“We’re With Her!” From outright endorsements to covering up her innumerable scandals to relentlessly hounding and attacking her opponent Donald Trump, the mainstream media (MSM) choir has shown that it is “all in” for Hillary Clinton. That is so overwhelmingly obvious — and so easily verifiable — that most reasonable people would consider it laughable to suggest otherwise. Nevertheless, for the past couple of weeks, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign has adopted a “total audacity” offense, repeatedly making the ridiculously outrageous claim that the liberal-left establishment media are out to get her; that they are brutally biased against her; that they are treating her unfairly because she is a strong woman! You see, the “progressive” press is actually “sexist” and is treating Hillary Clinton with brass knuckles, while treating Donald Trump with kid gloves. At least that’s the claim of Team Hillary.
This Hillary-as-victim-of-the-sexist-media meme was already getting significant media play even before her dismal performance at the September 7 one-on-one Commander-in-Chief Forum with NBC’s Matt Lauer caused a media meltdown. Here’s a small sampling:
Huffington Post, September 1 — “The Media’s Coverage of Hillary Clinton Is Downright Irresponsible,” by feminist activist Brittany L. Stalsburg. “I’m not the first to notice the media’s biased, even sometimes downright inaccurate coverage of Hillary Clinton,” Stalsburg says. “Journalists seem almost gleeful in their framing of Clinton’s ‘fall.’ And I would be remiss not to mention how the idea of women like Hillary Clinton, who unabashedly seek power, make people uncomfortable, and sometimes angry.” She concludes that “the coverage of Clinton is more than just biased, it’s downright irresponsible.”
New York Times, September 5 — “Hillary Clinton Gets Gored,” by “progressive” columnist/economist Paul Krugman. According to Krugman, a longtime Bill and Hillary Clinton fanboy, the MSM journalists are driven by “the presumption that anything Hillary Clinton does must be corrupt, most spectacularly illustrated by the increasingly bizarre coverage of the Clinton Foundation.” Meanwhile, says the celebrated Timesman, the “multiple scandals” of Trump “get remarkably little attention.”
U.S. News & World Report, September 6 — “The Sexist Press,” by John Stoehr. “A lot of the media coverage of Hillary Clinton reeks of sexism,” Stoehr accuses. “I don’t use ‘sexism’ lightly,” Stoehr insists. “By it, I mean raising doubts about Clinton in the absence of concrete evidence on which to base those doubts.” Stoehr, a lecturer at Yale University, claims “The vitriol Hillary Clinton suffers on a personal level carries broader ramifications for women in politics. Fact is, Clinton is the most honest candidate of the 2016 cycle…. Clinton has not only been more honest factually, but more honest intellectually.”
Clinton’s failure before a national audience at the NBC/Lauer Forum, apparently, sent her establishment media phalanx into panic mode. As we reported last week, following the NBC Forum, Clinton’s media defenders immediately swung into action, accusing Lauer of unfairly hammering Hillary on her e-mail scandal and repeatedly interrupting her, while serving creampuffs to Trump. However, as we noted, according to the tabulation of the Media Research Center, while Lauer interrupted Clinton seven times, he “was much tougher on Trump, interrupting 13 times, and far more confrontationally.”
Jason Easley at the liberal-left PoliticusUSA website described the NBC Forum as a “hit job” attempt, but one the heroic Hillary triumphed over. “Matt Lauer and NBC tried their best to turn the Commander-in-Chief forum into a hit job on Hillary Clinton, but the Democratic nominee rose above and shined,” Easley rhapsodized.
Ditto for MSM flagships, such as the New York Times. It’s a secret only to the self-deluded that the Times, which ran multiple stories, columns, and editorials excoriating Lauer and NBC in the days following the Forum, is totally committed to putting Hillary Rodham into the White House — again. In a September 8 editorial entitled “A Debate Disaster Waiting to Happen,” the Times’ editorial board collectively voiced its displeasure with Hillary’s alleged unfair treatment at the NBC Forum and suggested the upcoming debates had better be tilted against Trump. According to the Times: “If the moderators of the coming debates do not figure out a better way to get the candidates to speak accurately about their records and policies — especially Mr. Trump, who seems to feel he can skate by unchallenged with his own version of reality while Mrs. Clinton is grilled and entangled in the fine points of domestic and foreign policy — then they will have done the country a grave disservice.”
Of course, the Times — which still rules the roost among the MSM mediocracy and the liberal-left literati/gliterati set, but is rightfully scorned by conservatives and Republicans, and ignored by thinking Millennials — has been anything but objective when it comes to covering Clinton. And, over the years, they have endorsed her four times. Most recently, the Times editorial board stated: “The Times editorial board has endorsed her three times for federal office À twice for the Senate and once in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary — and is doing so again with confidence and enthusiasm.”
Perhaps Team Clinton decided that it should take a page from Trump’s playbook, the one on bashing the biased media, that seems to have struck a responsive chord with a large sector of the public. Or, maybe the Clinton advisers got a pre-publication whiff of the new Gallup Poll released last Wednesday showing a continuing implosion of public trust in Big Media. According to the Gallup survey, only 32 percent of Americans say they have trust and confidence in the mass media “to report the news fully, accurately and fairly.” This represents an eight percentage point fall in one year. Not surprisingly, only 14 percent of Republicans still express trust and confidence in the media. Even among Democrats, only a bare majority (51 percent) trust the media.
The Clinton campaign is even trying to raise money with the claim, in a recent mailer to supporters, that Hillary needs more money to offset the terrible bias against her in the media. However, Clinton is going to have a hard time making the same argument as Donald Trump, since by almost every imaginable metric, whether by sins of omission or commission, the Big Media choir — the major newspapers, the TV/radio networks, and their affiliated websites — has been so overwhelmingly biased in favor of Clinton that it is ludicrous to suggest otherwise.
One way of substantiating that bias is to quantify the amount of the coverage each candidate receives and to qualify it as positive or negative, as well as to note whether the coverage ignores important issues on the one candidate and/or obsesses over other issues involving the other candidate. Watchdog organizations on both the Right and the Left have documented the heavy pro-Clinton/anti-Trump bias of the major media. Among the many stories the Media Research Center (MRC) has produced on the Trump-Clinton media slant is one from this past June showing that during the Republican and Democratic primaries the major broadcast TV networks — ABC, NBC, CBS — spent more than four times as much coverage on various controversies involving Trump as on Hillary Clinton’s many scandals: 432 minutes vs. 105 minutes.
Concerning that huge difference in coverage, the MRC story, “TV News Feasts on Trump Controversies While Ignoring Hillary’s Scandals,” noted: “Compared to Clinton, a much higher percentage of Trump’s airtime (40 percent, or 432 minutes) was spent discussing the controversies surrounding the Republican’s candidacy. Only 18 percent of Clinton’s coverage (105 minutes) was spent discussing similar controversies, as network reporters paid scant attention to stories that would have garnered far more airtime had Trump been involved.”
For example, the MRC story continued, “the lingering questions about Clinton’s handling of the 2012 Benghazi attack drew only 77 seconds of evening news airtime from January 1 through June 7. Clinton’s participation in a racially-charged comedy skit with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (about running on CP time — “cautious politician time”) was skipped by ABC and NBC’s evening broadcasts, getting just 51 seconds of airtime on the April 12 edition of the CBS Evening News.”
According to the MRC report:
The potential conflict-of-interest scandal surrounding the Clinton Foundation and Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State was given a paltry 44 seconds of coverage — half of which came when her socialist rival Bernie Sanders brought it up during the waning days of the Democratic primaries.
“Do I have a problem when a sitting Secretary of State and a foundation run by her husband collects many millions of dollars from foreign governments?” Sanders asked in a soundbite re-played on the June 6 Nightly News. “Do I have a problem with that? Yeah, I do.”
Neither ABC nor CBS mentioned Sanders complaint that night, nor did any follow up in the days that followed.
Clinton’s e-mail server scandal was the most-covered candidate controversy of the primary season, with more than 47 minutes of airtime. The only other Clinton controversy to crack the Top 20 [Controversies of 2016 Primaries; see below] was discussion of Bill Clinton’s past adultery and alleged mistreatment of women — a topic only covered because it was brought up by Trump.
Of course, the above-cited MRC report deals primarily with the quantity of coverage and, as such, does not delve into detail about the quality of that coverage, which also has been heavily skewed.
It should be noted that the Media Research Center, although usually described as “conservative,” has been more anti-Trump than pro-Trump in its coverage. It is regarded by many conservatives as a neo-conservative organization that has been too cozy with the Republican establishment and too closely joined with the “Never Trump” neocons at National Review and The Weekly Standard.
If anything, the blatant pro-Clinton bias has only gotten worse since the primaries, as is evident even to liberal-left Democrats such as Michael Corcoran at Truthout. Corcoran’s September 1 article for Truthout, “The ‘Anti-Clinton Media’ Are Big Donors to Clinton Foundation–and to Clinton,” was also carried by the left-wing media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR). “The media industry, which many claim is out to get Clinton, is actually made up mostly of donors to the Clinton Foundation,” Corcoran reports. “These donors are also actively supporting Clinton’s campaign with donations and even fundraising. Indeed, while Clinton’s potential conflicts of interest at the State Department are thought-provoking, her financial ties to Big Media are a concern in their own right.”
Corcoran’s article focuses on another important metric for measuring the pro-Clinton media bias: the media owners and corporate execs who are big donors to the Clinton Foundation and to Clinton herself. Is it too cynical to believe that this may have something to do with the reluctance of these same media organizations to cover the many conflicts of interest involved in the many pay-to-play scandals involving Hillary when she was Obama’s secretary of state? He reports that among the Clinton Foundation funders are:
Comcast (which owns NBC, and its cable sister channels, such as MSNBC), James Murdoch of News Corporation (owner of Fox News and its sister stations, among many other media holdings), Time Warner (CNN, HBO, scores of other channels), Bloomberg, Reuters, Viacom, Howard Stringer (of CBS News), AOL (owner of Huffington Post), Google, Twitter, the Washington Post Company, George Stephanopoulos (host of ABC News‘ flagship Sunday show), PBS, PRI, the Hearst Corporation and others.
Many of these same media outfits are also donors to Clinton’s political campaign. Corcoran notes:
Clinton is the largest individual recipient of campaign donations from Comcast (NBC News, MSNBC), Time Warner (CNN), News Corp (Fox News), CBS Television and Walt Disney (ABC News). If the media outlets hate Clinton as much as Reid suggests, it is curious that they seem to be working so hard to make her president of the United States (and, dating back to her first election, a senator).
Is Corcoran a Trump shill? Hardly. He clearly detests Trump, accusing him of being “reckless, racist, authoritarian” — among other things. But he’s honest enough to recognize Clinton’s criminal attributes (or, at least, ethical lapses) that so many of his media colleagues are all too ready to ignore and cover up.
Similarly, left-wing journalist Glenn Greenwald refuses to join the journalistic frauds that are providing a protective media shield around Clinton. In his September 6 column, “The Unrelenting Pundit-Led Effort to Delegitimize All Negative Reporting About Hillary Clinton” for his blogsite, TheIntercept, Greenwald blasts the New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, et al, for perpetuating the ridiculous claim of an anti-Hillary media bias. Greenwald, by the way, is virulently anti-Trump, but cannot abide the absurd whining by the Clinton promoters. “The reality,” he writes. “is that large, pro-Clinton liberal media platforms — such as Vox, and the Huffington Post, and prime-time MSNBC programs, and the columnists and editorialists of the New York Times and the Washington Post, and most major New York-based weekly magazines — have been openly campaigning for Hillary Clinton.”
“I don’t personally see anything wrong with that — I’m glad when journalists shed their faux objectivity,” says Greenwald. “I believe the danger of Trump’s candidacy warrants that; and I hope this candor continues past the November election — but the everyone-is-against-us self-pity from Clinton partisans is just a joke. They are the dominant voices in elite media discourse, and it’s a big reason why Clinton is highly likely to win.”
Slightly to the right of Corcoran and Greenwald is the New York Times’ Maureen Dowd, who told Meet the Press host Chuck Todd on September 18 that many of her fellow media liberals “would like to censor any [positive] stories about Trump and also censor any negative stories about Hillary. They think she should have a total free pass.”
Of course, the bias goes beyond merely giving her a free pass; when it comes to Hillary, most of the MSM media mavens have already proclaimed: “We’re with her!” And they’ve made it clear that they will do everything they can to boost her, including asking “ridiculously sycophantic questions,” as CNN’s Jake Tapper aptly put it.
Are there a few non-ridiculous, non-sycophantic questions that millions of Americans might appreciate hearing members of the press put to Hillary Clinton? Undoubtedly, such as questions pertaining to:
• Clinton Foundation pay-to-play scandals;
• The Clinton-Putin Uranium One deal;
• Laureate University — Hundreds of MSM stories have pummeled Trump over Trump University controversies, while ignoring multiple scandals concerning the $18 million Bill Clinton pulled down as iconic spokesman for ethically and financially troubled Laureate University;
• Not to mention the free pass Hillary has gotten on Gun Runnergate, Benghazigate, Refugeegate, Amnestygate, and, yes, Emailgate (which, contrary to her defenders, she still has not been forced to publicly account for).
However, it is unlikely that many voters are naïve enough to be holding their breath waiting for Hillary’s MSM media shills to drop the protective bubble they have carefully constructed around “their” candidate.