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The Blame the Media Movement

screen-shot-2016-11-14-at-10-10-55-amThere was an odd moment yesterday on Twitter when a bunch of people were RTing screen caps of NYT’s front page the day after Jim Comey’s October 28 letter, blaming the media for Hillary’s loss.

I think the idea behind their complaints is that because the media — as embodied by the NYT — spent so much time focusing on Hillary’s emails, she lost.

I agree that “the media’s” focus on Hillary’s email contributed significantly to the loss. But the way in which people were complaining about it betrays a lack of understanding of the problem.

First, consider what they were complaining about. The NYT’s print edition had a topline story that “New emails jolt Clinton campaign in race’s last days.” That is almost exactly the Hillary camp’s preferred explanation for why they lost, that the Comey announcement roiled her campaign right at the end. The NYT also focused on Comey’s inappropriate behavior. And also reported what Trump said about the emails — again, reporting what the opposing candidate actually said.

Here’s how Media Matters — which because of close ties between the campaign and the organization, should be considered a house organ for the campaign — dealt with this treatment in real time.

Over the past two days, The New York Times has devoted five of its six above-the-fold articles to FBI director James Comey’s letter to congressional leaders indicating that the Bureau is reviewing additional “emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation” of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server as secretary of state. By providing such prominent coverage, the Times has indicated that the letter is news of the highest possible significance — in spite of the Times’ own reporting that FBI agents have yet to read the emails and determine if they are significant and the letter “did not reopen” the investigation.

In his October 28 letter, Comey wrote that the FBI has “learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation” while investigating an unrelated case and is taking “appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.” He added that the “FBI cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant, and I cannot predict how long it will take us to complete.”

Despite the paucity of information Comey indicated was available, the letter triggered a firestorm of speculative media coverage.

The Times, which has both a responsibility as the leading national newspaper to put the story in appropriate context, and a long history of applying excessive and disproportionate scrutiny to news about Bill and Hillary Clinton, led the media’s feeding frenzy.

On Saturday, the entirety of the Times’ front page above the fold was dedicated to three separate articles about Comey’s letter. The lead story declared, “New Emails Jolt Clinton Campaign In Race’s Last Days; FBI Looks at Messages Found During Inquiry.” But as that article noted, it is not clear whether the emails are “new” or duplicates of emails previously reviewed by the FBI; the FBI “had not yet examined” the emails.

The front page also featured articles on Trump’s response to the news and on Republican and Democratic lawmakers’ criticism of Comey in light of the letter.

The Times front page drew criticism for providing such prominent coverage before it was clear whether the emails in question were even relevant to the investigation.

The MM piece does raise two absolutely fair content complaints: that the NYT said FBI “reopened” the investigation (though I’m not sure the distinction is as important as they make out, especially since the FBI had at least one other open investigation during this period), and that the headline said the emails were new when that was not yet clear.

Fair points. But.

MM is also absolutely obsessed with the way NYT has emphasized this on their front page. You know? A dead tree front page? Not just any dead tree, but the NYT’s dead tree?

Of the 100,000 or so people who decided this election, how many of them get their news from the NYT, much less the dead tree version of the NYT? In both the rural and urban areas where Hillary lost MI, you’d have to go to a store, and even then the Sunday Times might be the only thing you could get in dead tree form in timely fashion. I’m sure it’s easier to get the dead tree NYT in Philly, but not in Erie, PA, two other places where Hillary lost this election. So while the NYT’s coverage surely matters, its relative placement on the dead tree is not the thing you should focus on.

You want to track what caused the undue influence of the Comey letter on the election? A far better place to focus is on Bret Baier’s claim, a few days later, that two sources had told him with 99% certainty that Hillary was going to be indicted. MM did cover that, for several days straight, including showing that Fox kept reporting on the claim even after Baier retracted it.

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But that’s not the other thing you need to track.

Obviously, you need to track Breitbart, the Steve Bannon site that legitimized white supremacy.

Particularly given that the rural areas where Hillary underperformed have often lost their local press (which might otherwise have exposed them to the AP version) you also need to account for social media. It would be bad enough if that consisted solely of people consuming the conspiracy theories their buddies pass on. But, as has increasingly been discussed both during and since the election, those have been hijacked.

On both, people — even some without any stake in the election, such as kids in Macedonia — created false claims to generate clicks to make money.

“This is the news of the millennium!” said the story on WorldPoliticus.com. Citing unnamed FBI sources, it claimed Hillary Clinton will be indicted in 2017 for crimes related to her email scandal.

“Your Prayers Have Been Answered,” declared the headline.

For Trump supporters, that certainly seemed to be the case. They helped the baseless story generate over 140,000 shares, reactions, and comments on Facebook.

Meanwhile, roughly 6,000 miles away in a small town in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, a young man watched as money began trickling into his Google AdSense account.

[snip]

Most of the posts on these sites are aggregated, or completely plagiarized, from fringe and right-wing sites in the US. The Macedonians see a story elsewhere, write a sensationalized headline, and quickly post it to their site. Then they share it on Facebook to try and generate traffic. The more people who click through from Facebook, the more money they earn from ads on their website.

Earlier in the year, some in Veles experimented with left-leaning or pro–Bernie Sanders content, but nothing performed as well on Facebook as Trump content.

“People in America prefer to read news about Trump,” said a Macedonian 16-year-old who operates BVANews.com.

BuzzFeed News’ research also found that the most successful stories from these sites were nearly all false or misleading.

Far more troublingly, Facebook’s algorithm that influences what news people see not only doesn’t sort out fake news, but they purposely avoided fixing the problem during the election because that would have disproportionately affected conservative “news.”

[I]t’s hard to visit Facebook without seeing phony headlines like “FBI Agent Suspected in Hillary Email Leaks Found Dead in Apparent Murder-Suicide” or “Pope Francis Shocks World, Endorses Donald Trump for President, Releases Statement” promoted by no-name news sites like the Denver Guardian and Ending The Fed.

Gizmodo has learned that the company is, in fact, concerned about the issue, and has been having a high-level internal debate since May about how the network approaches its role as the largest news distributor in the US. The debate includes questions over whether the social network has a duty to prevent misinformation from spreading to the 44 percent of Americans who get their news from the social network.

According to two sources with direct knowledge of the company’s decision-making, Facebook executives conducted a wide-ranging review of products and policies earlier this year, with the goal of eliminating any appearance of political bias. One source said high-ranking officials were briefed on a planned News Feed update that would have identified fake or hoax news stories, but disproportionately impacted right-wing news sites by downgrading or removing that content from people’s feeds. According to the source, the update was shelved and never released to the public.

It’s unclear if the update had other deficiencies that caused it to be scrubbed.

“They absolutely have the tools to shut down fake news,” said the source, who asked to remain anonymous citing fear of retribution from the company. The source added, “there was a lot of fear about upsetting conservatives after Trending Topics,” and that “a lot of product decisions got caught up in that.”

A similar effect is happening as we speak, spreading the false claim that Trump won the popular vote.

We actually don’t know what the media diet of the average person who normally would have voted Democratic is — I sincerely hope it’s something we get a handle on. But we need to understand that we would be lucky if the dead tree NYT is what we need to worry about.

And given that Trump is likely to overturn net neutrality, it is likely to get worse before it gets better.

Update: Fixed the Buzzfeed blockquote.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

38 replies
  1. lefty665 says:

    Dunno about rural rust belt, but around here the only local media is a weekly tabloid. The closest city paper is available for home delivery, but most everything else is mail subscription. The NYT seems an unlikely candidate for high density mail subscription in rats ass, rust belt America.

    Seems likely that rural places that have broadband get their news over that and TV, cable where available or over the air when close enough to a broadcast tower or relay.

    Seems you’re right, the dead tree version of the NYT, WashPost or much of anything else are unlikely candidates to influence large numbers of rural people (large, like hands, being relative).  Fueling hysteria and herding serious people faux wisdom in urban elites and neolibs OTOH is a different story. Page 3. What happened to radio? Where’s Paul Harvey when the nation needs him?

    • Lary says:

      I can understand if you’re plug-ugly ignorant of how news gets manufactured in this country, but the Emptywheel writer should know better!  What the Times and also the Post print automatically is carried out into the outer mediasphere and becomes the lead news in every major and not-so-major market in the country.  You may have heard of this thing called TV too and the internet.  They all take their lead from the Times and Post. This is nothing new, and the Emptywheel writer must have a biased or empty head (or both) to not attribute the spread of the news to this historical and still ongoing dissemination phenomenon.

  2. rugger9 says:

    It’s all part and parcel of the same issue. What I don’t see (even though CNN admitted it) was that the ratings generated some big profits for the corporate media operations (which would also include Facebook and their ilk). The media had to have a horse race, and so one was created using the most outrageous person running. The facts are also clear that Trump was given free air time, a free pass for his torrent of lies, and a free hand to hide any and all business dealings (he still won’t release his taxes, BTW according to his communications director) by the corporate media which without grasping the hypocrisy held HRC to a high standard while parroting the “crooked Hillary” meme. Like any other disaster, a series of events must come together to create havoc. Comey’s letters were just the last straw, but honest and objective reporting would have blunted the effect, because the narrative that ensured the horse race laid the ground.

    While the MSM may wring their hands for a while as they try to “normalize” Donaldus, they also are salivating over the prospect of a never-ending source of quotes, tweets and assorted stuff to write about for making that much more money.

    While we’re on the topic of outrages, I notice Donaldus did NOTHING for the veterans he supposedly loves on Friday except to send a tweet probably written by a staffer. All you needed to know was what he said when that misguided vet gave Donaldus his Purple Heart (“I always wanted one of these”), because anyone who has served knows the PH is really the last medal you want.

    C&L Link:http://crooksandliars.com/2016/11/donald-i-love-veterans-trump-didnt-attend

    “Trump” Tweet: “Today we express our deepest gratitude to all those who have served in our armed forces. #ThankAVet”

    If Obama did that (as I recall Shrub one year decided to bypass Arlington and give a political speech in the Northeast) the firestorm would be never ending, but all I’ve seen is the note from C&L.

    • Bay State Librul says:

      How’s this for my cynicism. Right after the election, I thought that Donald may not take a salary cuz he hates paying federal taxes.

      The next day, he reveals that he will forego his salary and take $1. I think he will try to donate his salary to the Trump Foundation.

      Can we withhold the $1?

       

  3. Bitter Angry Drunk says:

    So you’re saying HillaryBot’s army of sycophants doesn’t understand the motivations of actual voters? That they don’t understand modern media? Gets easier and easier to see how she lost, doesn’t it?

    • rugger9 says:

      Yes… and no.

      You are correct in that the HRC campaign did not fully grasp the effect of Facebook and other news sources being hijacked by fake news belching forth from Macedonia and the “truly deplorables”.  But, with that said, it was a content thing as well.

      Tristero over at http://www.digbysblog.blogspot.com had an interesting post yesterday “There’s Only One Candidate” which I recommend, and it points to Huffington Post essay by Mike Lux that laid this out well.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-lux/the-years-of-living-dange_b_12963482.html

      Bottom line, any publicity is good publicity if it drowns out everyone else.  These also point out the murky messaging from HRC which did not help.

       

      The fundamental failure of the media had to do with the need for a horse race to sell ads, and so Donald got free passes and Hillary got bashed when she was mentioned at all.

       

  4. bloopie2 says:

    I’m not sure that media coverage in the last few weeks mattered; I know my mind was made up way earlier.  So I’m curious to see, down the line when the vote is analyzed in detail, how many people actually changed their vote, or voted against their earlier leanings, in that time period.  If very few, then does it really matter what the media did then?  And for that matter, did it really matter what the media did earlier?  After all, Trump was Trump from day one; he didn’t change; and Hillary didn’t change much either.  Even if the media had stressed from day one how horrible a person Trump is, and how unlikely it was that he would provide an economic boost to los desiguals, would it have mattered to his voters?  So what’s the point?

  5. harpie says:

    Really interesting article about Bannon and how Breitbart set out to, and succeeded in getting their content into the mainstream media:
    This Man Is the Most Dangerous Political Operative in America; Joshua Green; Bloomberg Business Week; 10/8/2015
    [Steve Bannon runs the new vast right-wing conspiracy—and he wants to take down both Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush.]
    https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/graphics/2015-steve-bannon/

    The [NY] Times piece cited [Ed] Schweizer’s still-unpublished book [Clinton Cash] as a source of its reporting, puzzling many Times readers and prompting a reaction from the paper’s ombudswoman, Margaret Sullivan, who grudgingly concluded that, while no ethical standards were breached, “I still don’t like the way it looked.”
    […]
     “It seems to me,” says [David] Brock of Bannon and his team, “what they were able to do in [Clinton Cash story] deal with the [NY] Times is the same strategy [as they used to do with right wing media], but more sophisticated and potentially more effective and damaging because of the reputation of the Times. If you were trying to create doubt and qualms about [Hillary Clinton] among progressives, the Times is the place to do it.” He pauses. “Looking at it from their point of view, the Times is the perfect host body for the virus.”

    They must have been quite pleased with the full-frontal exposure of Hillary in the NYT [print and online] after that first Comey bomb.
    NYT coverage of the second letter was not so wall-to-wall, but the Clinton team thought it did more damage.

  6. rugger9 says:

    It will also be interesting to see what the corporate media does with the Kellyanne Conway – Harry Reid libel threat.  Kellyanne, there are two things in play here:

    1.  Donaldus was a public figure long before this election, which changes the rules considerably.  Obama as a public figure is likewise forced to jump through tighter hoops on a libel claim, even with all of the birther stuff financed by Donaldus.

    2.  Truth is always a defense against a libel claim, and as I’ve said before, Harry has the goods if he makes this claim.  Let’s see how the court cases go.

    I find it interesting that Donaldus is once again trying to push the Trump “U” court case until after the inauguration, which looks to me like his lawyers would then pivot to claim executive privilege and immunity (the SCOTUS said otherwise in the Paula Jones case in 1997)  [http://www.nytimes.com/1997/05/28/opinion/the-limits-of-presidential-immunity.html].  Oh, but IOKIYAR.

    • lefty665 says:

      Look at the Eramo suit against Rolling Stone that was decided in her favor last week when you get a chance. Sure looked like the jury threw out the higher standard of intentional malice that we’ve come to expect is necessary to libel a public figure.

      The Supreme Court changed the law of public corruption with McDonnell too. Almost have to have a selfie with the briber and a sack of money to prove corruption.

      Neither case is among Virginia’s finer moments. Both make it harder and more dangerous for journalists to go after Trump even if he doesn’t get to change the law. Sigh.

       

      • rugger9 says:

        However, on November 28 Trump “U” goes on trial, and Kellyanne Conway’s husband was the one who set the precedent as Paula Jones’ lawyer on a 9-0 SCOTUS vote.

         

        Karma’s a beeyotch, sometimes.

  7. bevin says:

    The burden of all these excuses for the Democratic Party’s loss is that they were close to squeaking out a victory-despite a platform and a long record of practice which offended much of the party’s ‘base’- when something untoward occurred. The truth is that by attempting to win the election with Republican rather than Democratic support, by making a play for the neo-cons and the neo-liberals who had supported Reagan and Bush and had come to love Obama, Clinton lost all sense of balance.

    Obama won because the working class instinctively felt-and this includes, perhaps particularly, racist whites- that as a black man he could not but sympathise with the poor and downtrodden. There was no such feeling about Hillary, particularly after eight years of serial disillusionment at Obama’s hands.

    Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania would not have been in play had the Democratic Party not decided, from the first, to treat their electorates with contempt, to sneer at the poverty and terrible insecurity of the victims of globalisation, confident that the money raised from the very banks which had bled Detroit dry, bankrupted the auto manufacturers and imposed wage cuts and speedups on the remnants of the work force that used to turn out on election days for FDR JFK and LBJ, would buy enough advertising on TV to mesmerise the people into self harm for the greater good.

    The reason that Hillary lost was this: the working people are a lot smarter than the intelligentsia. Not having acquired Four Year Degrees allowed them to learn how the world works. Not studying Economics and Political Science allows them to look at reality directly rather than through the ever more distorting lenses of capitalist ideology. Every worker knows that Free Trade and globalisation are simply polite words for wage cuts and theft of public property. It takes intense study to conclude that such things are all for the best, in the long run and the consequences of a natural order of progress. Intense study and the regular rewards that come from jobs within the system-teaching its ideology, framing its News, staffing its Justice system, keeping order among the disaffected, arming its forces…

    And one more thing: Bernie Sanders is no longer an option. The milquetoast socialism he preached will no longer suffice.

      • Phil Perspective says:

        LOL!  Eichenwald is a clown.  He has no credibility.  Did you know most of that stuff was already out there during the primary?

    • lefty665 says:

      Elizabeth Warren is not an option either.  (A) They’re both too old and (B) When push came to shove she and Bernie sold their souls to Hillary.

      Doesn’t seem the Dems learned anything from Saint Ronnie about caring for their core voters and values. Will neolib/elite Hillary provide a more teachable moment?

       

       

        • lefty665 says:

          I dunno, the long term decimation of Dem officeholders has been so profound that there isn’t much of a farm club of folks coming up.  A bright spot this cycle is Tammy Duckworth in the Senate. Tulsi Gabbard in the House and as a courageous high profile younger Bernie supporter sticks up too. Both are veterans so they understand the folly of warmongering. Maybe a couple of folks being talked about for DNC too, but sure as hell not Howard Dean. A clean house and a new generation are the criteria.

           

    • jonf says:

      I think that comes close to what happened here. I do want to add that Comey and those e mails had an impact on the election. And at the end, Trump went hard on Islamaphobia and illegal immigration –  along with the crooked Hillary meme. All of those and your thoughts on how insular the Clinton campaign was, was toxic and cost her the election. I resist saying any one thing did it. I did notice that the third party candidates got a good deal more votes than in the past two general elections,  I suspect as a result of the aforementioned influence.

       

      My own personal feeling is one of some sadness that Clinton was tagged a criminal without any sort of proof and the impending loss now of the safety net and those things many have worked so hard for, including Roe v Wade.

  8. greengiant says:

    Trying not to imagine how bad the gray lady is when bashed from both left and right.   3 out Trump’s 16 post election tweets were bashing the NYTimes.   A little research shows nytimes is 21st in view in the US.   CNN 15,  foxnews  36,   washingtonpost 40,  breitbart 132,  drudgereport 108.   How many of the voters get their info from broadcast/cable/direct TV versus the net?   No small number with their TVs stuck on high volume 24/7  to foxnews in Trump land.

  9. generalwarrant says:

    Hahahahhahahahaha! This is the time that says… if your life is so wrapped up in your digital devices to survive… you’ve missed the point of your real life. btw.. fuck Trump, fuck the future of those who elected him, and fuck America for being the Dumbest Country on the Planet. Meanwhile…I predict…Mr. Sociopath is going to meltdown in public before his first term is finished, while the military will stage a coup d’etat and kill him…hopefully.

  10. GKJames says:

    Not many in the hinterland may read it directly, but isn’t the NYT also a source widely (most widely?) cited, even by those who are said to loathe it for the allegedly liberal rag that it is? The news production universe seems to remain small, while the distribution channels have become endless. The net effect is that all sorts of cherry-picked information is distributed to news consumers who are looking for little more than affirmation of views already held. A fact-free universe is the result … just as the people like it.

  11. Bay State Librul says:

    Lefty,

    You are wrong about Elizabeth Warren, in my opinion.
    Don’t you need to rid yourself of your Clinton obsession?
    Mass passed Marijuana…. suggest you have a cookie?

    • lefty665 says:

      A good buzz is fun, but actually I prefer reality.  I’d suggest you stop what you’re smoking. Whatever it is it’s a loser, a bad trip.

      How bad was Clinton? She was so bad that the people of the United States elected Donald f**king Trump, professional narcissist, when the choice was him or Hillary.

      Warren and Sanders sold their souls.  They can be, as bmaz suggested a couple of days ago, transitional figures to a new party, but that’s it. On top of that, like Sanders, Trump, Clinton and me, Warren is too old too. Us boomers screwed the pooch one too many times. Time to let a new generation have a shot at screwing things up.

      All the Clintonistias and neolib, neocon, wall street, corporatists and elites need to be purged. Perhaps re-education camps for lower level folks. The Dems have to reform, right down to the roots, and recapture their New Deal working class souls if they are to be an actual political party.  Right now they are on a course towards holding zero, nada, no offices from pres down to dog catcher and everything in between.

      On a professional note, ya’ ain’t “rehab ready” until you acknowledge your disability.

       

       

  12. Michael says:

    I read Comey’s letters shortly after each was released, and I thought, “Hummm!” That’s all. Laptop etters looked to be relevant blah-blah. OK. FBI had not yet studied them blah-blah. OK. So no big deal at that moment. Note to self: check back in a day or two. Went on to other stories.

    The shock I felt was not the letters story but rather the degree to which supposed english-as-a-first-language adult readers got the story wrong! Either reading comprehension skills suck or those readers were informed by something or someone other than Comey’s words.

    • harpie says:

      Michael,

      readers were informed by something or someone other than Comey’s words.

      I think often the problem is that people read the headline, a short sound bite, first and it’s often not very clear/not well written and/or can easily be misinterpreted. Depending on how that hits them, they decide whether or not they’ll read further. Then, if the decision is to read-on, the reader gets an interpretation of the facts/impressions, including a judgement about which aspects to include, written [in this case quite quickly] from the perspective  of the reporter, and [I hope] edited, usually by someone else. Sometimes, there’s a link to an original document in the article, so that, if the reader is extremely motivated they can re-interpret it for themselves. There is even less possibility of  getting the information without bias [including tone of voice, and commentary, etc] from TV/Radio, and no possibility of actually reading original documents.

      I happened to be reading at the NYT online when that first story broke.

      Breaking News blared across the top of the page–some of the words I remember: FBI, Clinton, email, investigation. So, I clicked on it and read the facts/impressions of the reporter. It wasn’t until some time later that a link to the actual document appeared…[I’m not sure when the news broke about which ongoing separate investigation this was allegedly linked to.]

  13. Bay State Librul says:

    Doctor Lefty,

    Read Isaac Newton

    “Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy”

    Listen to Leonard Cohen, you want perfection, it ain’t going to happen

    “Ring the bells that still can ring

    Forget the perfect offering

    There is a crack in everything

    That’s how the light gets in”

     

     

    • lefty665 says:

      The fundamental rule in rehab programs is that clients don’t have a snowball’s chance of improving until they acknowledge what’s wrong. It is what I have described as being “rehab ready”.

      Tactfully avoiding addressing delusional thinking and denial means folks don’t come to grips with reality and make no progress. If you don’t acknowledge what was so fundamentally wrong with Hillary, corruption, greed, blind ambition, right wing DLC, neolib, wall street, elite, neocon, etc you’re not likely to be willing to do the hard work it takes to bring the party back to life. You can thank me once you’ve recovered.

      The Dems went fundamentally wrong with the Clintons in ’92. It has been a right hand, downhill slide since then. It’s like alcoholics, and maybe a 12 step program would help. The meetings would start with: “My name is BS Librul and I’m a Clintonholic…” The question to identify others would also be “Are you a friend of Bill’s?”

      Newtonian physics describes how the world as we see it works, but we need something else, quantum mechanics, to better understand what makes up that world. Tact is about making a point, and tactfully debating what’s wrong with the Dems does not get to the core of the issue. What we’re talking about is making change and saving a party from death, and tact is not an effective tool, or we would not be here.

      Leonard Cohen is dead. I have loved his music for a long time, but I don’t know what we’ll do for fresh inspiration for clinical depression now that he’s gone.

       

  14. Bay State Librul says:

    Lefty,

    Are you deep frying the turkey?
    You are assuming facts not in evidence.
    I’m not as you say a Clintonholic.
    I acknowledged her past sins.
    What I did say that she had the best chance to win.
    If Sanders won the nomination, he would have my vote, no questions asked.
    You may think that Sanders would have beat the bully, but
    consider the fact that Trump would have lambasted his “socialism” and
    I am afraid that would have resonated. Who knows, we can’t replay the events.
    What I do notice about your rhetoric is the continual hatred, not good Lefty, not good.

  15. lefty665 says:

    Hate has nothing to do with it, but you keep dragging it into the picture. Projecting your own emotions it seems. I have never said I hated Hillary, or Trump for that matter. It ain’t personal.

    I won’t inflict another recitation of all the things that are wrong with Hillary and the Dems on the good readers of EW. I have yet to hear you recant your misguided support of her and her corruption that has pretty much destroyed the Democratic Party. You can’t get better until you admit there’s something wrong. Mildly suggesting past mistakes were made doesn’t cut it.

  16. WalkerB says:

    Trump’s bitter complaints about the media and the intimidation media was subjected to at his rallies doesn’t seem to have been about actually wanting “fair” treatment by MSM.  I suspect it is more about completely delegitimizing the MSM and wanting his populace to abandon it outright in favor of his own alt-ernate information stream.

  17. Bay State Librul says:

    You know I like numbers, Lefty, so I leave you with this

    61,964,263 voted for Hill.

    In your world, all these folks need to admit their mistake and follow you into the promise land.

    Have a good holiday you have a lot of work to do

  18. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Facebook continued to promote fake news because not publishing fake news – lies, political commentary masquerading as “news” in order to reach an audience that would otherwise ignore the message – would be seen as discriminating against Republicans?  Seems pretty political to me.

  19. Larry says:

    It’s not just that the story was printed so close to the election, it’s that the story was a story at all!  It had become a long-term nothing, ephemeral, not-worth-covering let alone not-worth-obsessing over story.  It was made a big story by the media, even though the facts of the story never did warrant a rise to any front page anywhere at any time.  This was the media pursuing the same old bullshit argument from the 1990s that if they create enough smoke out of nothing then there must be a fire.  The Clintons were not corrupt or crooked then and they aren’t corrupt or crooked now.  They may be a bit avaricious but not moreso than the average American.  They were just more prominent doing it.  And none of that was/is any reason to portray them as corrupt or crooked.  It became a meme because the U.S. media had become a courtier Beggars Ball for the Republican Party because of its great political successes beginning in 1980.  Corporate media for-profit-culture turned each network’s human resources department into a corporate rightish-wing news recruiting service.  We’re still not out of that tunnel given how so many in the media are brainlessly trying to normalize the extremes of Trump and his campaign and now transition.  Also, the writer of this article must be ignorant of the very longstanding fact that what the Times and the Post print AUTOMATICALLY BECOMES NATIONAL NEWS in large and small markets and on national TV and local TV and radio and that little thing called the INTERNET that most people get their news from these days.  What are you, Mr. Writer, some kind of ostrich obsessive?

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