My friend Steve Drace wanted to know why the US media doesn't publish the kinds of deeply analytical, wise backgrounders you see in the Economist regularly. My response:
First of all, the US press in general has a perversely self-destructive, self-regarding, bootless view of its role and appropriate strategies regarding political, partisan, and social issues that make it impossible for reporters and their editors to even think in this clear way about the different partisan arguments.
Secondly, the newspapers occasionally publish a "backgrounder" type analysis piece, which they put on page 14 of the front section, don't promote, and then consider their duty done -- where upon they go back to their front-page partisan garbled horse-race mentality--and of course the analysis piece's insights, if any, are ignored by the reporters in subsequent writings.
Without a healthy press, the US is doomed, and I despair of them ever grasping that.