On May 15, The New York Times published an in-depth article about Donald Trump’s history of sexism and sexual harassment of women. The article barely caused a blip in the general media. There was some backlash from conservatives, and one of the women in the story said her comments were misconstrued. Trump, of course, declared the Times article completely discredited, and the mainstream media went quietly away, like a cuffed dog with its tail between its legs.
For years conservatives have decried what they call the “lamestream media” for its liberal bias. This includes the venerable New York Times. “Fair and balanced” Fox News was supposedly a reaction to this bias. But from where I sit, all the fawning attention given to Trump shows just the opposite. No matter what outlandish statements Trump makes about women and minorities, no matter what idiotic pronouncements he makes about what he will do as president (the latest: “I will unsign” executive orders made by Obama), the news media go out of their way to portray him as a legitimate candidate for the presidency of the United States.
This morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” the pundits spent an outsized amount of time hashing over allegations about the Clintons that date back to Bill Clinton’s presidency, allegations that Trump has dredged up in order to deflect attention from what a horrid candidate he is. They gave legitimacy to Trump’s claims that Bill Clinton was guilty of rape, a serious allegation that is completely without foundation. And apparently the irony was entirely lost on Joe Scarborough et al. when they discussed Bill’s alleged sexual harassment of women. No one brought up the numerous women in Trump’s organization who have claimed Trump said demeaning and inappropriate things to them on a routine basis, not to mention the women who said Trump made unwanted physical advances.
The news media are also spending an inordinate amount of time on polls that show Trump with a slight lead over Hillary Clinton in the general election. It is as if since Donald Trump became the clear Republican nominee, the media have gone out of their way to help him. At the same time, they have escalated their stories questioning Hillary Clinton’s ethics and honesty. They portray her as a heartless shrew and talk about how disliked she is. This thinly veiled sexism is an example of the double standard surrounding the two presumptive presidential nominees.
Even Megan Kelly, who was vilified by Trump and accused of being “on the rag” as recently as last fall, made nice with Trump and sat down to an interview with him in order to reveal his softer side. I’d like to see Chris Wallace chat by a cozy fire with Hillary Clinton and ask her about her role as a grandma in order to reveal her softer side.
While media outlets keep beating the twin dead horses of Benghazi and Hillary’s emails, Donald Trump gets a smile and a shrug from reporters, as if to say, “What are you gonna do? He has to be himself.” Sure, comedians make fun of Trump, but they’re part of the left wing Hollywood contingent, and as such, their mockery is dismissed as elitism.
I’d say the lamestream media title is well-deserved these days. It’s just not favoring the liberal elite the way the Sarah Palins of the world would have you believe.