Great Moments In Responsibility Evasion
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.