Thursday, April 21, 2016

What happens when the media really are (yes, "are") out to get a candidate?

For those confused by the title of this post:

Medium-- singular

Media-- plural

When nouns and verbs disagree, a puppy dies a horrible death.  Make sure your nouns and verbs agree or you're a puppy killer.  This has been a public service announcement from your friendly, neighborhood grammar police.

Back to politics.  I just did a radio interview about my recent piece over at The Conversation about what happens when the media have to cover a race in which one candidate is a normal politician, and the other is a pathological liar.  Towards the end of that piece, I posited that the 2016 election may scramble the normal political rules.  Since Donald Trump lies so often and so brazenly, and he has already antagonized the press to an unprecedented degree (just ask Megyn Kelly), the relationship may be different.  The press might be more willing to call out Trump's lies than if they were dealing with a normal candidate.

Then again, consider the Republican norm of attacking the press.  For decades now, Republicans have asserted that there is a pervasive liberal bias throughout the media.  A Republican is subjected to any form of media scrutiny?  Liberal bias!  Liberal bias!

If Trump really is the Republican nominee, though, most of the media really will be out to get him!  We will be faced with a bizarre circumstance in which the media call Trump a liar, Trump claims the media are all out to get him, and everyone will be correct.  What are the implications of that?

I'm working on it.

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