Photo of the day

From National Geographic Found:

A man stands next to the cross section of a giant redwood tree in California, 1909. Photograph courtesy U.S. Forest Service

A man stands next to the cross section of a giant redwood tree in California, 1909.PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY U.S. FOREST SERVICE

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Does the media have a double-standard for Trump

Jon Cohn sure thinks so:

At various points, Trump has mocked his opponents as “Lying Ted Cruz” and “Crooked Hillary.” But Trump is the candidate who, according to independent watchdogs like Politifact, has lied most frequently and egregiously. And yet when reporters have tried to hold him accountable for his statements, he has lashed out at them for their hostility and supposed mendacity — something he did again on Tuesday, when he called one reporter a “sleaze” and said, sarcastically, that yet another was a “beauty.” At one point, Trump said that most reporters “are not good people.” At another, he said “I think the political press is among the most dishonest people that I have ever met, I have to tell you.”…

But whatever the ultimate legal outcome [of Trump University case], the evidence is enough to raise serious questions about Trump’s business practices and his willingness to exploit other people’s weaknesses in order to make a profit — just like the donation saga raises serious questions about Trump’s honesty, and the disparagement of reporters raises serious questions about his regard for a free press.

So what happens now? Suppose that the tantrum about hostile media had come from Bernie Sanders or Ted Cruz. Suppose that the revelations about questionable past business activities involved Marco Rubio. Better still, suppose that the candidate at the center of these controversies was Hillary Clinton — and on top of it all, that there was reason to think she had lied and then acted, clumsily, to cover it up.

The press wouldn’t let go of the story. It’d be fodder for nonstop conversation on “Morning Joe,” “The Situation Room,” and, of course, Fox News. Commentators would say the statements disqualify her from serving as president, and a few would probably call on her to drop out of the race. The New York Times would run long analysis pieces on Clinton’s honesty problem, and whether the lies were evidence of campaign disarray, a lack of integrity, or some combination of the two. “She wouldn’t be criticized or questioned,” Paul Waldman observed Tuesday in the Post. “She’d be crucified.” …

The frequency of Trump’s prevarications makes it difficult to dwell on any single one, especially for journalists who are trying to be even-handed — either because they are making a good-faith effort to be fair, or because they have a rooting interest in keeping the presidential campaign competitive.

Whatever the explanation, the resulting double-standard doesn’t serve the public well. One presidential candidate isn’t getting the same scrutiny as the others. And it’s the candidate who deserves scrutiny the most.

Yep.  In truth, I think as much as anything the norms of political journalism are just not prepared to handle a candidate who 1) lies as much as Trump, and 2) is as shockingly unqualified as Trump.  As a result, Trump is exploiting these norms to his advantage.

I wasn’t sure what class I was going to teach in the Fall.  Pretty glad I decided on Mass Media & Public Opinion.

This is what overt racism looks like

Awesome take from Will Saletan on Donald Trump’s racial slander of a federal judge:

Let’s recap. At least five times in the past year, the candidate who is now the Republican nominee for president has implied that certain public officials are suspect, or are acting against the national interest, because they or their family members are Latino. This isn’t a complaint about illegal immigrants. It’s not even a dog whistle. It’s a straight-up appeal to prejudice. It’s about the color of your skin, the sound of your last name, and where your ancestors came from…

Trump’s attack on Curiel is a warning, not just about who Trump is but also about how blasé we’ve become. On Sunday, Trump’s chief strategist, Paul Manafort, and his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, were interviewed on major network news shows. Neither one wasasked about Trump’s tirade against the judge. Meanwhile, Republican senators shilled for Trump as usual. Overt race-baiting has become normalized.

This is how it happens. It happens when you’re not looking. It happens because you weren’t looking.

Okay, we knew Trump was a shameless charlatan.  What’s truly shameful is the silence from Republican “leaders” and too much of the media.

Paul Ryan. Ugh.

Sure, everybody is seen this coming, but it is still disappointing.  Not exactly surprisingly, for all his talk of principles, Paul Ryan has shown that like most all other Republicans, what’s best for our nation is decidedly not his fundamental principle.  No matter how much one hates Hillary Clinton and Democrats, Paul Ryan is absolutely smart enough to know just how much of a potential danger Donald Trump represents to American democracy as we know it.  The Post lets loose in an Editorial:

AS DONALD Trump was building a campaign on lies, bigotry, insults, fearmongering and unreason, a few Republican leaders of apparent principle offered some resistance. Foremost among them was House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.). In March, Mr. Ryan insisted that “all of us as leaders can hold ourselves to the highest standards of integrity and decency” and that “we shouldn’t accept ugliness as the norm.”

On Thursday Mr. Ryan capitulated to ugliness. It was a sad day for the speaker, for his party and for all Americans who hoped that some Republican leaders would have the fortitude to put principle over partisanship, job security or the forlorn fantasy that Mr. Trump will advance a traditional GOP agenda [emphasis mine]

Now Mr. Ryan has endorsed a man whose “solutions” include banning Muslims from entering the country, who casts aspersions on judges because of their ethnicity, who mocks the disabled, who lies constantly, who would muzzle the free press. Each one of these is disqualifying — particularly for anyone who believes in conducting the nation’s politics in a constructive, reasonable manner or who claims to have the long-term interests of the nation, rather than a short-term win at the ballot box or in Congress, in mind…

Following Mr. Ryan’s endorsement, some insisted that the speaker had little choice. This is false. “My dad used to say, ‘If you’re not a part of the solution, you’re a part of the problem,’” Mr. Ryan said in March. When he has a comparable conversation with his children, how will Mr. Ryan explain the decision he made in this campaign?

I also loved what Seth Masket wrote on FB:

Say “party of ideas” again. Say it. I dare you. I double dare you, Mr. Speaker. Say it one more goddamn time.

And an Yglesias tweet:

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