Dallas Morning News

The newspaper has not endorsed in a Democrat for president since before WWII.  Now, if that doesn’t tall you Trump is a uniquely awful Republican, nothing will.  It’s a nicely-written piece:

Clinton has remained dogged by questions about her honesty, her willingness to shade the truth. Her use of a private email server while secretary of state is a clear example of poor judgment. She should take additional steps to divorce allegations of influence peddling from the Clinton Foundation. And she must be more forthright with the public by holding news conferences, as opposed to relying on a shield of carefully scripted appearances and speeches.

Those are real shortcomings. But they pale in comparison to the litany of evils some opponents accuse her of. Treason? Murder? Her being cleared of crimes by investigation after investigation has no effect on these political hyenas; they refuse to see anything but conspiracies and cover-ups. [emphases mine]

We reject the politics of personal destruction. Clinton has made mistakes and displayed bad judgment, but her errors are plainly in a different universe than her opponent’s.

Trump’s values are hostile to conservatism. He plays on fear — exploiting base instincts of xenophobia, racism and misogyny — to bring out the worst in all of us, rather than the best. His serial shifts on fundamental issues reveal an astounding absence of preparedness. And his improvisational insults and midnight tweets exhibit a dangerous lack of judgment and impulse control.

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Photo of the day

Love this collection of great sports photos in Slate’s Behold:

Ken-Geiger

Nigerian Relay Team, Olympics, Barcelona, 1992.

Photo by Ken Geiger. Courtesy of Ken Geiger/Dallas Morning News.

Not front-page email server news

Hmmm.  Latest email release is one from Congressional Democrats that is an email from Colin Powell to Hillary Clinton about using a private email account.  Vox’s Jeff Stein:

Clinton loyalists got powerful new evidence to buttress their case last night. Before Wednesday’s presidential forum, House Democrats released an email that former Secretary of State Colin Powell sent then-Secretary Clinton, who had asked for guidance about using a private server…

The email makes clear that Powell, too, used private systems to avoid the State Department servers.

“What I did do was have a personal computer that was hooked up to a private phone line (sounds ancient.)” Powell wrote on January 23, 2009. “So I could communicate with a wide range of friends directly without going through the State Department servers. I even used it to do business with some foreign leaders and some of the senior folks in the Department on their personal email accounts. I did the same thing on the road in hotels.”

Now, there’s still a difference between Powell’s handling of the email server and Clinton’s. While it’s clear Powell used a private server to go around the State Department, Powell also did communicate over the State servers and maintained a State email account. By contrast, Clinton never set up a @state.gov account throughout her time as secretary of state and onlyused a private account.

But the distinction is increasingly looking like a matter of degree rather than kind. The torrent of criticism against Clinton is obviously connected to the extraordinary FBI investigation into her private server, but it also now looks wildly disproportionate given how close it mirrors that of her predecessor. [emphasis mine]

Yep.  And, yes, clear mistake on Clinton’s part.  But nowhere near as horrible as all the media coverage might lead one to believe.  Especially in light of Powell’s comments.

But what is most noticeable to me is that there is no mention of this email on the front of the NYT and it’s buring way down the page at WP.com.  There’s a link at CNN.com, but not one giving any indication that this is a significant (though, admittedly, partial) vindication of Clinton’s behavior and the story she’s been telling.

Now, is this all because the media hates Hillary?  I want to say, “no” but will settle for “probably not.”  Rather, revelations about supposed malfeasance and abuse are simply far more interesting than revelations that, “hey, but that wasn’t so bad after all when placed in proper context.”

The “liberal” media vs. Hillary Clinton

Great piece from Brian Beutler on what to make of all the media’s attacks on Hillary as of late:

By the end of last week, high-profile liberals and members of the political press corps were battling one another in a state of mutual incomprehension.

Many liberals believe that reporters, lead by standard-bearers at The New York Times, have fallen short recently of their institutional duty to accurately inform the public about the candidates and stakes of this election; reporters, along with many of Hillary Clinton’s progressive critics, have responded that liberals are attempting to shield her from their scrutinizing eyes for partisan reasons…

For liberals, last week was faith-shaking. Major outlets saturated the news environment with innuendo-heavy reports, creating an aroma of malfeasance around Clinton unsupported by their actual findings… [emphases mine]

Over the same stretch, Trump benefitted from comparable indifference to his more fully documented ethical failures, and from what members of this self-same press corps describe as “rock-bottom expectations.” Viewed as a snapshot, it reminded Krugman and others of the blinkered reportage that helped George W. Bush become president 15 years ago…

Krugman’s concern, and that of other liberals, isn’t to preemptively discredit all scrutiny of Clinton; as Greenwald acknowledges, Krugman specifically says it’s “right and appropriate” to investigate the Clinton Foundation. Rather, it is with how to present findings in ways that are both accurate and proportional when viewed in their partisan contexts…

We know reporters, editors and producers are able to make consistent judgements about proportionality, because they do it all the time in other arenas…

What alarmed liberals last week is that, amid a feeding frenzy over newly released Clinton emails, the political press didn’t bother to apply any kind of analogous judgment. The same week that the Times and Post were “raising questions” about Clinton—questions with simple answers like “no evidence of corruption”—Trump, among other things, gave one of his most extreme immigration speeches yet, in which he detailed his plan for an “ideological certification” for immigrants.

This is not unlike leading a newscast with a weather report, or a story about firefighters pulling a kitten out of a tree, in the midst of an ongoing national emergency…

Last week, a casual news consumer wouldn’t have come away thinking Clinton’s and Trump’s sins were equivalent; they would have instead learned that Clinton’s sins were real and Trump’s trivial or non-existent. 

For instance: Only this week has the media rediscovered the fact that Trump donated $25,000 to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi days before she dropped her office’s investigation into Trump’s fraudulent real estate “university.” The Clinton Foundation story is ripe with quids, but the quos, such as they are, generally amount to the continuation of some status quo ante…

The contrast underlines the proportionality problem exquisitely. Last week’s liberal outcry was less about circling wagons around Clinton per se than about preventing the disparity in coverage that prevailed last week from becoming a trend.

Presumably the media will actually get it’s act in gear and give this Trump U business half the scrutiny they have given to Hillary Clinton’s emails.  But based on recent performance there’s a legitimate fear that they have become so inured to the quotidian awfulness of Trump that short of any blatantly racist statements, etc., he’s going to get far more of a pass than he deserves.

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