The polls don’t look good for Donald Trump. Yes, it’s still August, but it’s getting late. Nate Silver, on his FiveThirtyEight website, predicts a Clinton landslide. The chances of Hillary winning, he says, are 84.1 percent.
Maybe Donald feels the same way and maybe that’s why he’s already saying that if he loses it’ll be because the election was “rigged.” On top of that, there’s the media, which he considers dishonest, disgusting and despicable.
He’s not alone, of course, in that assessment. A lot of conservatives feel that way (though, for the record, let’s be clear that Donald Trump is not exactly a conservative). In his New York Post column, Michael Goodwin recently wrote that, “Indeed, no foreign enemy, no terror group, no native criminal gang, suffers the daily beating that Trump does. The mad mullahs of Iran, who call America the Great Satan and vow to wipe Israel off the map, are treated gently by comparison.”
Are journalists by and large rooting for Hillary? Is the pope Catholic? Or to put it another way: What else is new? In 1992, when Hillary’s husband ran for president, a poll of Washington journalists found that 89 percent voted for Bill Clinton while only 7 percent went for George H.W. Bush.
Eighty-nine percent? Dictators are lucky if they get that much support. I’m guessing the percentage of journalists today who support Hillary is even higher than that – such is the disdain many liberal reporters have for Donald Trump.
But Donald brings a lot of the negative coverage on himself – something Goodwin leaves out of his column in the Post. When you say and do as many ridiculous things as Donald J. Trump has said and done, the coverage isn’t going to be friendly.
But there are problems – legitimate ones -- with the way the media are covering the campaign. I have two particulars in mind, and they’re poles apart.
One is that too many in conservative media are enamored with Donald Trump. They don’t do interviews with him -- they throw him softballs and blow kisses at him. The conservative audience may tune in for just that, but it’s not good -- and it certainly isn’t anything resembling journalism.
And frankly it doesn’t matter that these fans of Trump technically are not journalists, that they're in the opinion business, where just about anything goes. If they work at a place with the word “News” in its brand, they need to be more than sycophants for Mr. Trump.
My other problem is at the other end of the political line, with liberals in the media who while they have no problem holding Trump accountable are not nearly as diligent when it comes to holding Hillary Clinton accountable.
She’s running, whether she puts it quite this way or not, for Barack Obama’s third term. She’s running to preserve his legacy. A major piece of that legacy is the Affordable Care Act, better known as ObamaCare. It’s a mess. Hillary should have to answer questions about that.
She should also have to answer questions about the shenanigans at the Clinton Foundation and whether it was a pay-for-play operation.
But even if reporters wanted to ask her about any of that – and I’m not at all sure they do – it’s not easy. She hasn’t held a news conference in more than 260 days.
Reporters may not be happy about that, but they’re not screaming the way they would if Donald Trump was in the lead and decided to run out the clock by keeping reporters at bay.
Why no journalistic outrage over Hillary's silence? Maybe it’s because every minute they’re not covering her is a minute they can devote to trashing Donald. As I say, he brings much of it on himself. But still, when mainstream liberal journalists behave as shamelessly as conservative shills, you know things are bad.