With David Folkenflik
We look back at a big year in the news. The top stories and where they’re heading next.
Catherine Rampell, Washington Post columnist who covers economics, public policy, politics and culture. (@crampell)
Jeff Pegues, justice and homeland security correspondent for CBS News. Author of "Kompromat: How Russia Undermined American Democracy." (@jeffpeguescbs)
Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst. (@JackBeattyNPR)
From The Reading List
NPR: "The Top 10 Most Important Political Stories Of 2018, As Chosen By Readers" — "When we set out to try to look back on the year that was in politics, we started with a list that grew ... and grew ... and grew. After a couple of days, the list was just shy of 100 news events. That's about one notable story every three days.
"Yes, it's been that kind of year. So we narrowed the list to 50 and asked readers on social media to pick what they thought were the 10 most important political stories of the year. Because voting took place last week, some important developments didn't make the cut, like, for example, Ret. Gen. Jim Mattis resigning as Pentagon chief, Trump pulling U.S. troops out of Syria or Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg undergoing surgery for lung cancer."
FiveThirtyEight: "How Cable News Covered Mueller In 2018" — "For a guy who does his work mostly behind closed doors (and occasionally in airport waiting areas), special counsel Robert Mueller sure is on the news a lot. It’s been a year of indictments, subpoenas and guilty pleas, of online rage and attempted firings, and of 'Witch Hunts' and 'Angry Democrats' (to quote the president). Cable news has been there every step of the way. In case you missed all the fun (and if you did, please let us know how), here’s a look back at the year that was in the Mueller investigation — as lived through CNN, MSNBC and Fox News, courtesy of data from the TV News Archive.1
"On average, every day, these three networks devoted 3 percent of their news coverage — not counting commercials and non-news programming — to Mueller in 2018. (TV News Archive measures this by chopping all the news into 15-second clips and counting how many mention the word 'Mueller.' By comparison, President Trump’s name showed up in 13 percent of these networks’ news coverage this past year.) CNN sat in the middle of the networks with its Mueller coverage, averaging about 3.1 percent. MSNBC averaged around 4.2 percent, while Fox News averaged around 1.7 percent."
Vox: "How the Parkland shooting changed America’s gun debate" — "2018 may have been the year when Americans finally started getting really, genuinely fed up with mass shootings.
"In February, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, led to a new movement — the March for Our Lives — advocating for stricter gun laws. But its work did not stop with a march and some protests around the country; the movement, along with other work by other gun control advocacy groups, managed to get major legislative and electoral victories throughout the rest of the year.
"The victories could endure beyond 2018. Now that Democrats, who ran in part on gun control, have seized control not just of the US House but several state legislatures and governors’ mansions, they will have a chance to implement or at least push for stronger firearm laws.
"What happens next depends on how engaged American voters remain on this issue in the years to come. While the aftermath of the Parkland shooting suggests that there may have been a shift in this debate, the permanence of that change is far from guaranteed."
This program aired on December 28, 2018.