Media Suddenly Very Interested in Evan McMullin
It has been over two months since conservative Evan McMullin launched his independent bid for the White House that he doesn't think is just about being a "spoiler". However, ever since FiveThirtyEight wrote earlier in the week that he could be just that, the rest of the MSM seems to be noticing him more.
McMullin has been getting some coverage, but most of the chatter about him until now would have been missed if you weren't following a bunch of the #NeverTrump crowd on social media. Now we've got media stalwarts like The New York Times and the BBC writing about him.
Why all the fuss now?
Some of it certainly has to do with his rise in the polls in Utah, making him more newsworthy than he was a couple of weeks ago. If you're still operating under the presumption that the media is genuinely interested in news pertaining to this election, it's a plausible theory.
If we were working under the normal MSM U.S. presidential election playbook, October would be all about building up the Democrat and destroying the Republican. There is definitely a lot of that going on, made easier by the fact that this year's Republican comes with a super-sized "Self Destruct" button. If building up McMullin served solely to tear down Trump, the attention would make perfect sense. McMullin's non-spoiler spoiler play, however, is the thing that could really screw things up for Granny Maojackets. According to FiveThirtyEight, that's in play even when Trump is tanking:
An interesting point about that number is that it’s relatively insensitive to how far Trump is behind. Of course, a close race would be ideal for McMullin, but the chances of the election finishing within the margin of Utah in late September when it was close were still only around 3.1 percent. Essentially, if the race is close, it’s a narrow band between a clear Clinton victory and a clear Trump victory. But if the race isn’t close, it’s a narrow band in the upper range of possible Trump rebounds. So while the odds of a Trump victory have plummeted, the odds of a McMullin miracle — assuming he wins Utah — remain somewhat steady.
Getting some attention outside of the Twitter hashtag that's carried McMullin this far can only help the long shot become a little shorter, it would seem.
Because it is 2016, I have a theory that even I would have thought crazy in previous election years. Bear with me, and I swear I'm sober as I write this.
Yes, the MSM hates Trump. Well, they hate him as a presidential candidate. They've obviously been A-OK with him whenever he's making them some money. This election loathing is a special kind of deep loathing though. They are most definitely in "seek and destroy" mode now, and they really don't even have to seek.
Deep down, however, I think they know that Mrs. Clinton may be able to trace her family tree back to Satan, and that is creating a little dissonance these days. Like many an American voter, they are currently spending most of each day wondering how these two made it to the top of the ballot. As their primary function is to be the publicity wing of the Democratic National Committee they can't express that out loud, naturally.