Over the years, you've seen us cover the on- going theme of our broken media and its impact on politics in America, to the point that some might consider it beating a dead horse now that the election is over. But there's a lot of buzz about an article in Vox today by Alvin Chang where he discusses his analysis of two years of what constituted headline- worthy stories at the Fox "News" website and the "liberal" New York Effing Times. For anyone who followed the Times' front page Clinton derangement (as opposed to its editorial page), it shouldn't come as a great surprise that the stories headlined at Republican puke funnel Fox were covered with roughly the same frequency at the "liberal" Times. Both mirrored coverage on the major networks:
From the beginning of 2016 to late October, the three major networks — CBS, ABC, and NBC — spent 100 combined minutes of their newscasts covering Clinton’s emails. They spent 32 minutes on every other policy issue, and no time on climate change, health care, poverty, and trade. This focus on her emails made it relevant throughout the election, peaking right before Election Day. Often, it was a small development that provided little new information, like FBI Director James Comey sending a letter to Congress saying the bureau had more emails to look at — and then saying it didn’t change the original decision that she hadn’t done anything criminal.
Let’s rehash what this “scandal” actually was: It started from allegations that she mishandled the Benghazi attacks in 2012. An investigation found no wrongdoing. It did find a private email server — which was also investigated — and at the end of it, her mistake was sending classified information on systems that weren’t approved for it. But the investigation found she wasn’t criminally responsible. As Vox’s Matt Yglesias writes, this is a bullshit scandal.
So it’s absurd for Clinton’s emails and Trump’s racist proposals to be put on the same scale of morality. But it’s even more absurd that Clinton’s emails were somehow a better indicator of how she would change people’s lives compared with Trump’s actual plans. It was absurd that at only a single point in this election was the Muslim ban Googled more than Clinton’s emails, and media is responsible for some, if not most, of this. We were more interested in what Clinton was doing on her BlackBerry than in how Trump was going to ban people from this country based on their religion. (our emphasis)For progressives who want to point fingers at those responsible for delivering us to Trump, rather than the destructive impulse of blaming each other or parts of our coalition, a real villain leading is our amoral, horse race driven media. That they show no signs of shouldering a major responsibility for the debacle should not be surprising; what would be surprising is if, knowing the destructive role they played, we continue to let them get away with their "bullshit scandals," false equivalencies and normalizing the neo- fascist shitgibbon and his administration.
UPDATE: The "liberal" New York Effing Times is at it again.
UPDATE II: Mike Luckovich muses on how the media will "normalize" even the worst:
(Image: this is one dead horse that needs continual beating.)