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Don’t Look At Us — We Didn’t Do It


Maggie Haberman is back for another round:

Clinton’s campaign undoubtedly made mistakes. I’m not going to debate the (essentially unasnwerable) question of whether there was an atypical number or not, because this is all a diversion. Whether the media coverage was good or not, and whether it materially affected the race are not, are questions that have to be answered independently of the quality of Clinton’s campaign. Dean Baquet doesn’t get a pass because Robby Mook screwed up.

The latest Harvard study makes it clear why the media wants to be preemptively exempt from criticism:

To summarize:

  • The media allowed Trump to dominate coverage.
  • Coverage of Clinton was utterly dominated by a trivial pseudo-scandal (EMAILS!) and an utter non-scandal (Clinton helped run a life-saving foundation that turned out to be remarkably clean despite the potential for corruption, and yet the typical story would spin finding no wrongdoing as evidence of wrongdoing because shadows cast troubling questions.)   Both of these got far more coverage than any actual Trump scandal, which included making many overtly racist comments, boasting about sexually assaulting women, being accused of assaulting women, defrauding thousands of people with a fake university, running a foundation that was an outright grift, failing to release his tax returns, routinely ripping off contractors, etc. etc. etc.
  • The media was willing to cover Trump’s campaign statements but not Clinton’s.
  • Major issues like healthcare and climate change were mostly ignored because the media was following Trump’s tail.

And this is why the media wants us to talk only about Clinton’s campaign — its performance was simply not defensible. And while Clinton isn’t running again, most of the people responsible have the same jobs or have failed upward.

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