In covering the recent presidential campaign, the mainstream media far too often made the perfect the enemy of the good, believes Leigh Gilmore -- “the good” in this case being synonymous with “Hillary Clinton.” Gilmore, a professor in the women's and gender studies department at Hillary’s undergraduate alma mater, Wellesley, claims that “the bias against Hillary Clinton was not simply a story the media reported -- it was the unexamined narrative the press repeated over and over...Why was the lie more persistent than the truth? Why was ‘Crooked Hillary’ a more compelling figure than ‘Fundamentally Honest Hillary’?”
The establishment press wants readers, listeners and viewers to believe that the search engines and social media are being overwhelmed by "fake news." Those making such allegations are, with rare exceptions, thinking of conservative and center-right web sites which have been countering their established wisdom and taking readers and dollars away from them.
Well, if that's so, at least in regards to Google and Donald Trump's nomination of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, I'm having a hard time finding evidence of that. Instead, auto-suggested search results provided by the world's dominant search engine on Saturday took me straight to the leftist fever swamps and to a New York Times editorial which might as well have originated there.
Major similarities between the 2016 presidential election and that of 2000 don’t end with the Democrat winning the popular vote but losing the electoral vote, claims Marcotte, who contended that the media had it in for Hillary Clinton the same way they did for Al Gore, and that in each case biased campaign coverage was a factor in driving down Democratic voter turnout. Regarding this year’s race, Marcotte remarked, “Replace ‘I invented the internet’ with ‘emails,’ ‘Naomi Wolf’ with ‘pneumonia’ and ‘Ralph Nader’ with ‘Jill Stein,’ and you’re looking at a rerun.”
David Frum’s book assessing the conservatism of the early-to-middle 1990s was called Dead Right. If Gary Legum wrote a book about today’s conservatives, he might call it Undead Right. “The GOP is a zombie party, shambling across the countryside, spreading terror and devouring any living creature it comes across,” declared Legum last Friday. “But unlike in, say…a George Romero movie, you can’t kill it forever by planting an ax in its head…And unfortunately, because the GOP zombie cannot be killed, we are going to be stuck working our lives around it for the indefinite future.”
Some left-wing pundits, anticipating that Donald Trump will lose on November 8, are pre-emptively trying to make sure that conservatives take the blame for Trump’s nomination. Gary Legum of Salon argued that right-wing news outlets “have both spent the better part of the Obama administration pushing the exact silly demagoguery and conspiracy theories that riled up the conservative base and pushed it into nominating a demagogue of its own.” The Washington Monthly’s Martin Longman claimed that “other than John Kasich, at times, and short-timers like George Pataki and maybe Jim Gilmore, the rest of the field represented (or, at least, pandered to) a far right-wing conservative worldview that has been steeping in weaponized stupidity for the entire Obama Era.”
Editor’s Note: Normal people might find some of this offensive. (We hope. Dear Lord, please!)
Election 2016 has been terrifying. So let’s take a break and talk about something more calming -- Halloween. Even a holiday designed to scare the heck out of you should be a breath of fresh air. Forget Clinton and Trump. Imagine Psycho, The Exorcist or The Night of The Living Dead.
The liberals who thought Chris Wallace did a bang-up job as moderator of the third presidential debate were judging strictly by appearances, contended Daily Kos’s Laura Clawson and Salon’s Gary Legum in separate articles. Clawson pooh-poohed the praise for Wallace, sneering that he “really wasn’t all that. Unless the ‘that’ is ‘a purveyor of right-wing talking points masked as “fair and balanced” questions.’” Legum called Wallace “a creature of Fox News, a point of view he betrayed through both his selection of several questions and the right-wing frame he gave to them. Which might have tickled the amygdala of conservatives everywhere, but also managed to perpetrate for a mainstream audience a couple of the more pernicious policy myths that haunt our political discourse.”
In a Sunday piece, writer Lyz Lenz argued that conservative Christians make a glaring, politically motivated exception to their belief that “a marriage is forever” when they “attack [Hillary] Clinton for staying with” Bill. Lenz noted that “numerous friends and relatives of mine have been counseled [against divorce] by pastors and Christian counselors, who argue that couples ought to persist in marriages where there has been infidelity, cruelty and worse, because God’s call to a lifelong union supersedes all others.” Nonetheless, “within this tale of marriage and redemption, there doesn’t seem to be room” for Hillary.
Hillary Clinton was recently diagnosed with pneumonia. Barack Obama was not born in Kenya or anywhere else other than Honolulu, Hawaii. So what do Hillary fact and Obama fiction have in common? Marcotte has a sexism- and racism-related explanation. “The feigned concerns over Clinton’s health strongly resemble the feigned concerns that Obama was faking his natural born citizenship,” she wrote in a Tuesday piece, “right down to the posturing about how this is all the target’s fault for not providing more and more documentation -- to drive home how much those of us who aren’t white men cannot be trusted. In both cases, it’s about wallowing in ugly stereotypes -- that black people aren’t patriots, that women are inherently fragile -- without admitting that’s what’s going on.”
Journalists are cynical grouches who like dragging people down, suggests author and former Fox News Watch panelist Gabler. The rich and famous are inviting targets, especially if journos sniff a scandal. Take Hillary Clinton and Tom Brady, who in Gabler’s view "have been victims of the media’s strong predisposition to presume guilt, whether there is evidence for it or not."
Editor’s Note: Normal people might find some of this offensive. (We hope.)
I’m convinced that Hollywood creates much of its “entertainment” from Mad Libs. You remember Mad Libs, don’t you? They were sheets of paper with text on them including blank spaces for adjectives, nouns and verbs. Really a brilliant concept, designed for group/party fun.
Penn State professor and Bernie Sanders enthusiast Sophia McClennen has a message for her fellow progressives: “If the thought of a [Donald] Trump presidency worries you, the thought of a Trump news network should scare the hell out of you.” McClennen’s Monday piece for Salon addressed reports that if Trump loses to Hillary Clinton, he, Steve Bannon, and Roger Ailes may start a competitor to Fox News. McClennen expects that a Trumpcentric media business would be “founded on the same principles we have seen in place during his campaign: hate mongering, extreme nationalism, xenophobia, misogyny and a total lack of connection to reality. If the campaign seemed to have fascist tendencies, imagine a news network founded on those same principles.”