Lester Holt and Hillary Clinton before Monday night’s US presidential Election debate
Further to Monday’s US Presidential debate…
Which brings us to [debate moderator[ Lester Holt and the accusations that he tipped Monday’s debate in favor of Hillary Clinton. Holt’s bias was obvious, but the impact was not inevitable. It mattered largely because, shockingly, Donald Trump was shocked that Holt was in the tank for Clinton.
How could Trump not see that coming? And if he did, why wasn’t he better prepared?
…It was outrageous — but no surprise. After all, Holt is part of the Big Media establishment that has uniformly protected President Obama and broken all its own standards to trash Trump and elect Clinton.
…It’s possible that anti-media sentiment could help decide the election. The nationwide numbers suggest the possibility.
A recent Gallup survey found a new low in public trust of the media, with only 32 percent of Americans saying they have a great deal or some trust in newspapers, TV and radio “to report the news fully, accurately and fairly.” Trust fell eight points in one year alone and is only 14 percent among Republicans.
In a change election where both candidates have historically high negative ratings, many voters could make their choice for secondary reasons.
Voting against the other candidate is the most likely option, while voting against the media as a proxy for voting against the establishment is emerging as another.
In that case, the news media could be more than part of the story. They could be the story.
Ahead of tonight’s US Presidential Election debate, there’s a decided advantage for Democratic candidate and veteran debater Hillary Clinton in multiple polls ahead of Donald Trump.
On average according to poll aggregator RealClearPolitics, Clinton has a narrow 2.3% lead over Trump in the run-up to the debate.
Trump has resurged from a June slump in the polls to go neck-and-neck, ahead of tonight’s political Superbowl to be held in six fifteen-minute rounds.
Clinton has come under fire in recent weeks from political opponents over health issues and her fitness to contest the election. Meanwhile, the pressure is on Trump to dial back from his grand statements and playing to his well-established peanut gallery.
Fact-checking will come into play during the course of the discussion, but pressure is on both candidates to outline the upsides of their respective vision.
Meanwhile, over at the Guardian, Dan Roberts has compiled ten awkward questions that could put either candidate off their footing this evening.
…First, her team says nothing as it sneaks her from the 9/11 ceremony — after she nearly collapses. It later claims she was “overheated” and parades her outside her daughter’s place, where she claims she feels “much better.”
And has the candidate — a possibly infectious pneumonia case — hug a child to make the lie seem cute.
It adds up to hours of effort to deceive — even enlisting federal officers in the effort. That’s the bottom line of The Post’s scoop, thanks to sources who revealed that she was headed to the ER, as Secret Service protocols demand — until her staff insisted otherwise, for fear hospital staff might leak word of her illness.
It seems Team Hillary saw the risk of disclosure as worse than the risk to her health.
Anderson Cooper: “So, let me ask you about that because [Democrat strategist] David Axelrod was very critical of the way that you and your campaign handled sharing your diagnosis with the public. He tweeted: “Antibiotics can take care of pneumonia. What’s the cure for an unhealthy penchant for privacy that repeatedly creates unnecessary problems?” Why not just say on Friday as you said apparently to Senator [Chuck] Schumer on Sunday, you know, “I have pneumonia, folks, I’m going to power through it”? Why keep it a secret?”
Hillary Clinton: “Well, I just didn’t think it was going to be that big a deal. You know, I know Chuck said today he didn’t tell anybody. It’s just the kind of thing that if it happens to you and you’re a busy, active person, you keep moving forward. And, you know, I think it’s fair to say, Anderson, that people know more about me than almost anyone in public life. They’ve got 40 years of my tax returns, tens of thousands of emails, a detailed medical letter report, all kinds of personal details. And, you know, it’s just so — it’s so strange that with all of that information out there, and as soon it became clear I couldn’t power through, we, you know, we said what was going on.”
Hillary Clinton calling into the Anderson Cooper’s CNN show last night
I watched the video of Hillary Clinton as she faltered, slumped and then apparently got dragged into her van, and I felt awful. Public officials put themselves in the public eye, but to have every step and misstep analysed the way we do today seems to be a no-win situation.
I wouldn’t want someone videotaping me when I had a migraine headache or – as I did several times in my 20’s working in Florida–became faint and dehydrated. I join with many Americans who wish Clinton the best, and a speedy recovery from what her doctors say is a case of pneumonia and dehydration.
But the incident raises questions about the news media’s coverage surrounding Clinton’s health.
Rather than reporting the facts, many in the media have taken it upon themselves to shout down the questions and to controversialise those asking them.
On August 21, after Donald Trump adviser Rudolph Giuliani suggested people research Clinton’s medical state on Google, a New York Times tech columnist [Farhad Manjoo] retorted in a tweet:
“Google should fix this. It shouldn’t give quarter to conspiracy theorists.”
In other words, the columnist was advocating that a conspiracy be committed to stop people from researching Clinton’s health, which he labeled a conspiracy.
Many others in the media also chimed in using the “conspiracy theory” moniker. It’s designed to convince the public to tune out the discussion, in much the same way as other common astroturf terms such as “debunked,” “bonkers,” “tin-foil hat,” “shoddy,” “discredited,” “quack,” “bogus,” “denier,” and “crank.”
Left-wing apparatus Vox chimed in with an article titled: “The bonkers conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton’s health.”
The pro-Hillary Clinton smear machine, Media Matters, chided NBC News for “mainstreaming conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton’s health.”
Vice picked up the theme writing, “How conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton’s health went mainstream.”
CNN published an article “Debunking conspiracy theories” about her health. CNN media critic Brian Stelter urged the media: “Do Not Give Oxygen To ‘Conspiracy Theories’ That Hillary Clinton Is ‘Secretly Ill’.”
HuffPost wrote, “Let’s call the conspiracy theories about Clinton’s health what they are…”
ThinkProgress joined in with, “Trump campaign embraces conspiracy theory…”
From MSNBC: “Trump, allies push conspiracy theory about Clinton’s health.” NPR: “Trump adds fuel to conspiracy theory about Clinton’s health.”
You get the idea. Everybody’s on the same page.
In fact, questions about Clinton’s health, whether grounded or far-fetched, had little to do with supposed conspiracies.
Yesterday, a Washington Post reporter [Chris Cillizza] acknowledged that he, too, had recently argued the discussion was “the stuff of conspiracy theorists.”
But now, in the face of the obvious, he agrees there are legitimate concerns.
“Coughing, I wrote, is simply not evidence enough of any sort of major illness that Clinton is assumed to be hiding. Neither, of course, is feeling “overheated.” But those two things happening within six days of each other to a candidate who is 68 years old makes talk of Clinton’s health no longer just the stuff of conspiracy theorists.”
In other words, all this was “the stuff of conspiracy theorists” until the reporters who appear to have been proven wrong, decided it was not.
It’s almost as if we in the media take an editorial position with no factual basis, dare critics to prove us wrong, and then when events do, we modify our stance.
That’s not what the news is supposed to do. Reporters are, ideally, supposed to bring facts to light.
If we relegate our role to one of spinning and trying to convince the public of our position; then end up bringing up the rear after-the-fact, what good are we?
If you feel you’re not getting the full picture about the American election and If you have a spare 30 minutes this weekend can I recommend to your readers this excellent rant.. [Political and media analyst] Lionel skewers Hillary’s health, the Clinton Foundation, ‘boorish’ Donald Trump, self styled ‘Libertarian’ Gary Johnson (top left), mainstream vs alternative media and even dope smokers…