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.
This isn't quite as unrealistic as you may think. Remember, it was The New York Times that really got the ball rolling on Hillary's email scandal, even before she announced her candidacy. The Times has continued to cover the story in a fairly in-depth fashion, providing plenty of information about the timeline and the ever-changing story.
For those who need some context about just how far the Times is usually in the tank for the Democrats when it comes to presidential elections, the following flashback tale should do the trick. Early in the 2008 cycle, when John Edwards had his eye on the nomination, the paper received credible information about an affair he was having while his wife was dying. They refused to run it, opting instead to run a completely fabricated story about an affair of John McCain's. The ran the piece about the affair that McCain never had on the very same day they turned down the Edwards story, by the way.
The Clinton email scandal reporting is some of the most honest the Times has ever done. Shockingly honest, in fact, for those of us who have spent a lot of time on the media bias watch. It was the FBI that dropped the ball (under instructions from President Obama and the DOJ no doubt) on this one. It's almost as if the Times was working overtime to make sure all the info was there for an indictment.
So what if they and the rest of the media are as angst-ridden over Hillary Clinton as so many conservatives and Republicans are over Donald Trump? Because the Democrats of the modern era are better at projecting a united front, they aren't allowed to say anything about the angst.
In this most ridiculous of elections, maybe even the upper echelon of the leftmedia wouldn't mind seeing this thing go to the House. Perhaps the lawlessness of Mrs. Bill and the recklessness of Donnie Boy are making the quiet, mostly unknown McMullin look good even to some leftists. There's no politically logical reason for them to want him to become president, but the fact that he doesn't give off a "Fatal Attraction"/boil-the-bunny vibe might be enough.
OK, maybe I do think it's crazy.
Crazy is having a busy year though.