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Great Moments In Responsibility Evasion

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Ariel Edwards-Levy has a good roundup of a new study demonstrating that the media’s coverage of the campaign was abominably bad unless you think Clinton’s email server was more important than every substantive issue put together and made her as or more unfit than Trump:

The phrase “But her emails!” has become a sarcastic rallying cry among many liberals who bemoan the attention dedicated last year to questions over Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.

Their perception ― that the focus on Clinton’s emails overshadowed the rest of her campaign ― is backed by data, according to an analysis recently released by researchers at Gallup, Georgetown University, and the University of Michigan. The results don’t directly address the share of media coverage focused on Clinton’s emails, or the degree to which it hurt her standing, but they make it clear that much of what the public remembered hearing about her was focused on the controversy.

“Email-related scandals clearly dominated recalled words about Clinton. This is true for almost every week of the campaign,” the authors concluded in a presentation given Saturday during a panel on election surveys. “There was no similarly common theme for Trump, whose multiple scandals produced a changing, and perhaps more easily overcome, narrative during the campaign.”

The study also shows that negative coverage of Clinton’s emails completely drowned all other coverage right before the election.

Surprisingly, this has even gotten coverage at CNN:

This study will be used by liberals as evidence that the media’s unnecessary focus on Clinton’s email server cost her the election. I’d agree that Clinton’s email server played a decisive role in deciding the election.

Wow! Who would write this at CNN of all places?

Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large

Wow! So I assume this is a resignation letter?

But I wouldn’t agree with the idea that the media is responsible for it.

After all, it was Clinton who never seemed to grasp the seriousness of the issue and how it eroded the public’s already shaky confidence in her. Her inability to do those things meant she was never able to put the story behind her. And then the Comey announcement came, which undoubtedly surged the issue back to the top of many voters’ minds.

Hillary Clinton should have used the One Conveniently Unspecified Magic Trick she could have used to get hacks like me to stop writing obsessively about her email server, but she Didn’t. Even. Try. So while the media’s coverage priorities put Trump in the White House, the media cannot be held accountable because they don’t really have a choice. It’s a nice racket.

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  • N__B

    A new title is needed for Cillizza. I suggest “Editor-at-small.”

    • Shantanu Saha

      Actually, I like the Editor-at-Large title. It allows me to fantasize that he’s a fugitive nutcase, and that Tommy Lee Jones and the Federal Marshall Service is out to get him with a “shoot on sight” order.

      • efgoldman

        Federal Marshall Service is out to get him with a “shoot on sight” order

        If only. Or even a “duct tape mouth and fingers on sight” order.
        If anybody needs a re-education camp, starting with Journo 101…

        • daves09

          This past political year I have wished more people dead than in all the rest of my life-and surprisingly Trump is nowhere near the top of the list-but Cillizza is.
          Kinda slips through the cracks is Judicial Watch’s responsibility in this and so many other CDS scandals-can nothing be done?

  • A joke to start the thread.

    “You have to understand that I like Ted Cruz probably more than my colleagues like Ted Cruz, and I hate Ted Cruz.” – Al Franken

  • brad

    So Cillizza is basically admitting he’s bad at his job and follows a herd mentality.
    And he calls it a defense.

    He actually is worse than Luke Russert.

    • DamnYankees

      What’s weird is that people like Cilizza don’t ever admit they are bad at their jobs. What they seem to happily admit, though, is that their jobs don’t matter.

      Greenwald does the same thing. He’ll report on something forever, but then disclaim any responsibility for the consequences of the reporting. It’s basically an admission that what you do has no impact on anyone. And for some reason people like Greenwald and Cilizza prefer that defense. It’s odd.

      • nemdam

        This is also the defense of Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush at the NYT. Their coverage of the Comey letter (and the whole campaign) didn’t matter, but subscribe to us because the truth matters. I guess only non-campaign coverage counts?

        • Shantanu Saha

          Actually, that is the case. FTFNYT is terrible in its political reporting and op-ed (outside of Krugman and perhaps Collins), but their local coverage and science reporting are mostly first-rate. That and Krugman are the only reason (outside of the educator discount) that I still subscribe.

          • wjts

            Their crossword is also very good.

            • Marek

              8 letter word meaning “I agree”

              • OliversArmy

                Concurrr

                • wjts

                  “D’accord”, assuming it’s a Thursday puzzle.

                  (Presumable clue: “Nice agreement”.)

          • Q.E.Dumbass

            You forget Charles Blow at your peril.

            • Shantanu Saha

              I agree that Charles Blow has become a great columnist. He’s as great as Kristof thinks about himself, and light-years better than the Moustache of Understanding or Bobo. But when he first came on as a columnist, advertised as a data wonk and explainer, I was less than impressed. That may be why I didn’t mention him with Krugman and Collins. When he left that largely behind, he has been much better. And he’s brought the hammer time and again against Trump.

          • nemdam

            Alright dumb question time, but what does FTFNYT mean? I tried google searching and couldn’t find it.

            And to reiterate Q.E.Dumbass, Charles Blow is amazing. He at least at Krugman’s level if not better.

            • Q.E.Dumbass

              “Fuck the Fucking New York Times,” coined by Balloon Juice commenter Tilda Swinton’s Bald Cap and popularized by fellow BJer Elizabelle. I’ve periodically asked John Cole to either add this term to the lexicon or amend the “even the liberal New Republic” entry to fit in the Grey Lady, in light of recent events.

            • Mayur

              It comes from the time-honored “Fuck the Fucking Yankees”.

      • brad

        They really are blind to the circularity of it, yep.
        “No one takes us seriously, we have to pander and chase gossip.”
        “Why would anyone take such idiocy seriously?”
        “Because you demand it from us.”

      • Mike G

        Cilizza basically admitting the MSM are like 6-year-olds playing soccer. Russian bots or right-wing propaganda factories kick the ball, and a herd of corporate media will chase it wherever it goes.

      • rm

        They pretend they are the Great Unbiased Lens of Absolute Truth, and whatever stories they tell are just found natural objects, like rocks. I hate them.

        I hate everyone.

        I know humanity has always been this fucked; I’ve read history and stuff. But, man, I had illusions I didn’t even realize I had before this past year tore them all up.

        I will do whatever I can, but I now expect any effort to avoid the worst possible outcomes to fail.

        • Aardvark Cheeselog

          I know humanity has always been this fucked; I’ve read history and stuff. But, man, I had illusions I didn’t even realize I had before this past year tore them all up.

          This. I wonder what illusions I still have, and am afraid to find out.

          • rm

            I mean, like, I studied slave narratives. I studied Haitian history. And I’m still shocked.

            • Origami Isopod

              It strikes home much harder when you personally witness it, vs. reading about it.

        • efgoldman

          I hate everyone.

          Much as i feel like that a lot, it is literally impossible because I have a granddaughter who’ll be four in August.

          • rm

            Oh, I mean every one of these evil motherfuckers who’ll tell you that life is just made out of dirt, like Cillizza.

            Not your granddaughter, or some folks I know.

      • Snuff curry

        What they seem to happily admit, though, is that their jobs don’t matter.

        His is actually an appeal to gate-keeping: “HRC shouldn’t have let me and fuckfaces like me do the thing we did. She didn’t actively seek to censor us when we were spreading insinuations hand-crafted by her political rivals, so she brought this all on herself. She should have picked better rivals, too.” And that’s the dance that gets us to HRC is responsible for getting Trump elected, and therefore her hands are bloodier, not as small, and even less less evil.

    • liberalrob

      He’s actually great at his job. That job being to be a snarky and faux-cynical pundit to pull in eyeballs and get ratings. “Journalism” is not his job, it’s his cover.

      Cable news talking heads like him ceased to be “journalists” long ago. They are pundits.

      • This.

      • LosGatosCA

        Journalism” is not his job, it’s his cover.

        Great summary.

        I remember Wesley Clark’s son being interviewed by Wolf Blitzer roughly –

        WC son: My dad can’t get any reasonable media coverage.

        WB: Do you think it’s the media’s job to give every candidate reasonable coverage?

        WC son: No. I think the media’s job is to sell advertising.

  • Murc

    After all, it was Clinton who never seemed to grasp the seriousness of the issue and how it eroded the public’s already shaky confidence in her. Her inability to do those things meant she was never able to put the story behind her.

    I’m just gonna put this out here… when people like Cillizza write things like this, what they actually mean is “Clinton should have just admitted that she was wrong and we were right. About everything. And that she’s a screwup. And also mean. And ugly. And done a little dance while singing this song we’ve written about how she’s an ugly mean screwup. Really, she has only herself to blame when the solution was right there.”

    A lot of people seem to… I don’t know… they want an apology from the Clintons? Not for anything specific, which I could at least understand if not condone; I’d like Bill Clinton to apologize for some of his bullshit myself. But it seems like a lot of folks just want them to apologize for being the Clintons, just sort of… apologize for existing, and then go away.

    And that’s just childish. That’s how people without empathy feel about the guy in the office who just rubs them the wrong way despite being a perfectly regular guy. It isn’t supposed to be how intelligent people act.

    • sigaba

      Meanwhile Donald Trump constantly acknowledged the seriousness of the numerous issues surrounding his campaign and took concrete steps to ally public concerns.

      Donald Trump is a retarded klansman so they held him to the retarded klansman standard. The media made the election into exactly the thing that could kill Clinton: a referendum on Hillary Clinton, because she was the only candidate who had the mental capacity to acknowledge things about herself.

      • Murc

        This.

        I’ve said it before and will again: one of the greatest unexamined, subconscious assumptions in our modern political climate is that Democrats have agency and Republicans have none.

        • DamnYankees

          My current favorite (e.g. most infuriating) example of this is something that not even people who are deeply involved in politics – even Democratic politics – have mentioned.

          Notice how we’ve managed to go through an entire process where the GOP passed a health care bill in the House, and are now debating it in the Senate. And, especially with the Senate, we’ve had some stories about how the Senators involved in crafting the bill are all male. That’s been noted.

          You know what hasn’t been noted, not even once as far as I’m aware? These negotiations not only had no women, they also had no Democrats. Note the contrast to how Democrats handled Obamacare, which process began with a bipartisan commission of 3 Democrats and 3 Republicans and which took dozens if not hundreds of GOP amendments and ideas.

          But as far as I can tell they haven’t been criticized a single time for it. Hasn’t even been mentioned. Has anyone asked Paul Ryan or Donald Trump or Mitch McConnell “hey, why not Dem votes? Why not bipartisanship?”

          Republicans have zero pressure from anyone in media or politics to even pretend to attempt bipartisanship. This after a decade of pressure and headlines about how Obama can’t get the GOP to cooperate with him.

          But no one takes any note. Because no one excepts anything of Republicans. People have ingrained the idea that the GOP is just a party of partisan assholes, but rather than judge the party for that, they have merely raised “party of partisan assholes” up to the default GOP standard. Unexamined. We all just assume it. Just like how we assume that a dog will lick its ball (as someone else here noted, might have been you).

          And you watch – in 2021, President Gillibrand will be pilloried for failing to get GOP votes.

          • so-in-so

            Yes, it’s as if every lie told about the PPACA (back room, “rammed through”, no bipartisanship, nobody read it before passing, “we have to pass it so we can know what’s in it”) was made into reality for the GOP plan. Maybe they think it’s like magic, all those things are the secret process that makes the PPACA pass and be so hard to kill, so they need to copy them.

            • cleek

              i just assume they have all come to believe the GOP mythology about this, as they do about everything else. it’s a better story than “GOP incapable of governing, wants to go pout in the corner, instead”.

              • mongolia

                it’s more that they’re afraid of saying “republican politicians lie, about everything all the time, and have no qualms about it so long as they can get tax cuts for very rich people.” that sentence (or some variant) should be mentioned regarding everything the gop does, but alas, our bothsidesist media doesn’t care about dealing with reality like that…

                • daves09

                  Because getting the scraps from rich peoples tables-invitations to cocktail parties, being treated as-almost-an equal is so very, very rewarding.

          • Downpuppy

            Technically, the House hasn’t yet referred the AHCA to the Senate. Since it was unscored, there’s a hold on while they try to figure out how much it will cost, and what rules apply.

            • ASV

              That hasn’t stopped the Senate GOP from getting together in a closed room and writing their own bill, however.

            • efgoldman

              Since it was unscored, there’s a hold on while they try to figure out how much it will cost

              Yes, and when that’s done, apparently they’ll have to take another vote. If it comes back – again – that it will blow up the deficit and take insurance away from 20-25 million people, well it only takes one or two squishy RWNJs to change their votes, and it fails again.

              • Pete

                This little known fact could make for great entertainment. Many representatives did not know this a couple weeks ago.

          • Breadbaker

            Rep. Jim Cooper, Nashville’s Congressman (and a major opponent of Hillarycare back in the day), actually mentioned this in quite similar words on his Facebook page today. Why were there no Democrats, not even lip service to bipartisanship?

            • mds

              Given that he was a member of the Tennessee state legislature when Hillarycare was a thing, I’m inclined not to hold it too much against him. Especially when weighed against his vote for Obamacare.

              Regardless, the point still stands. It’s a crime if Democrats don’t get Republican votes, regardless of how much they try. But it’s just business as usual for Republicans to railroad things through with zero Democratic participation. Though Dems are certainly welcome to vote for the result, especially since when they don’t, they’re still the ones pilloried for their lack of bipartisanship.

        • so-in-so

          It’s as if someone heard the frog and scorpion story and took away what – that the frog should have been more solicitous of the scorpion?

          • BigHank53

            Did you see what that frog was wearing?

        • sigaba

          I’ve said it before and will again: one of the greatest unexamined, subconscious assumptions in our modern political climate is that Democrats have agency and Republicans have none.

          Yup all of that. Conservatives ideologically demand personal responsibility, but this often results in outcomes they don’t like, so they have to simultaneously claim that huge swathes of politics and culture are utterly beyond their control, especially in their own political coalitions.

          • CP

            Conservatives demand personal responsibility in the same sense that North Korean regime propagandists demand democratic popular republicanism.

            • tsam

              The same way Jimmy Swaggart demanded it of everyone but himself.

          • rm

            This whole subthread here, yes.

            Another way to put it is that there is no impartial press — Republicans act as if Democrats are always illegitimate, and the press is right in step. Democrats are asked to justify their existence to an audience that is outraged at their presence.

            I think it may have something to do with the demographics of the parties, and the demographics of national media, I dunno.

            • joel hanes

              It has to do with forty years of Republicans at all levels (dishonestly) working the refs.

              The media is terrified of being charged with liberal bias. They’ve so internalized this fear that they’re no longer aware of it, and deny its existence.

        • postmodulator

          …one of the greatest unexamined, subconscious assumptions in our modern political climate is that Democrats have agency and Republicans have none.

          This is much more widely applicable than anyone would think. Most elected Republicans start from the assumption that they, themselves, lack agency. (See: the farm bill, the lawsuits-against-the-Saudis bill.)

          • nemdam

            Another great example is ending the filibuster for Gorsuch. I’ll never forget John McCain and other Senators saying how dark of a day it is that Democrats want to get rid of the filibuster even though, ya know, REPUBLICANS WERE THE ONES GETTING RID OF THE FILIBUSTER BECAUSE DEMOCRATS USED IT. It seemingly never occurred to Republicans or the media that they were the ones actually voting and taking it away. It’s just like those articles about how liberals are responsible for Trump (usually something about how smug they are). If this is really the case that only liberals have agency, then they are the only ones responsible enough to govern. Funny for a party that is all about “government handouts”.

            • rm

              And Obama,he divided us by race, so devisively!

        • Shantanu Saha

          In literary analysis of Tolkien and other fantasists, we’re told that the existence of Orcs are necessary. They are the imaginary baddies who are so evil that nobody sheds a tear when the heroes kill them by the thousands, because they have no moral agency.

          Republicans are Orcs.

          And we need to wipe them out.

          And the people like Cilizza who enable their reign need either to be wiped out or permanently ejected from their Isengards.

      • Solar System Wolf

        Shoot, my 14-year-old daughter was able to see right through it. I was ranting during the campaign about all the articles on why people were voting for Trump, and she said, “It’s because it’s obvious why people want to vote for Clinton. It’s not news.”

    • keta

      Yep. That’s exactly the subtext, and it’s infuriating.

    • Dilan Esper

      I think it’s closer to the following, and you can decide whether you find this convincing or not:

      The media, especially at non-ideological places like CNN, sees itself very much as John Roberts’ mythical umpires. The candidates present the issues, they engage in conduct, they do things and say things, and the media reports it.

      So the candidates, in this view, made e-mails an issue. First, HRC engaged in the conduct. She created the private e-mail server. Then, she offered unconvincing explanations for why she did it. And a lot of people didn’t believe it. Then, political opponents attacked her, and she had to defend it. And there were government reports that were made about it, which came to conclusions, which the media also covered.

      In other words, the media feels that whatever is thrown out there, they are going to cover. To pick a particularly trivial example, in 1988 when George H.W. Bush decided to make a mountain out of the molehill that was Dukakis’ position on the American flag, the media had to cover it. Go to the flag factory and show Bush’s speech. That’s what the candidates were talking about and doing, therefore it is news.

      If you buy into this narrative, then everything is always going to be the candidates’ fault. Obviously, Hillary’s fault for the original conduct (which, by the way, really was Hillary’s fault, although YMMV on how major you think it is), but also Hillary’s fault for unconvincing explanations, Hillary’s fault for not successfully changing the narrative, Hillary’s fault for not being able to blunt the attacks, etc.

      I just described the worldview of a lot of people in the media. It’s pretty entrenched. Again, you can certainly think this is wrong, but that doesn’t mean you are going to convince many media types of that.

      • DamnYankees

        The media, especially at non-ideological places like CNN, sees itself very much as John Roberts’ mythical umpires. The candidates present the issues, they engage in conduct, they do things and say things, and the media reports it.

        Hm. Maybe. I think this is a defense for people like Haberman or Thrush, people who really, really family the idea of “journalism” is an institution. And there are people who are very devoted to “journalism” as an institution and see their first fealty to the rules of “journalism” as they understand them, regardless of the consequences to the broader world. If “journalism” result in Trump being elected, so be it, because I, the journalist, but adhere to my highest virtue.

        I think its fair to say there are journalists who see themselves this way. I just don’t buy for a minute that people like Chris Cilizza are in the group. Cilizza is an entertainment, gossip reporter. He’s no different than people who report on red carpet fashion, he just finds himself in a different world.

        • Dilan Esper

          There are starfuckers in every profession. It’s a natural human attribute.

          Indeed, my own experience in cocktail parties and other social events over 21 years as a lawyer is that 95 percent of people who have asked me what I do, including people I would consider far, far more intelligent or accomplished than I could ever hope to be, just want to know about famous clients / famous people I have met or have sued. Representing international torture victims or getting the Son of Sam law overturned, nobody really gives a shit about. Even people who I would hope would.

          The worship of and fascination with all things celebrity is one of the fundamental human instincts. I can’t explain it, but it is.

          • joel hanes

            fascination with all things celebrity

            It’s not just _human_ nature.

            Low-status baboons pay close attention to everything about the high-status members of the troupe.

      • BobOso

        The media, especially at non-ideological places like CNN,

        I see what you did there…

        • Dilan Esper

          CNN has very different institutional imperatives than FOX or at least the prime-time lineup of MSNBC. I don’t mean they have no ideology as such, but that the do not see themselves on one side or the other of the two party system.

          • rm

            I think the problem is that they are on the Republican side, but are convinced that they are impartial. It’s baked in to their whole worldview. They are like the fish that don’t know what water is.

            • Spider-Dan

              I don’t think they are on the Republican “side” so much as they desire conflict and controversy. This leaves only two possible avenues for them:

              1) Scandal on both sides! Who knows what will happen next?

              2) Is this the most scandalous scandal ever? Will this be a record-setting defeat, or merely an enormous defeat?

          • BobOso

            RM says it better than I tried to do in a snarky way. Maybe they are not per se ideological but their journalistic malpractice benefits the current Republican party and thus, they are complicit in our current situation. I think the same about NPR and the NYT.

      • cleek

        i agree with all of that.

        on the other hand:

        Trump said he thought his own daughter was fuckable.

        • DamnYankees

          And people like Cilizza agree.

          • Hogan

            He’s just saying what everyone’s thinking.

            • cleek

              too scummy and shifty for my taste

        • Pete

          Even a stopped clock…

          OK, but not by him.

      • ForkyMcSpoon

        Except when the email hacks happened and Clinton and other Democrats said “The real story is Russia interfering in our elections!” people like Cillizza said “Nice try Hillary, like we’re going to fall for your feeble attempts to distract us from the fact that you used a Blackberry!”

      • nemdam

        I know some disagree, but based on everything I know about the issue (too damn much), her initial explanation for doing it sounds to me like the most plausible. She did it because she only wanted to carry around one Blackberry. If she set up her server for any nefarious reason, then she exhibited a Trumpian level of incompetence in carrying it out. Given she’s not an idiot, the convenience excuse looks like the most plausible to me. But CROOKED HILLARY!

        • Dilan Esper

          I think she did it because she didn’t want congressional Republicans going through her e-mails.

          • Shantanu Saha

            No. Just no. If she (or any advisor with any knowledge of email systems) had any idea that congressional Republicans would one day have gone through her emails, her people could have set up TWO servers, one for personal email and one for official email. Blackberries can be connected to more than one email account, after all. But it would have required choosing which account you wanted to use to read and send email at any one time. The fact that NOBODY thought to do so meant that nobody thought a second about this, and that the convenience of having a single email account for everything was the only consideration.

            • twbb

              “If she (or any advisor with any knowledge of email systems) had any idea that congressional Republicans would one day have gone through her emails”

              Well let’s be honest here; the Republicans had already telegraphed to her that they were going to use her mixing of public and private activities, particularly the Clinton Foundation, against her during her confirmation hearings.

              And setting up a private email server is astonishingly stupid. Putting aside the fact that she knew the GOP and the media would persecute her over any little thing they could find (and frequently make up), proposing that idea should have made everyone in the room with any experience in either the public or private sector immediately be overcome with anxiety.

              Of course, the punishment in this case is exponentially more extreme than the “crime” ever was, and the media has to be thoroughly worked over about this for the next few years, at least as a prophylactic for future bothsidesdoitism.

          • nemdam

            Then she’s a complete idiot which is as inconsistent with her character as Trump studying an issue in depth before talking about it i.e. it’s not possible.

            • Dilan Esper

              I don’t think Hillary is nearly as brilliant as people say she is. See health care and scandal management in the 1990’s, the Iraq War, the 2008 campaign, the Libya operation, etc. She has done a fair number of incredibly stupid things.

    • sam

      Yep. Clinton DID apologize, repeatedly, for her use of the email server. But her apologies never COUNTED because they didn’t contain whatever magic words the press decided they needed to have in order for them to be “real” apologies.

      (Those magic words being on the order of “I am withdrawing from all public life and you will never see nor hear from me ever again”)

      • brad

        Psssh, that just means she’s running for Mayor.

      • randy khan

        Yeah, that’s it. There’s nothing she could have said that would have been enough.

        And the press coverage of her apologies was pathetic. I remember having to point out repeatedly to people during the fall that she had apologized on multiple occasions.

        • brad

          It's simple, really. All she had to do was kill herself in public (while apologizing for setting such a bad example) and submit her corpse to Alex Jones for DNA test verification that it's her. Then have the corpse encased and stored in some form of clear container such that it will always be in public view, and once a month retested to make sure it's still her.
          Quite reasonable, but she's such an elitist that she'll never understand.

          • Oh, like Alex Jones doesn’t think DNA is a conspiracy.

            • postmodulator

              Tangent: I just rewatched A Scanner Darkly and Alex Jones’ cameo in it is not nearly as entertaining as it was ten years ago.

              • Wingnuts and conspiracy theorists are never entertaining. They should always be seen as frightening threats.

      • Donna Gratehouse

        Yep. Clinton DID apologize, repeatedly, for her use of the email server. But her apologies never COUNTED because they didn’t contain whatever magic words the press decided they needed to have in order for them to be “real” apologies.

        And any apology from her was an admission that the private server was a terrible, terrible thing and also too a sign of weakness. There was never any “correct” way for her to handle this because it was a bullshit witch hunt from the jump.

        • rm

          She could have been born male and run as a Republican. That would have fixed things.

        • CP

          There was never any “correct” way for her to handle this because it was a bullshit witch hunt from the jump.

          A friend of mine just posted this on Facebook. It’s totally unrelated, but it seems to sum up this particular issue perfectly: “You can lie down for people to walk on you, and they will still complain that you’re not flat enough.”

    • CP

      They want an apology from the Clintons for being the way they are in the MSM and GOP’s heads, as opposed to the way they actually are.

    • I think this is true, but as much as it is about Hillary being a Clinton, let’s not forget that it’s also about her being a woman. Having to apologize for existing, to jump through ridiculous hoops to be considered merely adequate while mediocre men are praised for their nonexistent achievements, and to meet absurd and arbitrary standards just for the right to participate in public life, is pretty much par for the course for women in the public eye – as we’re seeing right now every time Hillary, and even Chelsea, open their mouths. In the end, I don’t think there’s anything Clinton could have done to satisfy the press, because deep down they really wanted her not to exist.

      • CP

        and even Chelsea

        I didn’t think the MSM could do a whole lot to make me more disgusted with them than I was after the Hillary coverage all through 2016, but Chelsea did the trick. They’ve gotten so addicted to having a Clinton woman as a punching bag that they’ve just gone right out and manufactured a new one that they can keep punching.

      • Murc

        I think this is true, but as much as it is about Hillary being a Clinton, let’s not forget that it’s also about her being a woman.

        This is of course true and you are 100% right to point out that I failed to account for it.

        • searcher

          I was really excited for 8 years of President Hillary Clinton because I thought it would do a lot to either force people with “old fashioned” attitudes to re-examine themselves or at least drive some of the misogynists out of the Democratic Party.

          Now I know they’ll all come slithering back, comfortable in their prejudices.

          • Pete

            Yes. But a female President will still happen someday, probably within the next 20 years.

          • twbb

            “I was really excited for 8 years of President Hillary Clinton because I thought it would do a lot to either force people with “old fashioned” attitudes to re-examine themselves or at least drive some of the misogynists out of the Democratic Party.”

            Well 8 years of President Barack Obama did drive some of the racists out of the Democratic Party. Unfortunately, they came out in droves in 2016 to vote for Trump.

          • They have started doing the oppo research on Gillibrand, and have done a fair bit on Warren. I don’t know about Harris and Cortez Masto. But 2020 is only three years away. Not enough time to build a complete derangement syndrome.

      • mongolia

        especially when compared to the (lack of) vitriol bill receives from the press, and how the media still idolizes and views as leader/kingmaker of the party the person who lost by 4 million votes to clinton.

        we’ll see how this dynamic works in ’18 & ’20, but my guess is a lot of the “i’m not a misogynist, i just don’t like *that* woman” reasoning for being against hrc are going to be proven incorrect when the same people are going to make the same specious claims against the wom(a/e)n running those years

        • nemdam

          Yes, Bill receives a lot less vitriol, but the press was on him pretty hard during his heyday. He in no way got a free ride from the press.

          • mongolia

            specifically referring to post-nov 9 – should have been clear on that. historically, the press has been horrible on him, no question on that.

      • sam

        yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

        Let’s remember exactly how much of her “faults” basically amounted to “she couldn’t control her husband” and/or that she was some machiavellian lady macbeth who was manipulating everyone for her own power.

        Somehow both were true at the same time.

        • Breadbaker

          Plus, “if she were woman enough, he wouldn’t have strayed.” It was really pretty much a complete heads she loses, tails I win situation.

    • WinningerR

      The public confidence in Clinton was not “shaky” until the email scandal got rolling. At the outset of the campaign, her approval rating was in the 70s and higher than Obama’s. This has been a pattern across her entire career–her approval ratings are consistently high, right until it’s clear she’s going to run for something. Then the right wing propaganda machine cranks up into overdrive, abetted by hacks like Cillizza. Once the campaign is over, her ratings creep back up toward equilibrium.

      • mds

        Which could have been treated as a cautionary tale by Hillary Clinton, except that she presumably expected it to be like NY 2000 at worst. Get over the line with enough Democratic base support to knock out “HILLARYSKREEE!!!” in the regions drowning in it, ride the approval wave back up, and potentially be a lock for re-election once the electorate are used to her. She obviously overestimated the decency, the memory, and the consistency of the American people, because Jeebus, it’s like she was never a Democratic senator who could carry most of Upstate. I occasionally wondered how many of the people rebooting their 1990’s-vintage anti-Hillary signs in western NY realized that First Lady Hillary the Spawn of Satan and well-respected Senator-turned-SoS Clinton are actually the same person.

  • DamnYankees

    So is Chris Cilizza basically the Stanley Tucci character in the hunger games movies? Or is that unfair to the Tooch?

    • rm

      Caesar Flickerman is a far more sympathetic character. He likes the Tributes and is genuinely sad that only one can make it out alive.

  • cleek

    WHY DID SHE KEEP HITTING HERSELF?!?!?!

    • dogboy

      NOW LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO!

      • Mr. Rogers

        IF SHE HADN’T BEEN WEARING THAT PANTSUIT!

  • CP

    I remember reading years ago about the 1896 election and the degree to which the “establishment” of the time pulled out all the stops to, not crucify W. J. Bryan on a cross of gold so much as “bury him under a pile of the stuff” (quoth Paul Krugman) – everything from the financing they gave to his opponent’s campaign to even more blatant stunts like railroad barons manipulating train fare to make it as hard as possible to get to his rallies (and easy as possible to get to the other guy’s).

    That’s one of the only historical analogies I can think of off the top of my head for the way the media and our other elites went all-out to destroy Hillary’s candidacy – other than the 2000 election, of course.

    (Yes, I know. Hillary was the elite, Wall Street speeches, yada yada).

    • DamnYankees

      That’s one of the only historical analogies I can think of off the top of my head for the way the media and our other elites went all-out to destroy Hillary’s candidacy – other than the 2000 election, of course.

      I don’t think this analogy holds.

      I think the fundamental explanation for almost the entirety of the election and the media’s treatment of it was that everyone, at all times, assumed Hillary would win. And so they treated her like she was the President. And they treated Trump like he was an amusement.

      I honestly think that – plus the pathological needs to cover both parties as equally bad and equally god – explains, like, 93% of the treatment she got.

      • CP

        That’s probably fair.

        If the intention wasn’t the same, though, the result sure as hell was. There’s not much the MSM could’ve done different if they had been trying to tank her campaign.

        Also, I’m not sure they’d have covered the election better if they’d thought Trump had a chance. It seems at least as likely that they would’ve taken that as a sign that Trump was a serious candidate and a true representative of the patriotic heartland, and started normalizing him even sooner.

        • DamnYankees

          Maybe. But I think any explanation of how the election was covered needs to account for the fact that, I’d bet, 80+% of the very people we think covered the election horribly probably votes for Clinton and wanted her to win. They just wanted to be able to say “hey I was fair” at the end of it.

          • CP

            Really?

            Official Washington, including and maybe especially the punditariat, has loathed the Clintons for twenty-five years. Doesn’t necessarily mean they wouldn’t vote for her (or at least against Trump), but I’m pretty sure there was more to it than just wanting to have their asses covered.

          • cleek

            i think they expected Clinton, but wanted they Trump; because, like every comedian told us last summer, Trump would be more fun! whee!

            • Rob in CT

              whee!

              I think you mean yee-haw!
              [insert Slim Pickens riding the bomb down gif here]

            • CP

              I don’t think they wanted either. They wanted a nice boring moderate (or what they think is a moderate) like McCain, Romney, or Lieberman. And had a big sad because they didn’t get one from either.

              • mongolia

                they wanted the guy with common-sense solutions: kasich

                everyones favorite cuddly moderate republican

            • Joseph Slater

              I think the “expected Hillary to win” is important. As horrible as newspapers were during the election, recall that an unprecedented number of them actually endorsed Hillary (including a bunch of traditionally Republican papers). Now, obviously, “newspapers” =/ “media,” and I agree 100% with “sexist double standard,” “Clinton rules” and “trying to generate clicks/viewers/readers” critiques. And I agree that the focus on emails was unforgivable and a sufficient cause of Hillary’s defeat. But I don’t think most of the (mainstream) media was trying to make Clinton lose; indeed, they (like most folks) assumed she wouldn’t. This, ironically, probably made them feel more free to pile on whatever garbage was circulating so they could appear fair and balanced / keep the woman in her place / whatever.

              • postmodulator

                Did you watch any of the election night coverage at Fox? Once the electoral map started to take shape, even they looked a little queasy.

              • BeckySharp

                This election was the triumphant victory of all those years of right-wing working the refs by complaining about liberal bias in the media. It’s not just that they’ve convinced a good portion of the country that it’s true, they’ve also convinced the media themselves.

                Journalists have spent years internalizing the complaints about their bias, so much so that they automatically write their stories to bend over backwards to favor the conservative Republicans, because they know Hillary is a serious candidate and Trump is a know-nothing clown. Now the reporters constantly have in the backs of their minds, if they write something nice about Hillary, are they being biased? They feel better when they can say something negative about her, because that just proves how objective they are!

                • twbb

                  Don’t forget arrogance. These tend to be very arrogant people who hate self-reflection.

              • daves09

                But each and everyone of those endorsements rehearsed all the-mostly bullshit-shadows and clouds memes the media used all through the campaign. So nothing to disspell the doubts, reading those endorsements must have made Clinton spit.

                • Joseph Slater

                  Oh, I agree, I just think the editors felt they could indulge in all that because they thought Clinton would win.

                  One thing I think about a lot was the Deadspin and Jezebel “endorsements” right before election day. Deadspin — which I usually enjoy — had a several guys (and I use that word intentionally) hemming and hawing and kinda/sorta/maybe endorsing Clinton, with a bunch of caveats and criticism. Jezebel responded with a unanimous “Hillary, because we’re not fucking idiots.” The latter looks really good in retrospect, the former not so much. But again, I think the former was based a lot on the assumption that Hillary was going to win.

  • Denverite

    Or to expand on what I said in the last thread, if I could magically will myself to be 15 inches taller and 15 years younger, I would be DOMINATING LeBron in the Eastern Conference Finals right now.

    GET THAT SHIT OUT OF MY LANE LEBRON

    • Scott Lemieux

      “If you wanted health care, it was your fault for not inheriting a fortune.” –House Republicans

      • rea

        “You really should have thought of that before you became peasants!”

        • Breadbaker

          “I can’t believe you left the womb with those pre-existing conditions!”

  • nemdam

    What’s shocking to me is that “health” was number 3 on the list and the week her health was in the news was so widespread that it eclipsed EMAILS! most covered week. That is stunning.

    The whole health story always smelled funny, and in hindsight, this seems like the clearest example of Russian bot propaganda influence on the election. How else could Hillary getting pneumonia become covered more intensely in a week than any other issue in any other week? The story started on Infowars and Breitbart, two media companies under investigation for being conduits of Russian propaganda, and started trending so heavily on social media that the MSM covered it as a serious story for a week. It’s also another classic case of projection where Trump says his opponent is actually the one with his own weakness.

    When the whole Russia story is told, I think the health story will be used as the ideal example Russia’s bot influence on the campaign. And if Russia can make the entire media ecosystem focus on a story even more bogus than EMAILS! for a week, it is hard to conclude that this didn’t have a decisive impact on such a close election.

    • How else could Hillary getting pneumonia become covered more intensely in a week than any other issue in any other week?

      It’s called being a female politician.

      • humanoid.panda

        To issue a tenth defense of the media, the story was not so much the pneumonia, but the fact hat a presidential candidate collapsed, publicly, and on a grainy video. That’s visual gold.

        But yeah, this story was the entire campaign in microcosm:
        1. The swamp starts spreading rumours (with or without help from Russian bots).
        2. Fox News and Giuliani/Gingrich start amplifying.
        3. MSM starts just raising questions, because it’s out there.
        4. HRC gets sick and decides to keep it quiet, because why feed rumours.
        5. She gets sick at the worst possible time, and gets captured on a phone camera.
        6. Thus, there is a golden visual image plus discussion of secretive Hillary.

        Simply a perfect blend of villainy, hackery, and, above all, terrible luck.

        • King Goat

          What was worse, the media was starting to do some much deserved push back to the rumor and Trump’s people pushing it. When she collapsed it made them once bitten twice shy about that.

          • I think at least some media figures were actively pissed off at Hillary for “keeping them in the dark”, which led to the ridiculous narrative post-collapse that her campaign had lied about the cause, which of course was part of the broader “Hillary always lies” narrative.

        • ForkyMcSpoon

          Now if we’re going whole hog on the conspiracy theories, I’d say that Russia somehow gave her pneumonia.

          Perhaps by planting sick people at her rallies?

        • nemdam

          It was certainly a story. For day. But like EMAILS!, which was also a legit story, it got hyped out of all proportion for the reasons mentioned above.

  • eclare

    Lord, I hate that man.

  • njorl

    All this journalism I don’t understand
    It’s just my job 5 days a week
    Pundit maaaaaa- aaaaaa- aaaa – aaaan
    Pundit man.

    • so-in-so

      Fahrenthold reporting on the Trump Foundation required lots of hard, drudge work. EMAILS!!!! stories are a creative writing exercise (“how can I put a new spin on this story from two days ago …”).

  • rlc

    I think yall are overthinking the NYT & WP & CNN et. al. election coverage strategy. I start from the POV that they are profit maximizing corporations. Their job is generate revenue (and minimize costs). All the analysis above and ad infinitum is frustrating only because you attempt to map some sort of good or bad or ‘shoulda’ behavior onto those organizations. *They* don’t care about that, except as a potential cost. Such as the “Now more than ever America needs good journalism” pitch causing major dissonance among current and potential subscribers.

    This isn’t new, cf Judith Miller.

    • humanoid.panda

      Which explains their rather relentless digging into Trump since January 20, how?

      • rlc

        I am unsure where you think the contradiction/counterfactual might be. Looks to me that they shifted focus (as I would expect based on a maximizing revenue model) when the location of perceived power shifted, after the election. Right or wrong has nothing to do with it.

        Even though it feels good that NYT and the like are raking the bad guys over the coals over Russia, it is an indisputable fact that *nobody* has so far been proven to have done anything wrong. SO FAR. It looks to me that it’s about 98% superficial noise, SO FAR. Revenue generating clickbait. For instance, the testimony today. Exactly who did what? We learned that the Russians had contact with the campaign (we already knew that) and Gowdy is an imbecile (we already knew that).

        I suspect that the professional narrative shapers at these for-profit media orgs love ambiguous sorta complicated nebulous evidence “conspiracies” the most of all. I *really* doubt that Hannity is going off the reservation on the truly egregious murder “story”, too.

        • rlc

          I want to provide another unrelated concrete example from the NYT, today.

          The web headline is:

          “Economists Strain to Find Tax Cut Magic That Yields Growth”

          The subhead is masterly:

          “President Trump’s budget hews to a longtime Republican premise, but past efforts to enlarge the pie even while slicing it have fallen short of hopes.”

          Are these subtle postmodernists or profit-maximizing confusionaters? Let’s be inclusive and say why not both.

      • Breadbaker

        It’s hardly relentless digging. It’s more like finding that you strike oil every time you sink a shallow well. Ordinarily, you will just sink another well until you come up dry. How many times have they come up dry since January 20?

    • twbb

      “I start from the POV that they are profit maximizing corporations.”

      The thing is, the reporters/hacks who push the leaks I don’t think are directly driven by profit. I don’t think they’re getting orders to hammer on emails because it seems to drive circulation; I think they made that hackish choice themselves. I can’t see Dean Baquet taking Patrick Healy aside and saying “hammer her on the email! it will maximize profits!” Even if all the actors lack integrity, very few professional journalists would be willing to be in a situation where they’re taking orders from the publisher on what to cover. These people made the decisions themselves, and in a lot of cases they did it out self-aggrandizing “I’m going to win me a Pulitzer” and the hypocritical journalist distaste for people they consider to be professional politicians.

      Now larger-scale decisions — who to hire for the op-ed page, who to hire, overall trends as to who is hired to report and who isn’t — that can be driven by profit-seeking.

    • citizen

      I used to buy this idea of the media following profits, then I watched Phil Donahue get his show canceled when he tried to oppose W’s war in 2003.

      The NYT said that it was all about disappointing ratings, then noted

      Mr. Donahue’s show had been growing slightly over the past few months, and he was actually attracting more viewers than any other show on MSNBC, even the channel’s signature prime-time program ”Hardball With Chris Matthews.” Mr. Matthews’s show has averaged 413,000 viewers over the last month.

      Or, in other words, “OK, it wasn’t about ratings. Donahue had our best rated show.”

      MSNBC cutting the show was a simple statement that war is profitable for the owners of the media. TL/DR? OK.

      Don’t mess with our money. Full stop.

      • CP

        I think it was more of a statement that war was an acknowledged Good Thing in the circles among whom MSNBC’s owners and most of its pundits hung out, and therefore they had to cut short the embarrassing guy that they kept having to explain at dinner parties.

        Official Washington runs on middle school rules, and never more so than when the MSM is involved.

  • Aaron Morrow

    This guy?

    “It’s not my fault we called her a mad … beer.”

    That guy.

    [EXPLETIVES DELETED]

  • Hogan

    Clinton’s emails appear to be the only thing people heard about her. This leads me to conclude that Clinton didn’t talk enough about her emails.

  • yet_another_lawyer

    This study will be used by liberals as evidence that the media’s unnecessary focus on Clinton’s email server cost her the election. I’d agree that Clinton’s email server played a decisive role in deciding the election.

    Interesting perspective. But really, was it a decisive role in deciding the election, was it merely decisive but didn’t decide the election, or did it decide the election without being decisive?

    Views differ.

  • Mike in DC

    In other news, Fox News suffered a rare attack of journalistic ethics and retracted its Seth Rich story. Unclear whether or not Hannity will be disciplined after he ignores the retraction and keeps running with the smear for another week (or two).

    • humanoid.panda

      LOL, no.

      • John F

        There have been leaks in the past that Hannity’s co-workers, especially on the News side at Fox have nothing but contempt for him, other than GOP good, Dems bad, its the only thing they all really agree on over there.

        Ailes and O’Reilly wouldn’t be out if someone at Fox didn’t want them out, that someone allegedly being James Murdoch. So assuming that the sexual harassment scandal was the excuse/ the lever so to speak and not the primary reason Murdoch wanted them out-
        what’s the deal with Hannity?

        I don’t think Murdoch is a closet liberal, nor do I think he pushes rightwing stuff because he’s a true believer (I mean as a member of the 1% he probably believes in most RWNJ nonsense, I don’t think he CARES about it the way Ailes did)

        So money? Or personal status/power?
        Pushing Ailes out was a power play, pure and simple. James was gonna forcibly establish his authority.

        O’Reilly? He had great ratings, he was also a high maintenance PITA, an absolute diva, his overbearing “act” was apparently not an act. His ratings remained great, but his show’s ad revenue was tanking. Ailes allegedly had a hard time putting up with O’Reilly…

        • rlc

          Profits?

    • sam

      Journalistic ethics or growing fear of a lawsuit by his family?

      While I AM a lawyer, this isn’t my area of expertise so…grain of salt. At a certain point, their continued conspiracy theory drumbeat may cross the line from ‘legitimately asking stupid questions’ to ‘knowing that this thing is bullshit but continuing to peddle lies about a NON-PUBLIC figure’.

      I think that puts them further into the arena of libel/slander, and given that Seth Rich was not a public figure, the standard is different (they normally target public figures with their smears, so this is where their normal asshole behavior would maybe be legally OK, but in this case they’ve…fucked up).

      I *think* the baseline is that with public figures, the potential libeler/slanderer needs to actually know that what they’re saying is a lie, while with private figures, they just have to be reckless.

      Toss in a potential ‘intentional infliction of emotional distress’ claim by the parents, who have repeatedly begged FNC to stop? And you’ve got FNC’s lawyers running around their offices basically shouting at everyone to SHUT UP already and stop making it worse.

      (also, something I saw the other day indicates that FNC/Hannity may have induced an investigator originally hired by the parents to breach a confidentiality agreement. Which is a whole separate set of legal claims)

  • King Goat

    The only thing more stupid than the press thinking the emails controversy was as important as they did would be that so much of the public took away that controversy as such an important issue that it became the largest descriptor for either of the two major party candidates. Having said that, maybe in the spirit of ‘stopped clocks’ and all that, he stumbled onto something important when he says: “the public’s already shaky confidence in her.” Clinton was a candidate who just very easily could shed trust like a dog in summer, and it only took a relatively small straw to break that camel’s long weighed down back.

    • keta

      Clinton was a candidate who just very easily could shed trust like a dog in summer, and it only took a relatively small straw to break that camel’s long weighed down back.

      Yes, she was like a bear looking to shit in the woods because there was an elephant in the room.

    • joel hanes

      I’m sure that a thirty-year well-funded and well-organized disinformation campaign created specifically to smear and diminish her and her husband had nothing to do with it.

      Look up “Project Arkansas”

      You seem to have internalized the propaganda, even though you no doubt think of yourself as a liberal or leftist.

      Bless your heart

  • Rob in CT
    • yet_another_lawyer

      Yeah… it’s a shame, but the result appears to be required by Maine’s constitution. The (unanimous) opinion is pretty persuasive. Le sigh.

      • Davis X. Machina

        We amended the constitution by referendum 20 years ago, anything done once, can be done again.

        Of course, that was to add “The people’s right to keep and bear arms shall never be questioned” to the state equivalent of the Second Amendment.

        Never. Be. Questioned.

        Never.

        • Rob in CT

          So proposing to amend the state constitution to remove that line would be unconstitutional, then?

          • Davis X. Machina

            That would be the intent, yes.

            Similar language was commonplace WRT slavery in any number of last-ditch compromise attempts to save the Union in the late 1850’s.

  • The Lorax

    My disgust for the NYTs, CNNs and NPR News’s of the world has not abated at all since the election. Those assholes covered the hell out of emailz! so that they wouldn’t be accused of being unfair to Trump. And as a result they gave us Trump. This doubling down on lack of responsibility for the election results just perpetuates my fury.

  • Bruce Vail

    Isn’t it astonishing that the media is so terrible, yet Clinton somehow got two million more votes than Trump.

    Could it possibly be true that Trump is president today for some other reason than the horrible media?

    • Davis X. Machina

      Me, my answer is “the fundamental depravity of mankind” and I’m sticking with it.

      • Hogan

        It’s the answer to so many things.

    • Isn’t it astonishing that the media is so terrible, yet Clinton somehow got two million more votes than Trump.

      No?

      Could it possibly be true that Trump is president today for some other reason than the horrible media?

      Do you have one to offer?

      • blackbox

        Do you have one to offer?

        I don’t believe I agree with (or even understand) any larger point Bruce Vail may be making, but I do have one: the electoral college, a truly horrible way of distorting a popular vote such that some votes matter more than other for no reason whatsoever.

        See also: voting on a work day, vote suppression.

        • Bruce Vail

          I should have been more direct in my point.

          It’s wishful thinking to believe that Trump is president today because the media was horrible to Clinton. She got more-or-less the same rough handling as Trump. She lost because of a poorly executed campaign hobbled by the ridiculously unjust Electoral College system.

          • Spider-Dan

            She got more-or-less the same rough handling as Trump.

            Yes. That’s the point.

            Trump is president today because the media treated two wildly disparate candidates as equivalently flawed. Hillary got “more or less the same rough handling” as Trump, which is itself insane.

            • Scott Lemieux

              “Clinton’s scandal-free involvement with a foundation that raises money to fight AIDS in Africa was treated about the same as Trump’s boasting about sexually assaulting women and more harshly than Trump scamming people out of tens of millions of dollars with a fake university. This proves that the media had no effect on the election and Clinton wasn’t treated unfairly.”

              I mean, Jesus Christ Bruce, you can’t possibly believe this shit. This is literally Cillizza-level dumb. (You also have to like the fact that Clinton getting 2 million more votes exonerates the media, but not her campaign. This argument is self-refuting on so many levels that I might be being unfair to Cillizza here.)

              • Q.E.Dumbass

                He has a certain dog in this fight (by way of profession), so.

                • Bruce Vail

                  I consumed lots of TV news and internet newspaper articles in 2016 and saw plenty to confirm by existing view that Trump was a horrible human being unfit for public office of any kind. By the same token, I saw plenty of accusations about Clinton’s character and distortions of her record. Like most American voters, I absorbed this messy pile of info and voted for Clinton.

                  Clinton got rough handling in the media it’s true, but so has every other major party candidate in recent memory. Because my preferred candidate did not win does not mean it is the media’s fault.

                  ‘It’s all the media’s fault’ is the sort of complaint we are used to hearing from Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and a whole raft of other right-wingers. It doesn’t hold water when Rush says it, and it doesn’t hold water when I hear it on LGM.

                • Scott Lemieux

                  Clinton got rough handling in the media it’s true, but so has every other major party candidate in recent memory.

                  I’m sorry, but this is abject bullshit. Neither Romney nor Obama nor McCain got anything like the coverage Clinton received. Trump did, but that was coverage of actual scandals.

                • Spider-Dan

                  ‘It’s all the media’s fault’ is the sort of complaint we are used to hearing from Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and a whole raft of other right-wingers. It doesn’t hold water when Rush says it, and it doesn’t hold water when I hear it on LGM.

                  This is EXACTLY THE LOGIC entities like NYT and CNN use to justify their inane attempts at “balance.”

                  When conservatives complain about “liberal media bias,” that doesn’t mean it’s true, and when liberals complain about “both sides” from the media, that doesn’t make it as false as the conservatives’ complaints.

                  You are just taking “both sides” and applying it to criticism of the media; if right-wing criticism of media is baseless, then we can’t listen to left-wing criticism of media either, because It’s Probably Baseless Too.

                  Absurd.

          • CP

            She got more-or-less the same rough handling as Trump.

            “More or less the same rough handling” would have been if the media had decided to go all-out on every single one of Trump’s scandals and kept on running them for months even in the cases where they’d resolved themselves the way they did with Hillary and Emailgate, or if the media had decided to give Hillary’s emails a day or two’s worth of coverage before changing the channel the way they did with Trump. Hobbling one candidate and giving the other candidate one pass after another doesn’t qualify.

            If one team has scored far fewer goals than the other and you, the referee, decide to award them the same number of points anyway and then let the penalty kicks decide the match, you’re not giving both teams “more or less the same rough handling.” You’re actively working for one team.

    • Snuff curry

      Isn’t it astonishing that the media is so terrible, yet Clinton somehow got two million more votes than Trump.

      This non-sequitur is delicious.

      Yeah, dude, HRC should be thanking the media for the votes she earned. / furious jerk-off motion

      • mds

        furious jerk-off motion

        Around here, we usually just call that a Vail.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Could it possibly be true that Trump is president today for some other reason than the horrible media?

      Yes, not only is it possible that elections are events with multiple causes, everyone understands this. Indeed, they might assume it’s so obvious that it’s unnecessary to append this trite observation to every discussion about the election.

      In addition to the obvious, this isn’t actually a defense of the media’s conduct. The idea that because events have multiple causes no bad actor can be held accountable is, without exception, an idiotic argument.

      • Bruce Vail

        I can agree with that, except the part where you call my argument ‘idiotic.’

        I never suggested for a moment that individual writers or individual news organizations should not be held accountable for their action.

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