Maude Save Me from a Demand for Press Conferences

[Content Note: Misogyny; racism.]

Joan Walsh has written a terrific piece about the false equivalency the media is trying to create between Hillary Clinton's speech on Donald Trump's white nationalism and Trump calling Clinton a bigot: "The Media Are Doing an Abysmal Job of Covering Donald Trump's Racism."
Now, you can dislike Clinton's speech. You can fact-check it, and perhaps find something wrong—although to my knowledge nobody claimed any inaccuracy. But what you really shouldn't do, if you are a journalist of any kind of conscience or capacity, is act as though Clinton had somehow gotten down in the gutter with Trump—merely by describing what Trump is doing.

Yet that's the kind of coverage we got. Some commenters got it right, but the reporters and editors charged with "objectivity" immediately equated Clinton's clear-eyed exegesis of Trump's racially divisive campaign with Trump's calling her a "bigot."
Yes, yes, and more yes.

Meanwhile: The press continues to harangue Clinton about not doing more press conferences, despite the fact that they don't deliver similarly sustained outrage over anything Trump does, or fails to do, which is evidence of their double-standard routinely applied via the "Hillary rules," which is nothing more than rank sexism.

How do these two things relate? Well, here's how: The function of pressers in a typical election is to help distinguish the candidates. In this election, however, the candidates are observably different. And what the media is trying to do is make them seem more similar than they are, to create a horserace.

It's one of the primary reasons they are desperate for a press conference, because it will afford them an opportunity to try to fashion the illusion of parity they're desperately trying to create.

Clinton is denying them that opportunity, and she's wise to do so.

Not only because it would potentially damage her (as is the objective), but because it would also potentially enhance Trump's fortunes (which is also the objective), and Clinton doesn't just want to win for winning's sake; she wants to win because she cares about her country. Trump is a danger to that country.

She shouldn't avail herself of situations that help him. And the media has, regrettably, made it abundantly clear that they will use press conferences to do precisely that.

This is not a typical election. This is an election in which there is no overlap on issues. The two candidates aren't even close on any policy.

Between Clinton and Trump, I could be a single issue voter on any issue. Choice, immigration, diversity, the economy, literally anything. Trump's position on every single issue is so outwith the realm of acceptable policy that worrying about Clinton doing a presser is absurd.

Because there is no need for a presser that helps us choose between these two candidates. There is no usefulness in a presser to voters. There is no value to we the people.

This is an election unlike any other. The sooner the press gets on board with this reality, the better.

If they are ever inclined to do so.

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