But Trump deserves it!

USA Today columnist: Of course the media are rigging the election

By —— Bio and Archives--October 25, 2016

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It’s one thing when Trump says it, and it’s one thing when we say it. Michael Wolff is a longtime USA Today columnist and frequent media critic - and he’s no fan of Donald Trump, to put it mildly. He clearly sees it happening, not only in the usual media bias sense, but also at the unprecedented level we’re seeing this year.

What’s more, Wolff freely acknowledges that standard media bias is liberal, although he argues that their interest in a competitive race usually blunts their bias. I’ve been hearing that one from media types for years and I think it’s true only to a very limited degree. But this year Wolff sees what you and I see: Not only are the media in the tank for Hillary, they think it’s a righteous calling and a duty for them to be so:


Never in modern history has the news media been so united in its condemnation of a presidential candidate and in its determination to use its influence to help prevent his election. Does that mean the election is rigged?

It is certainly a new view of the media function. The media’s sense of civic duty, in even the most high-minded view, is not about protecting the public, but about orchestrating the claims of people and institutions who think they can protect it. The natural competitiveness of the media business, and market sense that moralizing makes for a duller story, have, arguably, helped pluralism and democracy. The media is not a church.

But now it is. Or, save for a few outliers, it is like one in its absolute certainty, and hell and brimstone warnings, that electing Donald Trump would be electing the devil. Since September, when the polls appeared to tighten, the message from newspapers, cable stations, networks and pundits, and from the social media echo box, has been as consistent as it might be from Sunday pulpits—or, for that matter, in Saturday union halls, or Thursday meetings of special interest groups.


The media, virtually all forms of it, virtually all aspects of its ownership, virtually all of its employees, on an institutional and operational basis, has come to see itself as a firewall against Donald Trump. Indeed, in an altogether new sense of itself, the imperative quite seems to be to prove it can be a firewall—that it can claim a historic role in the defeat of Trump and the election of Hillary Clinton. For a sense of mission like this, you would have to reach back to the media’s de rigueur patriotism during the Second World War, or to how it fell into line during the tensest years of anti-communism, or to the sense of national crisis in the months after 9/11.

What’s harder to discern is whether Wolff actually has a problem with any of this. You can tell he’s somewhat uneasy with the idea that the media - institution-wide - abandons all pretense of objectivity and gets behind an agenda. But it’s clearly not because he disagrees with the agenda. Later in the piece he lambastes Trump as woefully unfit for the presidency, and essentially says that there’s no way he was ever going to win anyway, so by nominating him, his backers essentially also voted for the bias they’re getting now from the media.

That makes no sense. You can debate just objective they should be at a time like this, but there’s no justification for the way they’re burying negative news about Hillary just because they’re scared to death that it might drive a few more voters into the Trump column.

And that’s really the rub with this whole thing. Whatever Trump’s flaws, Hillary’s are manifest in clear and disturbing ways - and yet only Trump is treated as if his election would bring about the fall of man. The media have decided collectively that Hillary is the flawed candidate we will have to live with, and because of that most of the voters don’t even get to assess the seriousness of her corruption, dishonesty and duplicity. Because it’s so important not to elect Trump, these things will be hidden from everyone who doesn’t make the effort to read conservative media or otherwise research it.


How can you possibly justify the media’s complete silence about all the disturbing information we’re getting on Hillary?

That is the one major element of all this Wolff doesn’t address: It’s one thing to endlessly rip on Trump because you think you see all these problems with him, but how can you possibly jjustify the media’s complete silence about all the disturbing information we’re getting on Hillary? That’s when the media have crossed the line from righteous truth-tellers to the Ministry of Propaganda - and if they get their way, they’re going to stick us with a president that far too many voters didn’t know all the facts about, because they were very intentionally hidden.

Anyway, what Wolff’s USA Today piece shows is that we’re past the point of even debating whether the media are trying to rig the election for Hillary, and now merely debating whether they’re justified in doing so.

And there’s no debate. They’re not.


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Dan Calabrese -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Dan Calabrese’s column is distributed by HermanCain.com, which can be found at HermanCain

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