This is a special edition of the Munk Debates Podcast. On this episode, we feature the best moments from the Munk Debate on media bias, which took place in front of a crowd of 3,000 people at Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall.
The debate resolution was: Be it resolved, don’t trust mainstream media.
Public trust in mainstream media is at an all-time low. Critics point to coverage of COVID-19, the 2020 election, and the Ottawa trucker protest as proof that legacy outlets like the New York Times, The Globe and Mail and CNN can no longer be relied upon to provide unbiased reporting. Activist journalists are using pen and paper to push political agendas while their bosses lean into the profitability of polarization. Mainstream media’s defenders argue that their institutions offer an invaluable public service that alternative outlets are either incapable or uninterested in providing: careful fact-based reporting on important issues and holding the powerful to account. In a brave new world of “fake news” and “drive by” journalism, traditional news organizations are essential to democracy and a bulwark against corruption, misinformation and the private interests of the powerful.
Arguing for motion was the associate editor of The Spectator Magazine, Fox News contributor, and bestselling author of The Madness of Crowds, Douglas Murray. He was joined on stage by Substack publishing sensation, former Rolling Stone columnist, and investigative journalist, Matt Taibbi.
Arguing against the resolution was the internationally acclaimed author, podcaster and veteran New Yorker staff writer Malcolm Gladwell. His debate partner was Michelle Goldberg, New York Times columnist, MSNBC contributor, former American Prospect senior correspondent and senior writer for The Nation.
The host of the Munk Debates is Rudyard Griffiths - @rudyardg.
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Senior Producer: Ricki Gurwitz
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