Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

The grotesque corporate media

Jesse Berney and Matthew Yglesias have posted very similar essays, which means they are channeling a collective consciousness, not that one is stealing from the other. As Berney puts it:

You start with the assumption that Hillary Clinton is corrupt. After all, there have been whispers and accusations and investigations and allegations and scandals with ominous names like WHITEWATER and BENGHAZI for years. Even if you can't describe exactly what she's done wrong, there must be something to all these stories, right?
Or, in the words of Yglesias:

The latest Hillary Clinton email revelations arose out of an unrelated investigation into Anthony Weiner’s sexting. The best way to understand this odd hopscotch is through the Prime Directive of Clinton investigations: We know the Clintons are guilty; the only question is what are they guilty of and when will we find the evidence?

When I fired up the New York Times app on my phone Saturday morning, I had to scroll through four full screens before I got to a headline that wasn't about FBI Director James Comey's letter to Congress that the bureau had discovered emails on Anthony Weiner's computer that possibly maybe perhaps might be related to its earlier investigation of Clinton’s private email server. With zero information about what is in those emails, zero information about any connection to Clinton, zero new allegations of wrongdoing, the Times and much of the media treated this story with the kind of wall-to-wall coverage usually reserved for the first moon landing.


There are several rules that govern media coverage of the Clintons, but this year the Prime Directive has dominated them all. Network news has devoted more minutes of coverage to Clinton’s emails than to all policy issues combined, even as email investigations have not uncovered any wrongdoing. It’s inexplicable news judgment, unless you simply assume there’s a crime out there.
On their editorial and opinion pages, the corporate media from the New York Times to CNN all say that Trump is unqualified to be president and that his candidacy presents an unprecedented risk to the republic. But in their news pages all they ever talk about is phony Clinton scandals, while Donald Trump's innumerable very real scandals are completely ignored, even when they are reported by credible single sources such as  David Corn, David Farenthold and Kurt Eichenwald -- as are issues of public policy.

I am very puzzled by this.

Also, too, what Digby says.

All of this raises a question The Washington Post’s Paul Waldman raised two months ago: How is it possible that Clinton’s email brouhaha has marked her as thoroughly corrupt and dishonest, while Trump’s monumentally nefarious past, present and future are overlooked? Waldman’s assumption is probably the correct one: The narratives were set early in the campaign cycle, with Trump being the bigoted, crazy one and Clinton being the corrupt one. That’s just how the media frames the contest. They got it wrong. Yes, Trump is the crazy, bigoted one. He’s also a misogynist and worse. But he’s also the corrupt one, perhaps even more than most of us who had already understood that ever imagined.


Don Quixote said...

I sometimes come to the conclusion that all the confusion in USA politics is just a function of the bell curve. Most people are of average intelligence. But there are so many kinds of intelligence. What is it that enables so many of us--but unfortunately, not enough of us--to see the hypocrisy and evil of men like Dick Cheney and Donald Trump (who is not smart enough to be as truly evil as Dick Cheney)? Why do some people willingly go along with the dictates of an advertising-driven media, while others possess critical thinking when it comes to politics? It is a conundrum, and the fact that the corporate media is peopled by people who don't seem to possess critical thinking faculties makes it all so much more hopelessly confused. Real change seems more out of reach than ever. And the fact that a mentally ill, pathologically mendacious, odious man like Trump (and I use the term "man" loosely) can even contend is beyond disturbing.

Cervantes said...

I don't know exactly why the corporate media is so distracted by shiny objects, but it never seems to change.