November 5, 2016

YES, THE PRESS HAS BEEN ABSOLUTELY AWFUL, EVEN BY THE LOW STANDARDS OF PREVIOUS ELECTIONS: Biggest loser of 2016 presidential election? The media.

We are still days away from finally knowing the winner of one of the ugliest elections in modern history, but we already have the biggest loser: the media.

From cable news employees sharing questions with Democrat Hillary Clinton in advance of TV town halls and debates, to executives making their airwaves endlessly available to Donald Trump for phone “interviews” that the Republican candidate controlled, the media have never performed less responsibly in a modern-era presidential election.

And that perception is not simply the result of WikiLeaks giving us an unvarnished, drip-drip-drip look at the incestuous groveling and information-sharing that reporters at some of the nation’s top news outlets engaged in with Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta the past 18 months. It’s the result of my daily reporting on an industry that appears to have largely lost a clear sense of civic direction and purpose, while simultaneously becoming cozier with the powers that be and more dishonest with audiences.

It’s a deadly combination that has dark consequences for democracy as the press fails in its primary job of giving citizens accurate, trustworthy information they can use in choosing who they want to lead the nation. Instead, as we have seen in two CNN events in March, candidate Clinton was secretly given information intended to skew the event and, therefore, the vote in her favor. That’s the opposite of serving democracy — and it feeds Trump’s dangerous rhetoric of the election being “rigged” against him.

Is the rhetoric “dangerous” if it’s true?

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