December 16, 2016

CNN's Jake Tapper addressed how he felt the media was being unfairly tarred by both the Clinton and Trump campaigns.

He said he didn't want to draw false equivalencies, but in reality that's why he actually did. Tapper rightly called out Trump surrogates for attempting to deny Russia's involvement in cyber espionage on our election process.

He said, "U.S. intelligence agencies are saying very clearly that Russians conducted these hacks of the DNC and John Podesta - some of the e-mails ended up in the public domain through Wikileaks and that may have had an influence on the election, one way or another...And that's just a fact."

On the flip side he argued against Clinton and President Obama for claiming that the media focused way too much on Clinton's emails and the Foundation and not much else.

Tapper said, "We're hearing this from comments Hillary Clinton made last night and President Obama suggesting "there's no doubt it contributed [the Russian hacks] to the atmosphere in which the only focus for weeks at a time, months at a time were Hillary's e-mail, the Clinton Foundation, political gossip surrounding the DNC."

Tapper claimed, "That didn't happen. There was no time during the election where the only thing we heard about was Hillary's e-mail, the Clinton Foundation, political gossip surrounding the DNC."

He continued, "You can argue we heard about it too much, but I certainly recall a lot of negative coverage of Donald Trump."

Jake, that is total crap!

Almost every week Donald Trump either made horrible statements about minorities, religions, his political rivals, women or attacked presiding judges on his own lawsuits as being unqualified because of their heritage.

The amount of negativity that flew out of the mouth of Trump was astronomical compared to any other presidential campaign in the modern era. Of course we heard a lot about it because it happened.

Overall, CNN didn't have a good election cycle. Tapper did reasonably well most of the time, but as far as self diagnosing the media, he's got it all wrong.

On his first point, it's not just the Clinton people that have been screaming about Russia's interference. It has been all of our intelligence agencies.

Today, the Washington Post reported that the FBI and CIA are now in agreement.

“Earlier this week, I met separately with (Director) FBI James Comey and DNI Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election,” CIA Director John Brennan said in a message to the agency’s workforce, according to U.S. officials who have seen the message.

That's not in dispute except if you believe Trump supporters and in that case, you'd have to believe everything that spills out of Jeffrey Lord's mouth.

On the second topic, there is plenty of evidence that destroys Tapper's claim that the media didn't obsess over Clinton's emails.


Eric Boehlert writes: much of the news coverage from the four weeks surrounding the conventions centered on policy? For Clinton, just four percent, according to a study by the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University.

“Not a single one of Clinton’s policy proposals accounted for even 1% of her convention-period coverage; collectively, her policy stands accounted for a mere 4% of it,” wrote Harvard professor Tom Patterson.

And this is key: During that same summertime period, Trump received three times as much policy coverage as Clinton. Why the large disparity? “A major difference between Trump and Clinton’s coverage was that she had a news category entirely of her own—the emails that she sent and received as secretary of state,” Patterson explained. And as he noted, the vast majority of Clinton email coverage was negative.

So, during the convention weeks, the press spent eight percent of its time covering Clinton emails and half that amount of time covering all of Clinton’s policy positions. CNN’s The Situation Room seemed especially obsessed: Clinton emails represented 17 percent of the program’s Clinton coverage during the four-week summertime span.

After being asked incessantly about the email server and then finally being cleared by the FBI in July, the media still went nuts over the server itself, primarily because it was the driving force of the Trump campaign.

Matt Yglesias of Vox wrote: Media obsession with a bullshit email scandal helped Trump to the White House

The way Frank Newport, Lisa Singh, Stuart Soroka, Michael Traugott, and Andrew Dugan put it for Gallup is that compared with the email-centric view of Clinton, “Americans' reports of what they have read, seen or heard about Donald Trump over this same period have been more varied and related to his campaign activities and statements.”


Matt correctly stated that "Clinton broke no laws, as the FBI concluded twice. But beyond that, basic familiarity with the relevant law would have made it clear to anyone that no FBI investigation of the matter was even vaguely likely to conclude that she had."

However, since Trump's pet anthem became "lock her up," almost every interview or presidential forum focused more of their attention on the email server than any of her policy prescriptions.

Getting back to Tapper, he also said, "The Clinton campaign still blaming everything on James Comey and the FBI which is completely unrelated to the hack so I think a measure of non-partisan emphasis of what the serious problem is here without trying to blame the result of the presidential election on the Russians, because there is no evidence for that."

The James Comey letter was probably the biggest factor that threw the election to Trump, but Russia's interference and the constant drips from Wikileaks played a big part in all of this as well.

Jake, you can carp about it all you like, but the media did drop the ball completely, while giving Trump hundreds of millions of dollars of free air time on top of everything else.

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