Tuesday, September 06, 2016

The Donald Chronicles: Double Standard and/or Fraud Fatigue?

Complaints of a media double standard on Clinton (lots of prominent stories, nothing illegal found) and Trump ( less prominent stories, actual illegal stuff found with possibly more) cited here by Josh Marshall and Paul Krugman got other voices in support on Tuesday.  Plus more scrutiny on the Trump possible bribe story, partly due to Hillary talking about it to the traveling press.

 There were two pieces in the WPost:  Paul Waldman asks Trump’s history of corruption is mind-boggling. So why is Clinton supposedly the corrupt one?         and Daniel Dresner attempts to answer the question Why Hillary Clinton’s perceived corruption seems to echo louder than Donald Trump’s actual corruption.  

Waldman explains the questions involved in the Trump Foundation contribution to the campaign of Florida's attorney-general, who then declined to prosecute Trump on allegations of fraud made against Trump University, after she solicited the campaign contribution from him and received it.  It raises lots of questions--  "But here’s the thing: We don’t know the answers to those questions, because almost nobody seems to be pursuing them."  Waldman lists the stories about Trump that aren't being investigated.

Dresner notes that so far the Clinton Foundation stories have turned up only "nothingburgers." "To be clear, I don’t disagree with much of this coverage. I’m just noting that there’s an awful damn lot of it."  The media has covered some Trump scandals but the Clinton coverage "echoes louder" partly because cable news provides the chamber.  (Also the coverage on the Clinton Foundation is way way bigger than on the Trump Foundation, at least so far.)

Dresner suggest two reasons why: Clinton is leading, and there's lots of material pertaining to her on the record, because it's all been made public.  Not really ironically, Trump is harder to cover because he keeps everything secret, like his tax returns.  (Which 74% of voters believe he should reveal, but he's still refusing.)

None of this says why Clinton is "perceived" as corrupt without evidence--it can't all be Faux News.

But basically Waldman says the media isn't investigating the Trump Foundation and other Trump problems, and Dresner says they aren't doing so because it's hard.

But hard as it may be (requiring like, you know, actual reporting), this might be changing.  An editorial by the Miami Herald explains why the Trump Foundation/Trump U. story "deserves a closer look," with Florida details.  It also mentions that absolutely nothing illegal has turned up about the Clinton Foundation.   NPR did a segment and covered the story, noting that a political contribution by a foundation was illegal, the IRS caught Trump and he paid a fine. But the story had little or no new reporting.

Trump on Tuesday denied ever speaking to the Florida a-g, then (since she's on the record as having asked for the donation from him in a personal phone call) his campaign walked it back by saying he meant he never spoke to her about Trump U.

Another reason--which keeps coming up--why Trump outrages aren't fully covered is that there are so many of them, several times a day.  On Tuesday there were his completely nonsensical answers to substantive questions in a staged town hall, his dubious military endorsements, and the leaking of Democrat emails by a likely Russian hacker to a New York newspaper owned by Trump's son-in-law and campaign honcho.  Another Siberian Candidate moment?

Meanwhile, a CNN national poll shows the likely voter race tied (reason to believe this is an outlyer) and a huge Washington Post poll of all 50 states done over a month shows a tight race but clear electoral vote advantage to Clinton.  The surprise in this poll is the number of close states, both blue and red--including Texas, a virtual tie.  But this poll was taken over a volatile time, so it's not clear what it says about the state of the race right now.

As for truth, the WPost shoots down another rabid right Internet cliche--that Hillary was fired from the Watergate committee-- and the New Yorker begins a weekly series "Trump and the Truth" (because he's really no good at it) with Trump and immigration.

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