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October 23rd, 2017

Insight

Are Media Just Hillary's Fair-weather Friends?

David Limbaugh

By David Limbaugh

Published June 9, 2015

Are Media Just Hillary's Fair-weather Friends?

Don't you find it a bit odd that two glaringly contradictory narratives surround Hillary Clinton's bid for the presidency — inevitability and "she's in trouble"?

I've never been convinced, as I've written before, of Hillary's inevitability. In fact, I rarely believe the media or members of the establishment of either party when they anoint any candidate as inevitable. These people tend to live in the Northeastern power corridor but are often oblivious to what the rest of the country is thinking.

I attended an influential confab prior to the 2008 primary season and listened to numerous GOP establishment honchos explaining why Mitt Romney's nomination in 2008 was virtually guaranteed — statistically, among other things. As I recall, he didn't win the nomination that year.

Also that year, the power brokers and establishment punditry prophesied Hillary as the inevitable Democratic presidential nominee. Their assessment, I think, was based on identity politics groupthink. It was time, in their collectively superficial view, for a woman to be president.

I guess it hadn't quite occurred to them that it was time for a black man to be president until Barack Obama came along and displayed certain charisma, at which point they happily cashiered one identity group for another.

But now that they can check one group off their list, they must move on to the next. It is Hillary's turn. Women's time has come. Plus, they convinced themselves she was inevitable in 2008; surely, they could resurrect that self-deluding fantasy for 2016. So they have, but lo and behold, they're experiencing serious speed bumps along the way.

Even with the mainstream media doing everything they can to shield Hillary from scrutiny, she is beginning to self-destruct. Her past is catching up with her — her distant and recent past; none of it is pretty, and she is an affirmatively horrible candidate.

Everywhere you turn today you're seeing stories about Hillary's looming problems. Just type her name in Google and see what you find.

Now, let's stop right here for a moment, lest you think I'm contradicting myself. In back-to-back paragraphs, I asserted that the media are shielding Hillary from scrutiny yet are also reporting that she is facing obstacles. Let me explain.

Put aside actual inevitability for a moment, and consider apparent inevitability. The only reason anyone is able to utter the term "inevitability" in proximity to "Hillary Clinton" is that the mainstream media are conspiratorially protecting her. If they were journalists instead of partisan hacks, they wouldn't tolerate for a second her arrogant stiff-arm and would demand she make herself available for interviews and questions.

Her famed "listening tour" is now a "listen to me" junket. Her ongoing media flip-off is unprecedented. Has any other presidential candidate ever done this?

If the media had any self-respect, let alone allegiance to journalistic integrity, they could instantly force her out of the shadows as they would if any Republican attempted such an outrageous stunt. Alternatively, they could very likely torpedo her campaign by savaging her for hiding and also by exposing the multitudinous scandals and weaknesses circling her aura like a wistful vulture.

But they don't. How utterly stunning that the institution that nominally champions the public's "right to know" is assisting Hillary in making sure the public doesn't know. How unspeakably hypocritical that the candidate who is stumping for expanding the voter franchise, as shamelessly demagogic as that is, is desperately trying to keep voters ignorant about who she is, what she's done and what she stands for.

The media act as if there's nothing much to all the scandal allegations against Hillary, other than perhaps an inconvenient appearance of impropriety in connection with the Clinton Foundation monies and influence. They are telling us she isn't inauthentic, only that she might appear to be, such as with her championship of income equality while being as rich as Croesus. They are ignoring or pooh-poohing her smorgasbord of scandals. And they are barely even murmuring about her inaccessibility, much less speculating about whether she lacks the confidence and competence to subject herself to questions.

But should Hillary's approval numbers continue to fall and another credible Democratic candidate emerge — and some are now talking about former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg — the media will demonstrate that their attitude toward Hillary has been one of purely partisan expedience as they turn on a dime and start airing her dirty linen. They'll tell us she's truly inauthentic, not just apparently so, and that there is something to some of these scandals after all. Heck, they might even suggest she's too old and not altogether competent. They might not get their first female president (unless Sen. Elizabeth Warren were to show real promise), but any Democrat — even another man — would be better than a Republican president.

The liberal media are Hillary's only lifeline right now, and should she continue to self-destruct and a strong liberal challenger come forth, we could see how quickly they sever that line.

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David Limbaugh is a columnist, author and attorney practicing in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

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