Hillary Clinton spoke up today and took full responsibility for any mistakes she may have made during the course of the 2016 election – but she also pointed out that if not for the Trump-Russia collusion and the last minute FBI antics, she’d be President right now. That was enough to trigger tantrums from a number of prominent members of the media, because they know that when it comes down to it, Donald Trump is their fault.
Heading into the 2016 election, anyone with a sufficient understanding of politics (and the ability to read national polling and voter demographics) already knew Hillary Clinton was going to win the Democratic nomination by a few million votes and then win the general election by a few million votes as well. Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. Barring any truly bizarre unexpected developments, Hillary would end up President no matter how the media chose to cover the election. Every major news outlet knew as much, and it’s why they thought they could get away with treating the entire thing like a farce from start to finish.
Hillary had a boringly large lead in national polls for every single minute of the Democratic primary. But no problem, the media decided to only report outlier polls and state level polls that made it look like her opponent Bernie Sanders was winning, even though he was never remotely in contention. Every time you turned on CNN or MSNBC, they were purposely misrepresenting the polls, pretending Bernie was winning when in fact he was losing badly all along. What better way to make a boring primary race more ratings-friendly than by pretending the guy in distant second place was somehow winning? Nevermind that it led a number of Bernie fans to mistakenly conclude that the whole thing was rigged, when Hillary ended up winning the nomination by nearly the exact same popular vote margin that the polls said she would win by when the primary began.
Hillary had no scandals that were juicy enough for anyone to care about. But again, no problem, the media decided to report an ominous sounding and largely fictional version of her essentially harmless and very boring (and very legal) use of a private email server. The New York Times published an article about Hillary’s emails that was so fictional, it ended up having to publish two separate retractions just to walk back all the bullshit it had made up in the name of chasing ratings. Cable news spent every day pretending Hillary might somehow go to jail for her perfectly legal use of email, when it knew there was always a 0.00% of that happening, because people don’t get imprisoned for legal behavior. But hey, ratings. What could possibly go wrong?
And why would the media bother reporting on Donald Trump in serious fashion? Sure, the media knew that its softball coverage of him might cause him to win the Republican nomination. The media unconscionably chose to elevate a mentally unstable career criminal like Trump to a major party nomination, putting him that close to the Oval Office. But hey, four more months of ratings in the general election. And besides, they knew that short of something earth shaking, Hillary Clinton would win no matter how shamelessly and dishonestly they reported on the election while chasing those ratings.
Of course even as the major media outlets were reporting all this fake news about the 2016 election, they weren’t counting on Russia pushing things even further in a fictional direction by publishing even more fake news online. And they weren’t counting on the FBI Director making that earth shaking event happen with eleven days to go. But it was the media who spent the entire election recklessly, dishonestly, cravenly reporting on a largely fictional version of the election in a shameless pursuit of ratings. The media set the stage for Russia and Comey to install Donald Trump, and the media knows everything that’s happened during Trump’s tenure is its own fault.
So of course the media is still desperately hoping that Hillary Clinton will step up and pretend she ran some kind of horrible campaign, and that it’s somehow her fault Donald Trump is now occupying the White House. That’s the only way the media will ever be let off the hook for its own immorally criminal antics during the 2016 election cycle. As long as Hillary holds her ground and continues pointing out the facts of the election, the media will keep attacking her to try to distract from its own culpability. In that sense Hillary has a moral responsibility to keep pushing the facts and shaming the media in the process, so it can’t get away with this kind of fictional election coverage in the future. Help fund Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report