Double Standard? What If Clinton Hinted Trump Should Be Shot?

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By Mark Green

In a week of Deplorables, Pneumonia-Gate, and Lies about Birther Lies, guess which got the least coverage? Lowry & Barrett debate why the candidates are indeed graded on a curve and, short of sex change operation, what Hillary should do about it. "HERE"S what you have to lose!"

#BasketofDeplorabes. Was this essentially a classic gaffe. impolitic yet true? Rich Lowry of the National Review says no because it was both self-wounding and untrue since half the GOP are not racists and nativists...which is why she apologized for it.

After the Host notes that she apologized for the numeral not the noun, Wayne Barrett -- author of biographies of both Trump & Giuliani -- doesn't disagree. "While we can talk about the percentage, she should never confuse deplorable views with deplorable people -- and certainly not call them irredeemable."

Rich offers a joking codicil: while some number are perhaps racially intolerant, "none of our readers are." And he adds a both-side-are rebuttal that "probably as many Democrats believe Bush43 was behind 9/11."

Host: As for whether half of Trump supporters are "deplorable", Wayne correctly said that's for people like him and me to say. Which should not be hard when a) Trump's obviously appealing to racial resentment, b) 60%+ of his supporters believe in birtherism and banning Muslims, a third wish the South had won the Civil War (or is being pro-slavery just 'political correctness?'") Quantity matters both now and when the GOP tries to reconstitute after November 8th.

And neither 60% nor a third of Democrats believe Bush43 was behind 9/11. Actually, only one party has a 'fringe' on top.

Hillary's Health. So he lies about everything and she tried to "power through" pneumonia to attend the 9/11 Memorial Service? Rich and Wayne correctly note that that video of her near-collapsing is unusual and powerful. Lowry puts this problem in the context of her supposed secrecy and dishonesty, urging that she should have held a press conference explaining her health for long as it took. "Trump is trying to 'pivot' by being more disciplined and reading from teleprompters; Hillary she also do something different to address her problem."

By elevating her health as an issue even more? And four days of saturation coverage on her health? Wayne emphasizes that "she never lied about her health, just didn't disclose it right away. Health is an issue but low on the scale, especially since we're about to see her debate for hours and campaign vigorously." Also, Barrett is amazed and dismayed that while the press went red-alert on deplorables and pneumonia, "it completely ignored the tape showing that on the actual 9/11 in 2001, Trump bragged that now one of his buildings 'was the tallest in downtown Manhattan.'"

Financial Scandals. We discuss the subject of Trump's financials, especially his refusal to release his tax returns, Newsweek's cover expose of his multiple conflicts with governing should he win and his so-called personal charity. Consensus: these are all important and relevant but, as Wayne's career of exposing such things and watching little pick-up, it may be something too complicated to cover and ready about.

"I'm not sure that any of this matters electorally, Rich concludes. And then, there's no video of Trump collapsing in an ocean of ill-gotten gains."

Birtherism. It was like watching Houdini escape chains while submergd in a vat of water. All of us are impressed/depressed that Trump commandeered live cable coverage for a half hour promoting his private profit-making Trump Hotel in DC and then take 27 seconds to say, after five years of implying the opposite, ok, Obama was born in US but Clinton started birtherism.

Rich and Wayne are unsure that he'll get away with this manuever. Indeed, for a day the Media piled on with blaring headlines and broadcast news leads about his "lies"...but then some local terror attacks seized the headlines. Isn't a problem that while his problems get one-off coverage, like discussing shooting Clinton or now Birtherism, Clinton's emails are released drip-drip monthly by court order, regenerating headlines each time?

Wayne's analysis is that print publications are not to blame, lauding the New York Times and Washington Post especially for its deep dives, "but the problem are broadcasters. They know how to pick up scandals yet for some reason are letting him breeze by his." Rich doesn't disagree, explaining how he can just bulldoze and bully TV and radio broadcasters, who often have scarce tine to follow-up and want to get him back for future interviews. {Two who do defrock him -- Chris Matthews and Jay Tapper.)

Is this issue now over, as his surrogates insisted the next day? It depends whether journalists fold or follow-up. For example does Lester Holt ask Trump in front of 70 million, "Since the President released his long-form birth certificate three years ago, why did it take until just before a presidential election to admit it...now that you are, will you apologize for wrongly implying he wasn't a legitimate president for five years?

Double Standard? Both Right and Left attack the Media. But how accurate is it that there's now a double standard where her stumbles attract extensive attention while his avalanche of lies don't?

Rich acknowledges that Trump can artfully candidly acknowledges that many grade Trump on a curve precisely because a) she keeps emphasizing that he's unusually dangerous and b) Clinton is indeed far more experienced about public affairs, which Wayne mocks as saying, in effect, "we should harder on her because she's the better candidate?" He then reiterates his point about the different levels of culpability of print vs. electronic coverage.

Host: The show ends before we can get to whether any double standard is the result of misogyny, which many think was behind Matt Lauer's much-panned and far rougher treatment of Clinton. Without any data to refer to, the Host opines that it is harder for a women because of centuries of prejudice against women and that Trump implies this every time he states how strong he is, adores Putin, says she lacks "stamina" and "doesn't look presidential."

He is perfecting a move so unique that, like the Fosbury Flop, it'll be named after him: The Trump Trick - winning votes based on fear & lies and then refusing to apologize assuming that the both-sides-do-it media and credulous anxious voters can't keep up with his volume of repeated mendacity...not to mention his entertaining, charming-rouge lounge act when he admits to pay-for-play de-fanging critics.

Challenge: how can the Media and Clinton decode his strategy? To avoid appearing weak and defensive, she needs a formula that combines explaining her positive ideas with mocking attacks on his avalanche of sleazy lies and rhetorical questions. ("HERE'S what you have to lose!"..."one of us up here makes mistakes, the other lies most of the time according to PolitaFact".)

Every great half back and candidate fumbles. But great ones (see Obama's speech in 2008 on Rev. Wright) recover them and stay on offense. She'll have the opportunity to do so in the Debates and in extensive paid media. More to come.