Sunday, August 28, 2016

False Equivalence on Steroids

In the last post we looked at the fact that another independent study confirms what Hillary supporters like you and me knew all along: Hillary's coverage is more negative than Trump's.

Her coverage is 47% positive and 53% negative while he is 49 and 51 respectively. Considering that Trump is the most unqualified major party candidate in history-as agreed by both Republicans and Democrats-and who has called for things like deporting 12 million people, a Muslim ban, and an ideology test, that is really saying something.

It's true that Trump got a lot of negative coverage in August at least the first two weeks, you can't compare that as an absolute quantity but against both what Hillary gets and what Trump really should get in an honest, functioning media who cared more about truth than balance.

But never has false equivalence been so aggressively wrong than with Trump's hamhanded attempts to politicize the killing of Dwayne Wade's cousin.

In general the media is awful in it's coverage of race issues. You'll hear the media say 'Sure Trump is a racist, but Hillary lies about her emails' as if those are equal sins.

In a list of don'ts to the media Peter Daou mentions the absurd way the media covered the debate between Trump and Hillary over race.

"Don’t indulge the kind of embarrassing headline writing employed by the Washington Post a day after Hillary delivered the speech of the campaign: “Clinton, Trump exchange racially charged accusations.” (No, WaPo, Trump falsely and disingenuously calling Hillary a “bigot” is not remotely the same as Hillary’s litany of Trump’s own words.)"

"The media in general has this tendency to act like it can do nothing but just repeat the litany and call it a day. 'They both called each other racists, ain't it awful how our public discourse has been degraded?'

Politico is doing the same thing.

"Trump and Clinton throw more blows in bigotry fight."

"The brutal general election battle between the two candidates has reached a new level."

Read more:

See that? As usual the media feels it can't choose sides between racism and anti racism. Hillary calls him on bigotry but then he calls her a racist too, so guess there are two sides to this.

The media does feel though that it can take sides on Hillary's emails and the Clinton Foundation. On that there are not two sides just one: the Hillary critics.

Scott Simon may have had the worst day of any journalist yesterday in refusing to contradict a Trump surrogate who passed off more Hillary health conspiracy theories.

"@kreylix @sivavaid @dangillmor Jack, he's a designated T campaign rep. The other candidate is accused of lying too, & she's welcome anytime-"

You get that? Simon's job is just that of a stenographer. He can just ask the question. If it's a lie or a wild conspiracy theory with no basis in fact, it's not his job to contradict it.

How much do you want to bet that if a Hillary surrogate defended her on emails, he would push back and not blandly say 'The other candidate is accused of lying too?'

But it took the tragic murder of Dwayne Wade's cousin to truly show just what noxious levels false equivalence can reach.

Judd Legum of Think Progress:

"Donald Trump’s Tweet About The Murder Of Dwyane Wade’s Cousin Was Bad. The Associated Press’ Tweet Was Worse."

"Never Tweet."

Trump used Wade's death to declare victory like he did after the Orlando shooting. He added insult by not even spelling his name right initially. His staff later corrected it.

I don't know what it is with the AP. First that dog's breakfast of a hit piece on the Clinton Foundation which they still have petulantly refused to correct and now this.
To put Trump's clumsy, ham-handed attempt to opportunism with Wade's grief for his cousin's death shows just how aggressively awful false equivalence can get.

Dwyane Wade and Donald Trump speak out on Twitter in wake of the NBA star's cousin's fatal shooting."

The best thing here was simply not to even put Dwayne Wade and Trump in the same tweet. If you want to mention Trump do it in a separate tweet

Sarah Kendizor notes that ABC did the same thing:

Puff piece on Trump from ABC. Notice they won't quote actual Trump tweet on Wade, because that would damage Trump.

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