On today's BradCast, it's starting to feel like the 2000 campaign all over again. Last night's "Commander-in-Chief Forum" as well as a comparison of corporate media coverage of "scandals" by both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both serve to underscore that point. [Audio link to full show posted below.]
First, the back-to-back town halls on national security issues with Clinton and then Trump on NBC on Wednesday night provided another disturbing example of the corporate media seemingly working hard to help level an unlevel playing field between the Democratic and Republican Presidential candidates. Moderator Matt Lauer held Clinton to account with tough questioning while giving a pass to all manner of dishonesty from Trump in response to fairly softball questions. Almost none of it went challenged by Lauer. In the bargain, as I argue on today's program, Trump won the night, which should be another note of great concern to Democrats as the polls continue to tighten in advance of the Presidential debates beginning later this month.
Then, speaking of media-aided false equivalence, Martin Longman, founder of Booman Tribune and Web Editor at Washington Monthly, joins us to discuss the very different ways in which the corporate media has been covering Clinton "scandals" concerning her email server and the Clintons' charitable foundation, versus actual criminal acts committed by Trump and his own foundation regarding illegal pay-offs to state Attorneys General.
Longman details the timeline of the Trump charity's illegal $25,000 payment to the political committee of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, after she had announced an investigation of his Trump University scam, after she had sought a donation from him, and before she finally decided to drop the case. Once caught, Trump paid a fine to the IRS for the illegal donation. But imagine if the Clinton's had done anything as blatant.
There are "all kinds of double standards" at play here, Longman explains. "Part of it is that the Right does a better job of working the refs." He goes on to cite one way in which Trump seems to avoid accountability in much the same way that the George W. Bush Administration had also managed to game the media.
"Before you can run down the problem with one story, [Trump's] created five more for you to run down," he tells me. "When you look at the variety of factors involved, some of it is bias against the Clintons, some of it is advantages that the right has, and some of it is just unique to Trump. You add it all up, and you've got this situation where you have one clearly --- in my mind --- crazy person who's getting fairly close to the Presidency, and people are treating it as though this is a normal choice between two candidates, and it's just not."
Yes, we've seen this pattern before in the recent past --- the 2000 Bush/Gore campaign comes to mind for good reason --- and it could result in an equally troubling outcome for the nation this November.
Finally, we close with Desi Doyen and our latest Green News Report, and then one last story on a man who really, REALLY, can't stand living with his wife...
(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)