The media is biased against Hillary Clinton. There is no longer any argument.
As far as I’m concerned, the debate regarding whether the media has been harder on Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump is settled. The obsession with the emails. The neglect of a seriously troubling story of Trump paying-off a public official. Matt Lauer.
It’s not even close.
But if you haven’t yet been convinced, the coverage of Clinton’s pneumonia should seal the deal. The extent a wide-array of news organizations have been willing to go to turn a minor story about a non-serious illness into a breaking political story is the best evidence yet that Clinton and Trump are operating on a non-equal playing field.
Before anyone was aware of Clinton’s illness––when the only information was that Clinton got “overheated” on a humid, 82 degree day while wearing a pantsuit––a slew of leading news organizations nonetheless turned this into a breaking, lead story.
And these stories weren’t just “Clinton left an event and looked sick” stories. These were “Clinton is in trouble, maybe the conspiracy theorists were right” stories, despite any real evidence. Take this excerpt from Politico:
And this one from the New York Times:
Notice that both of these stories normalize baseless claims about Clinton’s health that thus far have been mostly confined to fringe websites and Rudy Giuliani. Notice that the Times, even while admitting the claims have little evidence, reports that questions about Clinton’s health have been “thrust” “squarely” into the campaign, even though no one besides conspiracy theorists––and now, organizations like the New York Times––have made those claims. Politico goes further, suggesting there’s now a “powerful, visceral counter-argument” about Clinton’s health, even though there is no evidence to back that up.
This string of dishonesty reached a new level Monday night, when Politico published a long, tell-all story of Clinton’s sick day. The story notes that Clinton has caused “tension” in her campaign because––wait for it––she won’t drink water! The story quotes someone in Clinton’s “orbit”––as if she’s some gargantuan, inanimate celestial body––who described “a frenzied rehydration mission that included multiple bottles of water and Gatorade.” Seriously.
This is characteristic of how the media covers Clinton. Things don’t just happen to her. Everything has to “cast a shadow” or “cause tension.” Anthony Weiner’s texting scandal has to be a negative story for Clinton, even though he has nothing to do with the campaign. Clinton’s illness has to “shake up the race” even though there is no evidence there is anything wrong with her health. The Clinton Foundation and the emails have to be transformative stories, even though news organizations themselves admit there’s nothing there.
What’s most regrettable about this is that these absurd scandals are being concocted just as real issues are being ignored. The Washington Post uncovered what could be a bribery scheme involving Trump, and almost nobody covered it. He lied, on national television, about his support for the Iraq war and it was brushed over––even in liberal media––as nothing more than a despicable performance by Matt Lauer.
I no longer believe reasonable minds can disagree about whether there’s a media bias in favor of Trump. Unless not drinking water is a legitimate campaign scandal that I’m just missing, I think the evidence now speaks for itself.