"The reporter's job is to "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable" — a credo that, humorously, was originally written as a smear of the self-righteous nature of journalists. And so the justification for going after a public figure increases in proportion to his or her stature. The bigger the figure, the looser the restraints.
After a quarter of a century on the national stage, there's no more comfortable political figure to afflict than Hillary Clinton. And she's in for a lot of affliction over the next year and half.
The Clinton rules are driven by reporters' and editors' desire to score the ultimate prize in contemporary journalism: the scoop that brings down Hillary Clinton and her family's political empire. At least in that way, Republicans and the media have a common interest.
I understand these dynamics well, having co-written a book that demonstrated how Bill and Hillary Clinton used Hillary's time at State to build the family political operation and set up for their fourth presidential campaign. That is to say, I've done a lot of research about the Clintons' relationship with the media, and experienced it firsthand. As an author, I felt that I owed it to myself and the reader to report, investigate, and write with the same mix of curiosity, skepticism, rigor, and compassion that I would use with any other subject. I wanted to sell books, of course. But the easier way to do that — proven over time — is to write as though the Clintons are the purest form of evil. The same holds for daily reporting. Want to drive traffic to a website? Write something nasty about a Clinton, particularly Hillary." [ Read more]
If you listen to and watch some in the political chattering class you would think that Hillary's sloppiness with her e-mails and ignorance about her e-mail server is the same as being a bigot, a liar, or flat out sociopath. I can assure you field hands that it is not.
What we are witnessing now is probably the most shameful period in American journalism, where the candidacy of a man who is probably the most dangerous to ever run for the office of president is being normalized,
There are, of course, exceptions. Good for Soledad O'Brien for calling out her colleagues today.
It would have been nice if they heard her. But sadly, we know that they won't. What she is saying just doesn't fit the corporate media agenda.
They have to make this thing a horse race. It's the only way the public will stay engaged and watch their stations to drive up those precious advertising dollars. I mean let's face it, a presidential election only comes around once every four years
*Pic from salon.com