A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.
The news these days is relentlessly grim. The President of the United States is being likened to a super-spreader — of the coronavirus, of disinformation, of dangerously bogus claims about the election. The social media universe is a giant sewer. Covid-19 is on the rise in the US, elsewhere in the Americas, and in Europe. The economic picture is beyond bleak. Experts say the estimated cost of the pandemic in the US is more than $16 trillion. The election is an overwhelming source of tension. Joe Biden supporters are scared. President Trump supporters are worried. Everyone’s worried.
Every night, after I send out this newsletter, my inbox is full of stressed-out readers. My reply: You are not alone! Everyone seems to be “doom scrolling” through the day. There is no shortage of news to be troubled about. As Elahe Izadi wrote the other day, “each new development is more unbelievable than the last.” And yet, let me offer a more optimistic take…
“Team Reality is a lot bigger than it seems.”
That’s what Monika Bauerlein, the CEO of Mother Jones, wrote in a column last week. “I’ve heard from you how hard and lonely and terrifying it can sometimes be, especially when the news grows more chaotic