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Monday, November 14, 2016

There Was Only One Candidate 

by tristero

It wasn't what was written about Trump that anyone cared about, it was the quantity. He was worthy of attention. 

It wasn't what was written about Clinton. It was the fact that she barely was worthy of attention, and people barely worthy of attention will never, ever get elected president of the United States.

Digby quoted from this interesting essay by Mike Lux:
A study I saw in the middle of the Republican primary tracked how the more coverage Trump got, the higher he rose in the polls, even if not all of the coverage was positive. 
And exactly how much coverage did he get? Well, for a while I was informally tracking it. 

On a typical day, Trump was provided roughly 3 times the coverage of anyone. And nobody seemed to notice or care. Finally, I stopped, hoping to God that I'd see the gross skewing of coverage that I noticed covered as a news story in its own right by any of the major media I was reading. It never was.

But, it was worse than the mere quantity of the Trump coverage. The little coverage that Clinton got, comparatively, was approximately two-fold, nearly all of it awful, and a lot of it her campaign's own fault. Most that I saw was either:

1. Ethical scandals that clearly made her look as corrupt as Trump.

2. Policy articles by her and others in her campaign that were so incredibly boring, so inside-baseball, and so badly written that no one in their right mind would ever bother to read them. 

Here's the first post I wrote on the subject (there are pictures, too) called There is Only One Candidate , written on September 16 :

According to the media I look at, it looks like all but one person has dropped out. Sure, there are a bunch of losers floating around, including someone who seems to be kind of sick, but only one candidate gets truly prominent news coverage, meaning headlines and pictures. 
This happens more days than not. And in many more places than I have time to take screenshots of. And we wonder why the polls are are so alarming? No one else seems to be running. 
And remember: It doesn't matter what gets said. All publicity is good publicity.
And this is the third post
Go out and pick up a hard copy of the NY Times.  The online edition is different, you need the full effect of actual hard print here. I'll wait. 
Got it? Great! Now look on the front page. There's a headline with the word "Trump" in it above the fold. Now, go through section A (the main news section of the paper). The word "Trump" is on a smaller headline in the news summary on page 2. 
Keep going. Page 10, "Obama" gets a headline. Page 16, again there's a "Trump" in the headline. 
Page 18, again, two headlines above the fold with the word"Trump." 
Page 25, an above the fold headline with the word "Trump." 
Now, the editorial pages. 
"Trump" is in the headline of the lead editorial on page 26. "Donald Trump" is in the headline of Tom Friedman's editorial on page 27. Both above the fold, by the way. And that's the front section of the paper of record. 
Not a single headline mention of any rival candidate. 
This regularly goes on day after day after day everywhere, in every media outlet in this country. All Trump, all the trumping time. There is no one else running for president.* 
Whoops! Wait-a-minute, wait-a-minute... Flip back. On the op-ed page (nearly missed it!) there's an editorial entitled "My Plan For Helping America's Poor" with a byline by - wow, I can't believe it, they're letting her publish something?- Hillary Clinton!!! Let's look!!!! 
Oh, dear... Oh, no. Oh. 
It's unreadable, completely unreadable. Clinton takes 7 long and statistic-bloated paragraphs to tell us that (who knew?) she thinks it's bad that some American children are growing up in poverty. 
And then her plan! A... a what? A 10-20-30 plan? What the hell is that? And who is Jim Clyburn? Is he running for president, too? Clinton finally gets her name (albeit in tiny type) mentioned above the fold and this is what we get, the best cure for insomnia ever, guaranteed? 
We are doomed.
*Because who, including Times readers, has time to read more than one or two articles beyond the headlines, except for politics junkies?

After a few more, I gave up. No one understood.

It is impossible, literally impossible, to overestimate how badly the media behaved during this election.

It is also impossible, literally impossible, to overestimate how badly the Clinton campaign navigated the media landscape during this election.