Tuesday, August 23, 2016

False Equivalency: Both Sides Do It! And Other Campaign Eye-Rollers

Image from source, MSN
In this ridiculous--and ridiculously long presidential campaign--there are still some old-school rules of thumb that are still in play. There is the media fascination with and desperation to maintain the horse race over substance. And in service to that, there is the need for "balance," accomplished by boiling everything down to "both sides do it," even if it takes a false equivalency to get there. Rarely are we dealing with apples and oranges. In fact, often, it's just Bad Analogy Theater.

Here's how it works. The media, naturally, will focus on whatever has just exploded into the news cycle, this time it's usually something outrageous that Donald Trump either said or did. Often, that something occurs at a time when something negative has happened to Hillary (or at least, the media thinks it ought to be a negative for her). The Trump story has more oomph, and gets more attention, and then Right Wing World starts squawking that the media is "in the tank" for Hillary, and only focusing on Trump's woes (ignoring, of course, the countless hours of free press Trump gets in that same media.

In an effort to try to balance things out though, the media will often play up the Hillary thing. Right now, one of those non-equivalent things is The Clinton Foundation vs. Trump Inc. One is a multi-billion dollar charity that helps poor people, and which has disclosed its donors. The other is a multi-billion dollar for-profit multi-national corporation, that pointedly does not disclose its business ties.

The Clinton Foundation has attracted scrutiny to the point of absurdity over its donors, with so far baseless accusations of pay-for-play access between the charity and the State Department, when Clinton was Secretary of State. Meanwhile, the Trump business has attracted far less focused attention, even though it is hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, and has even bigger financial ties to foreign entities, including the Bank of China. But it's the Clinton Foundation getting clobbered by innuendo, while Trump's businesses get passing mention.

That's par for the course this go-around though. There is so much going on in Trumpland that no one thing tends to stick, or get enough traction. With the Clinton side, it's a one-two-three punch of 1) Clinton Foundation, 2) E-mail "scandal," 3) Benghazi. Throw in a little "Mrs. Clinton has mystery diseases" rumor mongering, and you've basically got the counter-weight to the blizzard of Trump dumps. Donald calls group X a bunch of losers? Pick one of the above about Hillary, and pick at that as a counterpunch. Doesn't matter if it's baseless, pointless, or barely worth mentioning, just make sure it sounds bad for Hillary.

It's really no wonder that Hillary is keeping a relatively low profile these days. I wouldn't give a press conference either, when these old, stale topics keep getting dusted off and asked again. Everything has been asked and answered. Why risk giving a slightly different wording in an answer to have that dissected for three days, when Trump does something obnoxious daily? I'd keep my head down too. Though I'd be mightily pissed off at the double standard. And here we have--again--15,000 more emails. Doesn't matter what's in them, the insulation is that they were bad, and they were hidden. At this point, I really couldn't care less if one or six out of 15,000  maybe, could be interpreted as being classified after the fact. Sick. Of. It.


FBI uncovers 14,900 more documents in Clinton email probe

The FBI’s year-long investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server uncovered 14,900 emails and documents from her time as secretary of state that had not been disclosed by her attorneys, and a federal judge on Monday pressed the State Department to begin releasing emails sooner than mid-October as it planned. . .

Read more at: MSN

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