic — and answers the question: “Why is this so famous”?

Admit it. Republicans have broken politics.

Neither party is perfect, but Republicans in Congress have been drifting towards political extremism since long before Trump, and they’re making it impossible for Congress to work the way it’s supposed to.

Over the past few decades, both Democrats and Republicans in Congress have moved away from the center. But the Republican Party has moved towards the extreme much more quickly — a trend that political scientists’ call “asymmetrical polarization.” That asymmetry poses a major obstacle in American politics. As Republicans have become more ideological, they’ve also become less willing to work with Democrats: filibustering Democratic legislation, refusing to consider Democratic appointees, and even shutting down the government in order to force Democrats to give in to their demands. Democrats have responded in turn, becoming more obstructionist as Republican demands become more extreme. And that’s made it really easy for media outlets to blame “both sides” for political gridlock. As political scientists Thomas Mann and Norm Ornstein explain in their book “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks,” journalists feel a pressure to remain neutral when covering big political fights. So politics coverage has been dominated by the myth that both parties are equally to blame for the gridlock in DC. But they’re not. And the only way to stop Republicans in Congress from continuing their drift towards the extreme is to be brutally honest about who’s responsible for breaking our politics. Read more of Ornstein and Mann’s work here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/02/op…