As usual, rather than report and analyze dispassionately and responsibly, the media are collectively freaking out over revelations that the Clinton Foundation actually raised lots of money from lots of people. That some of those people also met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state is supposed to signify something horrible, nefarious, devious, and no good. And never mind that only a small fraction of the people who donated to the Clinton Foundation later met with Secretary of State Clinton, and never mind that those who did were exactly the type of people who normally meet with secretaries of state.
Whatever Hillary Clinton does is automatically cast as a conspiracy, even if those so casting can't manage to explain what exactly she conspired to do. There are calls to shut the Clinton Foundation down—never mind the tens of millions of people who have benefited from its efforts, and never mind that many people whose lives the foundation is saving inevitably will be lost. We are told that this is about optics. By the people whose jaundiced view of the Clintons perpetually prevents them from even seeing the Clintons. A charity that is lauded by objective monitors must be sacrificed to the bile of those who simply hate the Clintons for being Clintons.
Aside from the politics, which the Clintons themselves long have become accustomed to having to stomach, this is utterly depraved. And it reveals the Clinton critics once again as incapable of empathy or understanding, not only for the Clintons themselves, but for anyone who benefits from their good works. American schoolchildren. Those suffering from HIV/AIDS. The Clinton critics just can't comprehend that some people do good deeds just for the sake of doing good deeds, and that the lives of the people who benefit from those good deeds might actually be more important than petty political hatreds. This latest effort of the Clinton Conspiracy Complex is without question the most cruel and cynical yet.
The media want a horse race. It's better for the ratings. They don't care about the public good. They've also spent decades trying to tear the Clintons down, and rather than their perpetual failures inspiring them to contrition and self-reflection, they only make them burrow ever deeper into the fetid muck of their own febrile fantasies. They're not capable of discussing or analyzing detailed policy, and it infuriates them that the Clintons are capable and actually enjoy doing it. It infuriates them that Hillary Clinton won't cater to their fragile need to convince themselves of their own self-importance by indulging perpetually puerile questions about trivialities. They're so desperate to convince themselves of the rectitude of their own narratives that they're incapable of realizing the degree to which they have revealed themselves, now more than ever.
People's lives are at stake, and the media don't care. The future of the country and the world are at stake, and the media don't care. The least fit nominee for president in living memory, if not all of American history, is the only alternative to Hillary Clinton's election, and no one is asking that the media skew their agenda to help her win, but it would be nice if they would stop skewing their agenda to undermine her. Donald Trump wants to gut our most important international security alliance. He demonizes and caricatures people based on their race, their religion, and their gender. He has no respect for basic civil and human rights, and he has offered no detailed policies on anything. He doesn't debate, he incites. He doesn't inspire, he inflames. Fact checkers have to work overtime to catalogue his unprecedented litany of lies. And yet the media normalize his extremism. It is she who receives the most negative media coverage.
Historians will look back on this election with shock and condemnation. Did it really come to this? Did we really face this abyss? And did we, as a nation, survive it? Right now, the polls look very good, but that's primarily because the American people seem to be smarter and more responsible than the ostensible information gatekeepers. But when the histories are written, the condemnation will fall not only on Donald Trump and those Republicans who support or enable him—the media's role will be prominent.
We look likely to escape disaster this year, but the lesson is clear: If fascism ever does come to America, the media will be goose-stepping right in line.