This is fair … er … ah … well, you know―
See, it shouldn’t be that hard to cover Donald in a way that feels fair. Simply apply the three immutable tenets of Hillary reporting:
1. Always assume bad character and attribute malicious motives.
2. Completely overlook and invisibilize supporters.
3. Focus relentlessly on negatives — and portray positives as negatives.
―except that it’s about her.
(Right? Isn’t that how it goes?)
At any rate, Peter Daou’s open letter to the media is worth a read.
And while we’re on the subject―
The administration also persevered despite baseless vitriolic attacks on First Lady Hillary Clinton. A chief source of the character assassination, interestingly, was The New York Times, which legitimized the caricature of Clinton in the political mainstream, distant from the fever swamps of the right and left. William Safire, the former Nixon propagandist, filled his Times columns with anti-Hillary calumny, most notably in a column in 1996, when, with no apparent evidence, he blasted her over the Whitewater pseudoscandal, calling her “a congenital liar” who “had good reasons to lie; she is in the longtime habit of lying; and she has never been called to account for lying herself or in suborning lying in her aides and friends.” Under editorial-page editor Howell Raines, the Times became something of a whipping post for the Clintons. Maureen Dowd outdid herself and everyone else on Hillary (as she continues to do today), writing scores of columns attacking the Clintons as a couple―”like a virus or an alien that needs a host body to survive”―and Hillary above all, as a power-hungry cynic and a betrayer of feminism who with her husband had “chosen tactics over truth with such consistency that it’s impossible to accept anything they say.” Thus was established the abiding myth of Hillary Clinton as a deceitful harridan, a fiction that seems to have become hard-wired in our politics despite all the evidence to the contrary, including the recent report by the distinguished and authoritative fact-checking project PolitiFact that Clinton was the most truthful candidate, Democratic or Republican, in the 2016 primary season.
―so is Sean Wilentz’s Rolling Stone reflection on the transformative potential of a Hillary Clinton presidency.
One of the unfortunate aspects of the 2016 cycle is that Hillary Clinton does face such an unusual opponent. Advocates weary of easing people’s fears. Look, it’s not just going to not be that bad, we’re going to get a good president out of this. One of the things we ought to remember is that part of how and why the Clintons survive and thrive despite living under constant siege of political inquisition is, in fact, the merit of their work and capabilities.
So start with this: Hillary Clinton is going to work so hard to become president of the United States just so she can wreck the place … why?
If you can get an answer, it will probably be entertaining right up to the point it becomes clear someone actually believes it, at which point you will be sad, or perhaps even very slightly afraid.
I even know this libertarian who tried to pass as a Bernie supporter, and who just can’t stop telling me how doomed we all are because Donald Trump is such a strong campaigner and Hillary Clinton such a weak bitchy bitch bitch-bitch. It’s really something else, and I really would laugh except he really does seem to believe it. Generally speaking, what scares Hillary Clinton’s critics the most is the embarrassment they expect to feel if they ever publicly admit how wrong they know they are, and how long they’ve known.
Image note: Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign even at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada. 25 August 2016. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Daou, Peter. “OPEN LETTER TO THE MEDIA: In the Name of Decency, Stop Tipping the Scale for Trump”. Blue Nation Review. 26 August 2016.
Wilentz, Sean. “Hillary’s New Deal: How a Clinton Presidency Could Transform America”. Rolling Stone. 11 August 2011.