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Primary Concerns Episode 27: The Clinton Rules and Clinton’s Rules

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The past several days have been faith-shaking for liberals, who believe Donald Trump poses a profound risk to our civic institutions. Elections generally ramp up around Labor Day, and in that very moment election coverage turned and settled into an alarming new groove.

Reporters have saturated airwaves and column inches with innuendo-heavy and frequently unsupported stories about Hillary Clinton’s email practices and her solicitousness of Clinton Foundation donors. Meanwhile, many media figures seem determined to hold Donald Trump to a much lower standard; sidelining his own, better documented controversies, and excusing his total ignorance of substantive policy. No one represented these impulses better than NBC’s Matt Lauer, who, in a widely panned presidential forum Wednesday, hectored Clinton endlessly about her emails; before letting Donald Trump lie to his face about his support for the wars in Iraq and Libya.

What is the proper role for liberals in the media? What constitutes fair intervention and can liberals work the refs without falling into the conservative trap of objecting to all scrutiny of their favored candidates?

Glenn Greenwald, a founding editor of the investigative journalism website, The Intercept, has been heavily critical of liberals who cry foul over the media’s Clinton coverage. Rebecca Traister, New York magazine contributor and author of All the Single Ladies, is the most insightful chronicler of Clinton’s life in the public eye. In back-to-back interviews, these leading writers look for a sweet spot of liberal media criticism and explore whether the coverage of Hillary Clinton has fallen out of whack.

Further Reading:

  • At The Intercept, Glenn Greenwald argues that liberal pundits are trying to delegitimize all scrutiny of Hillary Clinton.
  • In the New Republic, Brian Beutler counters that liberals are fine with Clinton scrutiny, but believe news outlets often abandon editorial judgment and fail to treat her malfeasances in proportion to his.
  • Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim and Daniel Marans scrutinize Clinton without resorting to innuendo.