Back to SchoolCollegeGroceryClothing, Shoes & AccessoriesHomeOutdoor Living & GardenFurnitureKitchen & DiningElectronicsVideo GamesToysSports & OutdoorsMovies, Music & BooksBabyHousehold EssentialsBeautyUlta Beauty at TargetPersonal CareHealthPetsSchool & Office SuppliesArts, Crafts & SewingParty SuppliesLuggageGift IdeasGift CardsCharacter ShopBullseye’s PlaygroundTarget OpticalClearanceTarget New Arrivals Target Finds #TargetStyleBlack Beyond MeasureMás QueWomen-Owned Brands at TargetAsian-Owned Brands at Target LGBTQIA+ ShopTop DealsTarget Circle DealsWeekly AdShop Order PickupShop Same Day DeliveryRegistryRedCardTarget CircleFind Stores


Bad News - by Batya Ungar-Sargon

Bad News - by Batya Ungar-Sargon - image 1 of 1
Bad News - by Batya Ungar-Sargon - image 1 of 1
$15.99 sale price when purchased online
$28.99 list price

About this item


  • Something is wrong with American journalism.
  • About the Author: Batya Ungar-Sargon is the deputy opinion editor of Newsweek.
  • 280 Pages
  • Political Science, Essays


About the Book

"Bad News is a response to Thomas Frank's 2004 book "What's the Matter with Kansas." I ask the same question he asked about the right, but about the left: Why is the media obsessed with racism, even though it's getting objectively better by every measure we have? I argue that the liberal media is mainstreaming a woke culture war based on ideas that were relegated to the academic fringe as recently as a decade ago because it's in their economic interests to do so. It explores how digital media and social media supplied journalists, now part of the American elite, with an alternative way to feel like heroes while further consolidating power and wealth in the hands of the few rather than the many. The book then explores the larger context of the great American class divide, and how journalism has been both a product and accelerator of inequality"--

Book Synopsis

Something is wrong with American journalism. Long before "fake news" became the calling card of the Right, Americans had lost faith in their news media. But lately, the feeling that something is off has become impossible to ignore. That's because the majority of our mainstream news is no longer just liberal; it's woke. Today's newsrooms are propagating radical ideas that were fringe as recently as a decade ago, including "antiracism," intersectionality, open borders, and critical race theory. How did this come to be?

It all has to do with who our news media is written by-and who it is written for. In Bad News: How Woke Media Is Undermining Democracy, Batya Ungar-Sargon reveals how American journalism underwent a status revolution over the twentieth century-from a blue-collar trade to an elite profession. As a result, journalists shifted their focus away from the working class and toward the concerns of their affluent, highly educated peers. With the rise of the Internet and the implosion of local news, America's elite news media became nationalized and its journalists affluent and ideological. And where once business concerns provided a countervailing force to push back against journalists' worst tendencies, the pressures of the digital media landscape now align corporate incentives with newsroom crusades.

The truth is, the moral panic around race, encouraged by today's elite newsrooms, does little more than consolidate the power of liberal elites and protect their economic interests. And in abandoning the working class by creating a culture war around identity, our national media is undermining American democracy. Bad News explains how this happened, why it happened, and the dangers posed by this development if it continues unchecked.

Review Quotes

"Batya Ungar-Sargon has demonstrated that the press has fundamentally misdiagnosed the sources of tension in American political life, which are based more on class than race. As the industry has become more aristocratic, it has shed its egalitarian mission statement, devoting itself instead to reinforcing the assumptions of its educated, affluent readership. As a result, the news media is increasingly disconnected from the nation it pretends to serve and is ceding working-class politics to the American right. Ungar-Sargon's insightful book is an impassioned plea not for objectivity in reporting but for a partiality that benefits the greatest number, even at the expense of a few egos in American newsrooms." -Noah Rothman, associate editor at Commentary magazine, MSNBC/NBC News contributor, and author of Unjust: Social Justice and the Unmaking of America
"Bad News is a book that every single journalist and aspiring journalist in the country needs to read. The fact that modern journalism has transformed itself to an upper class profession is blindingly obvious to outsiders, but not well understood within the profession itself. The belief that it's up to journalists to lead public opinion in particular directions and lead them away from 
inconvenient facts is nothing less than a disaster for democracy. It undermines trust and credibility and destroys the likelihood of our citizens having 'shared facts.' Modern news media needs to earn the trust of the public back, and the first step is taking the hard 
medicine in this important book."--Greg Lukianoff, CEO of The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and co-author, Unlearning Liberty, co-author, Coddling of the American Mind
"Journalism, at its best, provides a necessary check against powerful interests. But what happens when journalists themselves become part of a powerful, elite class, disconnected from the interests of the working class of the country? Batya Ungar-Sargon's timely book paints a disillusioning picture of the state of 21st century journalism, where dispassionate reporting too often takes a back seat to narrative-driven progressive activism. It offers a clarion call for the most important kind of diversity within newsrooms - an ideological diversity that's increasingly absent from our country's leading institutions. If you care about the future of journalism, Bad News is both a wake-up call to the growing threat and a guidebook for how to build back better."--Josh Kraushaar, politics editor, National Journal
"If you really want to understand the contradictions and complexities of the present moral panic, Batya Ungar-Sargon is an extraordinarily incisive guide to the country we share and the journalism that attempts not just to capture but also to shape it. This is a must-read for anyone concerned about the fragmented state of American media and the perpetual culture (read: class) wars that so powerfully undermine it." --Thomas Chatterton Williams, contributing writer, New York Times magazine, and columnist, Harper's
"In the growing chorus of voices speaking up against ideological conformity in the media and the zombie activism that goes along with it, Batya Ungar-Sargon's call for sanity and intellectual integrity is full-throated and essential. In Bad News, she peels back the layers of a media apparatus that has incentivized the distortion of reality and pitted our brains against our emotions. In so doing, she offers concrete explanations for a cultural crisis that, for most people, is constantly felt on a visceral level but nearly impossible to understand. Readers will come away with a better understanding. From there, they might feel better, too." --Megh

About the Author

Batya Ungar-Sargon is the deputy opinion editor of Newsweek. Before that, she was the opinion editor of the Forward, the largest Jewish media outlet in America. She has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Newsweek, the New York Review of Books Daily, and other publications. She has appeared numerous times on MSNBC, NBC, the Brian Lehrer Show, NPR, and at other media outlets. She holds a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.

Dimensions (Overall): 9.4 Inches (H) x 6.0 Inches (W) x 1.2 Inches (D)
Weight: 1.35 Pounds
Suggested Age: 22 Years and Up
Number of Pages: 280
Genre: Political Science
Sub-Genre: Essays
Publisher: Encounter Books
Format: Hardcover
Author: Batya Ungar-Sargon
Language: English
Street Date: October 26, 2021
TCIN: 84117090
UPC: 9781641772068
Item Number (DPCI): 247-16-7234
Origin: Made in the USA or Imported
If the item details above aren’t accurate or complete, we want to know about it.

Shipping details

Estimated ship dimensions: 1.2 inches length x 6 inches width x 9.4 inches height
Estimated ship weight: 1.35 pounds
We regret that this item cannot be shipped to PO Boxes.
This item cannot be shipped to the following locations: United States Minor Outlying Islands, American Samoa (see also separate entry under AS), Puerto Rico (see also separate entry under PR), Northern Mariana Islands, Virgin Islands, U.S., APO/FPO, Guam (see also separate entry under GU)

Return details

This item can be returned to any Target store or
This item must be returned within 90 days of the date it was purchased in store, shipped, delivered by a Shipt shopper, or made ready for pickup.
See the return policy for complete information.

Get top deals, latest trends, and more.

Privacy policy


About Us

About TargetCareersNews & BlogTarget BrandsBullseye ShopSustainability & GovernancePress CenterAdvertise with UsInvestorsAffiliates & PartnersSuppliersTargetPlus


Target HelpReturnsTrack OrdersRecallsContact UsFeedbackAccessibilitySecurity & FraudTeam Member Services


Find a StoreClinicPharmacyOpticalMore In-Store Services


Target Circle™Target Circle™ CardTarget Circle 360™Target AppRegistrySame Day DeliveryOrder PickupDrive UpFree 2-Day ShippingShipping & DeliveryMore Services
PinterestFacebookInstagramXYoutubeTiktokTermsCA Supply ChainPrivacyCA Privacy RightsYour Privacy ChoicesInterest Based AdsHealth Privacy Policy