The smartest media criticism you've never seen

I put together a short list of some of my favorite Carlos Maza videos.

If you’ve had a chance to check out last week’s podcast with Carlos Maza, you got a small taste of the frustration that those of us who’ve worked in the world of media criticism are feeling these days. If you didn’t check it out, please do!

The Present Age
Carlos Maza at the end of the world (podcast + transcript)
Listen now (41 min) | Welcome to the Present Age Podcast. I’m your host Parker Molloy. On today’s show, I speak with my friend Carlos Maza. As the host of Vox’s “Strikethrough,” Carlos helped shine a light on the way the choices made by the media helped raise Donald Trump and Republicans to power…
Read more

I often wonder how different the world of media and politics would be if someone like Carlos got the recognition he deserved.

In my mind, Carlos is one of the best media critics in the U.S. Unfortunately, the people he needed to reach — the people making editorial decisions at newspapers, websites, cable news channels, etc. — didn’t listen. Were there any justice in the world, Carlos would have been on TV every weekend going from Meet the Press to Reliable Sources with criticism and advice for journalists trying to make sense of a profoundly weird time in our history.

But he wasn’t. Instead, the world of media criticism is left to the likes of Chuck Todd and Brian Stelter, who boldly blurt out their own views in the face of genuine, constructive and compelling criticism, even when those views are false or based in spin. For instance, Stelter was really proud of himself for sharing a really, truly terrible piece about “pandemic addicts.”

To this day, he won’t admit that it was a bad idea to promote an article that essentially equated people who took extra personal precautions with anti-vaxxers. When I tried to check in on this just yesterday, he didn’t bother to respond.

A good media critic can admit when they helped lead people astray, when they botched a story, or when they ignored solid information. Stelter does not do this, and it helps explain a lot of what’s wrong with political discourse in the U.S. Here’s a piece I wrote about that last week:

The Present Age
A society of Holiday Inn Express guests
There’s a bit in Bo Burnham’s latest Netflix special Inside, where Burnham, perched on a stool in the middle of a stand-up routine, pleads with his audience (which is only himself), to please, for one moment on any one topic, stop talking. “Can anyone, any… anyone, any single one… can anyone… shut the f*ck up about anything — about any single thing?” sa……
Read more

I’m writing this post mostly because I want to highlight some of the great work Carlos did at Media Matters and with his Vox Strikethrough show.

At Media Matters:

At Vox: