The Media seems to have a penchant for exploiting news of relatively questionable value, highlighting it in an attempt to make it equivalent to stuff that really matters.
Hillary Clinton had pneumonia last week and didn't immediately report it, and this somehow, according to the mainstream press, is damaging her campaign. They've added fuel to the notion she is untrustworthy, due to the ad nausea reportage of her private email server and a few emails that may or may not have been clearly marked confidential, none of which produced national security calamities, as well as the supposed exploitation of her connection with the much-praised Clinton Foundation.
It wasn't just Fox News, an organization that should be disallowed from having "News" in its corporate title, but moderates to liberals such as Anderson Cooper on CNN and Chris Matthews on MSNBC, who have reproached her and expressed disappointment that Hillary just cannot be honest and transparent. A front page article on Tuesday in the Los Angeles Times, which is supporting Hillary, argues as much. One wonders if it's all legitimate or simply a bid to gain ratings and sell newspapers?
Let's get real. Yes, it would've been better if her diagnosis was revealed last Friday when she appeared a bit under the weather during her now much talked about discussion about the "basket of intolerables" in the Trump campaign. Her voice was subdued, but she carried on in the same manner people go to work with a bad cold. Pneumonia in the civilized world is eminently treatable, and one would imagine she felt well enough on Sunday not to disappoint those who expected her for the memorial of the havoc that took place in her first year as a New York Senator.
Sure, the images of her stumbling didn't look great, but, considering the rubbish spewed by Trump (who, to this date, hasn't revealed more than the barest information about his medical history) that she was in serious physical and mental shape, is there any wonder why Hillary might not want to let a not too serious ailment be magnified by the liar that is Trump or by his misleading surrogates?
But more to the point. How does not being forthcoming about a condition not detrimental to her service as president compare to the lies and omissions by Trump and his campaign? Besides his scant medical report (hers was akin to Mitt Romney's and Barack Obama's), he has failed to reveal his tax returns. She has released IRS documents going back decades, but his campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said on Tuesday she doubted he would do it, saying "This is like badgering." Badgering. To conform to a tradition presidential candidates have subscribed to for the past four decades, but it isn't badgering to continue to go after Hillary and her emails, to which any lawyer would object saying "Asked and answered."
How much more news will come forth about her email server? Isn't it the same story over and over again? She has admitted it was a mistake, though the idea of using a personal email account by others has been verified by Colin Powell, and NOTHING in all that time, with all the investigations, has uncovered any evidence anything significant happened because of her server or the email account.
Not the FBI investigation, which cleared her of criminal charges and indicated only a few emails had any sort of confidential markings on them (and they were absent the bold, capitalized title-head kind). Even as FBI Director James Comey censured Hillary for being careless, and he did so strongly, there was no trace at all her server was hacked, nor that anything occurred to hurt our nation.
Yet, continuing nonsensical criticism continues as each new group of emails is disseminated, as if there's a new story that supports the notion she endangered our country. Indeed, the controversy has intensified, mostly by the Trump forces and their media surrogates over what might have happened, as if "might" is equivalent to "did."
The Clinton Foundation is another piece of the puzzle even less suspicious, as there's been no quid pro quo substantiation that her connection to the Foundation provided any meaningful service to a donor, other than the typical entrée that takes place when one has connections in the political world. No one has been proven to get government contracts due to such a donation. No documentation has been uncovered that the Clintons somehow siphoned donations to their "secret" Cayman bank account.
Yet these lies or "what-ifs" continue from the Trump campaign and the media often covers it. Sometimes reporters will challenge the Trump surrogates, like the almost robotic Paris Dennard, an African-American Trump supporter who typifies the unpleasant analogy of a Harriet Beecher Stowe character during oft-appearances on CNN. No matter when horrible things about Trump which cannot be denied come forth from other panelists like Van Jones or Mondale campaign manager Bob Beckel. To all of it, Dennard diverts the conversation to Hillary.
Reminded that Trump was one of the most prominent "birthers," referring to the idea President Obama wasn't born in this country, Dennard with a stone, almost prissy face, insists Hillary made the charges first in her 2008 campaign. When it's pointed out there's no such evidence, that at most someone in the campaign might have done so, Dennard is unmoved. The fact that Hillary never went on record about such a thing, whereas Trump did so in 2011, many times beyond and continues to refuse to admit he is wrong to this day means nothing to folks like Dennard, "commentators" such as Kayleigh McEnany, former New York lieutenant-governor Betsy McCaughey or KABC Talk Show Host John Phillips, who deflect myriad other Trump misstatements.
McEnany continued the lie last night on CNN that Hillary said (about the "deplorables") they weren't American. She never said that, but it's par for the course for these Stepford Trump supporters, who not only dissemble continuously regarding Trump's hidden tax returns et al, but also spout things not true.
Bob Beckel and Van Jones acknowledged Hillary might have mishandled her comments, leading Beckel to remind Dennard that they are capable of admitting when she has done something a bit indelicate and asked Dennard if he could do likewise about Trump. Dennard, programmed to remain silent, was saved by Don Lemon's immediate break to a commercial.
There is so much calumny in Trump's record, his lies about being against the Iraq War when there's broadcast evidence to the contrary. While Hillary regretted her support, Trump won't even confess what in fact was true. He falsifies our economic statistics, about our standing in the world community and "suggests" other fibs using his oft-stated "Many people have said" preface that somehow shields him from making the lie itself.
Plus, he pooh-poohs his lawsuits and settlements regarding racial discrimination in his housing units, his failure to pay those who have worked on his properties, government action against the Trump Foundation and the presumed scam of his so-called Trump University, leading to one of his most heinous bigoted statements, calling for the removal of a judge involved in the case due to the American-born man's Mexican heritage.
Most people know the list of his slurs and falsehoods that are only occasionally thrown back at his face, yet the media somehow equates Hillary's failure to report her pneumonia as further proof that we shouldn't trust her.
I don't think it's specifically done to elect Trump, but I am certain it is to make sure the race stays competitive until November 8.
Michael Russnow's website is www.ramproductionsinternational.com