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  • Racist Radio Host David Duke Praises Mike Pence’s "Reject[ion]" Of The Media's Call To Denounce Him

    David Duke: It’s “Good To See An Individual Like Pence And Others Start To Reject This Absolute Controlled Media”

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    In an interview with Buzzfeed News, radio host and former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke praised Republican Vice President nominee Mike Pence, following Pence’s refusal to call Duke “deplorable” during an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

    Following Pence’s CNN interview, Buzzfeed reported that Duke called it “good to see an individual like Pence and others start to reject this absolute controlled media.” Duke argued that “the Republican Party is a big tent,” and bragged that he “had a perfect Republican voting record”:

    Louisiana Senate candidate and former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke says he’s pleased that vice presidential nominee Mike Pence declined to call him “deplorable” in an interview on Monday.

    “It’s good to see an individual like Pence and others start to reject this absolute controlled media,” Duke told BuzzFeed News. “The truth is that the Republican Party in Louisiana — I received the vast majority of Republican votes for United States Senator before and for governor before that in my state. The truth is the Republican Party is big tent. I served in the Republican caucus. I was in the Republican caucus in the legislature. I had a perfect Republican voting record. It’s ridiculous that they attack me because of my involvement in that non-violent klan four decades ago.”

    In an appearance on CNN on Monday, Pence was asked about Duke’s support of his running mate Donald Trump. Pence replied, “We don’t want his support and we don’t want the support of the people who think like him.”

    Asked if Duke is “deplorable,” Pence said, “I’m not in the name-calling business.”

  • Broadcast News Widely Covers Anthony Weiner Story, Ignores Abuse Accusations Against Trump Campaign CEO

    Wash. Post, NY Times Also Give More Prominence To Weiner Saga In Print Than Abuse Allegations Against Trump Campaign CEO

    Blog ››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN

    Broadcast network news programs devoted significantly more time to lewd behavior from Anthony Weiner, the husband of an aide to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, than to allegations that Donald Trump's campaign CEO engaged in domestic violence and workplace sexual harassment. The outlets treated the Weiner story as a major campaign issue even though Weiner is playing no direct role in the Clinton campaign.

    Politico reported on August 25 that Trump’s campaign CEO, Stephen Bannon, “was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, battery and dissuading a witness following an incident with his then-wife in 1996.” The charges were later dropped, but the police report says that Bannon’s wife claimed that he “pulled at her neck and wrist during an altercation over their finances, and an officer reported witnessing red marks on her neck and wrist to bolster her account.” BuzzFeed on August 29 reported that Bannon had also been accused of sexual harassment by a co-worker while working as an investment banker in the 1990s. 

    On August 29, a top aide to Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, announced that she was separating from Weiner following reports that he had sent lewd photos of himself to another woman.

    One might think media would focus more on the Bannon story, which involves allegations of criminality against the CEO of a presidential campaign, than on the dissolution of the marriage of a candidate's aide. That was not the case.

    ABC, CBS, and NBC devoted more than half an hour of coverage to the Weiner-Abedin story -- roughly 10 minutes for each network -- according to a Media Matters review of their morning and evening news shows (NBC’s Today and Nightly News, ABC’s Good Morning America and World News Tonight, and CBS’ CBS This Morning and Evening News) on August 26, August 29, and the morning of August 30. Those same programs devoted only 39 seconds in total to covering either of the Bannon stories, with all of that coverage coming from Good Morning America.

    Two of the nation’s leading newspapers for national political coverage, The New York Times and The Washington Post, similarly gave the Weiner-Abedin story more emphasis in their print editions. Both papers devoted 1,400-word front page articles to their separation. By contrast, the Times placed its August 26 story on Bannon’s alleged abuse on page 13, along with a portion of a page 10 August 27 piece and a single sentence of a page 1 August 27 piece. The Post devoted a large portion of a page A04 article on August 27 to the allegation. Neither paper covered the sexual harassment allegation in their respective print editions.

    Not only was the amount of coverage uneven, but in its coverage the broadcast news shows repeatedly framed the Abedin-Weiner story as something that could harm Clinton’s campaign as well as recall for voters Clinton’s own marital problems, a frame that wasn’t applied to the Bannon story. 

    NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell on Today claimed “of course” there would be political fallout for Clinton, connecting the Abedin story to Clinton not having a press conference and suggesting that it would remind voters “about Hillary Clinton's own choices 20 years ago, 19 years ago,” an apparent reference to Clinton’s decision not to leave her husband after he had an affair.

    CBS anchor Norah O’Donnell on Evening News said it was “about the last thing Hillary Clinton's campaign needed, a scandal involving the husband of her top aide Huma Abedin.” O’Donnell also asked CBS political director John Dickerson if the story “change[d]” things for Clinton and her campaign. 

    ABC correspondent Cecilia Vega on Good Morning America noted that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump attempted to turn the separation “into a political attack,” adding that Trump “is not holding back, so is the Clinton campaign worried that this will be a distraction for them?” ABC political analyst Matthew Dowd also claimed the story “is a problem for the Hillary campaign” because “independents out there look at it and say, ‘Do we really want to go back to all this again?’”

    The Times and the Post’s coverage made the same connection. The Times alleged the Weiner story “threatens to remind voters about the troubles in the Clintons’ own marriage over the decades” and “evokes the debates that erupted over Mrs. Clinton’s handling of the [Monica] Lewinsky affair.” The Post also pointed to “a different ending to the parallel between Bill and Hillary Clinton and each wife’s public embarrassment by the sexual indiscretions of her politician husband.”

    The only mention of either Bannon story on broadcast news shows was during Good Morning America’s August 26 edition, which treated Bannon’s alleged spousal abuse as a passing issue. ABC correspondent Jonathan Karl briefly stated that the domestic violence allegation could cause “more turmoil ahead for the Trump campaign CEO,” but he didn't mention any impact on the overall campaign or Trump specifically. ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos also briefly brought up the domestic violence allegations with Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway to ask if Trump was “aware of [the allegation], is he OK with it,” to which Conway claimed ignorance and Stephanopoulos quickly moved on. 

    The coverage of Bannon’s alleged abuse in the Times and the Post​, while given less prominence than its Weiner-Abedin coverage, did mention a potential negative impact to Trump’s campaign. The Times claimed that while Bannon’s appointment was “part of an effort to reset a candidacy that has stumbled with minority and female voters,” Bannon “brings to the post his own bumpy background that includes misdemeanor charges of domestic violence.” In an article the next day, the Times noted the abuse allegation has “created distractions for Mr. Trump’s campaign and raised questions about [Trump’s] management style.” The Post also made the same case in an article that same day. However, none of this coverage, in broadcast or print, noted that the Bannon allegations came on the heels of other women claiming Trump had sexually harassed them in the workplace.

  • The Conservatives Who Said That Trump’s New Campaign Chief Betrayed Breitbart's Memory By Backing Donald Trump

    ››› ››› OLIVIA KITTEL

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s new campaign chief Stephen Bannon is the executive chairman of conservative website Breitbart News, which has been embroiled in a civil war over the publication’s Trump support. Numerous conservative media figures have slammed Bannon -- who is taking a leave of absence to work for Trump -- and Breitbart News for destroying the legacy of the site’s founder Andrew Breitbart, who said in 2011 that Donald Trump is “not a conservative.”

  • Right-Wing Media Monitor, Film Attendees Inside All-Gender Restroom At Democratic Convention

    ››› ››› RACHEL PERCELAY

    Right-wing media monitored and filmed people using the designated all-gender restroom at the Democratic National Convention, looking for “obviously transgender” convention attendees in the bathroom. Conservative media have long peddled the bogus myth that nondiscrimination protections for transgender people will allow male sexual predators to sneak into women’s bathrooms by pretending to be transgender, leading to an increase in assault and misbehavior in restrooms.

  • Fox Overlooks Trump’s Middle East Business Ventures While Hyping His Clinton Foundation Criticism

    ››› ››› TYLER CHERRY

    While pushing presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s criticisms of the Clinton Foundation for accepting charitable donations from Middle Eastern countries, Fox News personalities failed to note Trump’s business ties in the Middle East and his campaign manager Paul Manafort’s previous work with dictatorial regimes.

  • Trump Banned BuzzFeed Reporter From Speech, Credentialed InfoWars

    InfoWars Is The Nation's Leading Conspiracy Theory Website

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    BuzzFeed’s D.C. bureau chief reported on Twitter that he was barred from attending Donald Trump’s June 7 speech.

    Trump’s campaign did provide credentials to InfoWars, the conspiracy theory website headed by Alex Jones.

    Jones has heavily promoted Trump’s campaign on his show. In return, Trump has personally praised Jones’ “amazing” reputation, and Roger Stone, a key Trump ally, regularly appears on Jones’ show. Jones is a self-described “founding father” of the “9/11 truth movement” who believes that the terrorist attacks were a “false flag.” Jones has also suggested that the government orchestrated a variety of horrific events including the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, the Boston Marathon bombing, and the Aurora, CO, movie theater shooting.

    The Trump campaign’s banning of Stanton from its event is part of its larger war on the media. In addition to regularly banning reporters from his events after their outlets publish pieces damaging to his campaign, the presumptive Republican candidate has pledged to “open up our libel laws,” threatened to retaliate against media outlets with the power of government agencies, issued scathing personal insults against journalists, and repeatedly sued or threatened to sue media figures.

  • Media Explain Everything Wrong With Trump’s Energy Speech

    ››› ››› DENISE ROBBINS

    Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump gave a speech about energy issues on May 26 at an oil conference in North Dakota in which he asserted that he would expand fossil fuel drilling and restore coal mining jobs and he ignored or downplayed renewable energy’s potential. Media figures have criticized Trump’s claims as “utter nonsense” that “defy free market-forces” and noted that his remarks displayed a “lack of basic knowledge” about the energy industry and were full of “absurd, impossible-to-keep promises.”

  • To Understand Trump’s Latino Problem, Just Look At Hispanic Media

    Fusion: "The Republican Party, 162, Has Died"

    ››› ››› CRISTINA LOPEZ

    Hispanic media and Latino journalists reacted to the news that Donald Trump is the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee by noting that Trump's anti-immigrant vitriol has made it extremely challenging for the businessman to get the Latino vote he needs in the general election.

  • BuzzFeed’s Editor-In-Chief Slams Media For Giving Credence To Trump’s Lie He Opposed Invasion Of Iraq

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith lambasted media outlets and reporters for allowing GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump to “lie to their face” about his opposition to the invasion of Iraq, ignoring the evidence showing that in 2002 Trump supported the invasion of Iraq.

    Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed throughout the GOP presidential primaries that he opposed the Iraq invasion, using his alleged opposition to attack his GOP rivals and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. But BuzzFeed’s “Andrew Kaczynski unearthed an audio recording of [Trump] saying he supported” the invasion in 2002. Despite releasing audio evidence, media outlets, including “CNN, Fox, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, Bloomberg, the New York Times, and the Washington Post” have all either reprinted Trump’s lie, or allowed him to claim he opposed the invasion without pushback.

    Smith also highlighted how the media, led by the Times’ Maureen Dowd, have also added this “fake fact” into a “fake narrative” that Trump is more of a “dove” on foreign policy than Hillary Clinton, ignoring that Trump’s claim he opposed the invasion has been debunked, that he has has refused to rule out using nuclear weapons in the Middle East and Europe, and has floated military engagement with Iran.

    In his May 3 article, Smith implored media reporters to “stop letting [Trump] lie to their face about the most important policy call of the last 20 years,” writing, “Donald Trump did not oppose the invasion of Iraq” and “there’s no evidence that he’s ever been a ‘dove'”:

    One of the great stories of 2016 is how Donald Trump hacked the media: How he learned from the New York tabloids and The Apprentice; how he dictated terms to the weakened television networks; how he used Twitter and won Facebook.

    Those are complex questions that we will argue about for decades.

    Here is a simpler one: Could reporters stop letting him lie to their face about the most important policy call of the last 20 years?

    Donald Trump did not oppose the invasion of Iraq. Further, there’s no evidence that he’s ever been a “dove” — and a great deal that he’s been an impulsive supporter of military intervention around the world.

    We know this because BuzzFeed News’s intrepid Andrew Kaczynski unearthed an audio recording of him saying he supported it. You can listen to it above. The audio quality is clear.

    In the recording, made on Sept. 11, 2002, when it mattered, Howard Stern asked Trump whether he supported the invasion. His answer: “Yeah, I guess so.” On the war’s first day, he called it a “tremendous success from a military standpoint.”

    It was the most recent in a series of belligerent statements about Iraq. In 2000, he opined at length in his book how U.S. airstrikes did nothing to stop Iraq’s WMD programs and said it “is madness not to carry the mission to its conclusion” in the context of a new war. He said many times in the late 1990s and early 2000s George H.W. Bush should have toppled Saddam during the Gulf War.

    Trump’s opinions during that period have all the force and thoughtfulness of a man who isn’t paying much attention and whose opinion doesn’t matter. His support for the war is also totally unambiguous.

    And yet, since Kaczynski found the audio recordings, most of the leading American media organizations have either repeated Trump’s lie or allowed him to deliver it unchallenged. That includes CNN, Fox, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, Bloomberg, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.

    This fake fact is the basis for a fake narrative, crystallized in a Maureen Dowd column over the weekend christening “Donald the Dove.”

     

  • It's Time For Reporters To Break Out Of The Trump Rally Press Pens

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Is the only thing more shocking than Donald Trump's campaign manager being charged with simple battery of a reporter the fact that the crime isn't all that startling, given the bullying campaign's open contempt for reporters?

    Enough is enough.

    With Trump's top aide, Corey Lewandowski, now facing charges, focus has shifted back to the increasingly abusive relationship between the GOP front-runner and the campaign press, and the unprecedented barrage of attacks journalists have faced, including constant insults hurled at them by the candidate himself. (Reporters are "disgusting" "horrible people," Trump regularly announces.)

    Sadly, news organizations have brought some of the degradation on themselves by acquiescing to all kinds of Trump campaign demands, such as the rule that they camp out inside mandatory press pens at events. Basically, the Trump campaign disparages the media, and news organizations do nothing in response -- except shower him with even more coverage. (Talk about a win-win for him.)

    "For ratings and clicks, they've allowed themselves to be penned up like farm animals at his rallies and risked scuffles with the Secret Service for covering the events like actual reporters," wrote Eliana Johnson at National Review.

    In fact, the press pens have become a hallmark of Trump's war on the press.

     "Unlike other presidential campaigns, which generally allow reporters and photographers to move around at events, Trump has a strict policy requiring reporters and cameramen to stay inside a gated area, which the candidate often singles out for ridicule during his speeches," Time reported.  

    And Time should know.

    In February, a Secret Service agent lifted Time photographer Chris Morris up off the ground and choke-slammed him onto a table after Morris momentarily "stepped out of the press pen to photograph a Black Lives Matter protest that interrupted the speech."

    It's long past time for journalists to demand their freedom from Trump press pens. It's like deciding to finally stop taking Trump's phone-in interviews. Escaping from the pens represents a simple way for news organizations to assert their obvious right to cover the Trump campaign on their own terms, rather than being penned in at campaign events and living in fear of having access denied if coverage is deemed to be too critical. 

    Covering the Trump campaign on a daily basis today appears to be a rather miserable media existence. Reporters are threatened by staffers, and the Trump communications team seems to be utterly nonresponsive to media inquires. ("There is no Trump press operation," one reporter told Slate.)

    But it's even worse than that. Just ask CBS News reporter Sopan Deb. In January at a Trump rally in Reno, a Trump supporter demanded to know if Deb was taking pictures on behalf of ISIS. Then, in March, after Trump's raucous would-be rally in Chicago was canceled, Deb was covering mayhem unfolding on the streets when he was "thrown to the ground by Chicago cops, handcuffed, arrested, and detained in jail."

    I give journalists on the Trump beat credit for trying to make the best of a very bad situation. My question is why aren't bosses standing up more forcefully for their staffers on the Trump front line? Why aren't executives saying "enough" to the campaign bullying? And why don't they take collective action and fix the obvious problems with how the Trump campaign is mistreating the press?

    In case you missed it, last year 17 journalists representing scores of news organizations met for two hours in Washington, D.C., because they were so angry with how Hillary Clinton's campaign was limiting access for journalists.

    "The problems discussed were the campaign's failure to provide adequate notice prior to events, the lack of a clear standard for whether fundraisers are open or closed press and the reflexive tendency to opt to speak anonymously," The Huffington Post reported.

    Looking back, the press's Clinton complaints seem minor compared to the disrespect and invective the Trump campaign rains down on the press. But at the time, news organizations banded together and insisted that changes be made. ("The Clinton campaign is far less hostile to reporters than Donald Trump's campaign," The Huffington Post recently noted.)

    So why the relative silence in light of the constant Trump mistreatment of the press? Why did news outlets quickly marshal their forces when Democrat Clinton was the target of criticism, but they apparently do very little when the Republican front-runner is trampling all over the press? Why the obvious double standard for covering Trump and Clinton?

    Note that last November, several news organizations discussed their concerns with the Trump campaign. "Representatives from five networks -- ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and CNN -- discussed their concerns about the Trump campaign restrictions on a Monday conference call, but did not present the campaign with any specific access requests," according to The Huffington Post.

    But very little came of it. "Facing the risk of losing their credentialed access to Trump's events, the networks capitulated," BuzzFeed reported.

    Indeed, in the wake of that meeting, press pens at Trump rallies have recently become even more restrictive, with longer avenues of exit and entries created to separate journalists even further from rally attendees.

    More recently, BuzzFeed reported, "Two network sources also confirmed the unprecedented control the television networks have surrendered to Trump in a series of private negotiations, allowing him to dictate specific details about placement of cameras at his event, to ensure coverage consists primarily of a single shot of his face."

    So yes, news organizations have had behind-the-scenes negotiations with the Trump campaign. But the result has been to let Trump "dictate specific details about place of cameras at his event."

    Just amazing.

    And note that it's not just the press pens. Here's a list of the news organizations that have had reporters banned from previous Trump events, presumably because the campaign didn't like the news coverage: The Des Moines Register, Fusion, The New York Times, BuzzFeed, Politico, The Huffington Post, National Review, The Daily Beast, and Univision.

    Over and over we've seen this pattern play out: Report something negative about Trump and watch your press credentials get yanked. This kind of bullying, of course, is unprecedented for American presidential campaigns. The tactic goes against every principle of a free press, inhibiting the news media's unique role in our democracy to inform the public, without fear or favor.

    Yet to date, I'm not aware of outlets banding together to make concrete ultimatums in response to the Trump campaign's bullying. Instead of collective action, we get sporadic, nonbinding complaints from editors.

    But what kind of signal does that send, other than capitulation

  • Lo Que Los Medios En Español Deben Saber Sobre Los Grupos De Nacionalismo Blanco Que Apoyan A Trump

    ››› ››› CRISTINA LOPEZ

    El candidato presidencial Republicano Donald Trump ha recibido críticas de los medios por distanciarse débilmente de David Duke, el ex-dirigente de la organización racista del Ku Klux Klan, después de que Duke expresara públicamente su apoyo al candidato. Los medios en español deben hacer énfasis en el largo historial de apoyo que la campaña de Trump ha recibido de parte de grupos de nacionalismo blanco, pues estos grupos sostienen posturas anti-inmigrantes y podrían estar inspirando la retórica ofensiva del candidato contra minorías raciales y étnicas.

  • After Super Tuesday, It's Time For The Press To Drop Its Doomsday Clinton Coverage

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    The time has come for the campaign press to finally pack away its Hillary Clinton doomsday script.

    Since the new year, much of the Clinton campaign coverage has revolved around trying to detail her weaknesses, stitching together scenarios where she would fail, and just generally bemoaning what an awful campaign she was supposedly running: She's too loud! And "everything" is going wrong.

    In fact, the primary season has unfolded in the way level-headed observers suggested it might: Iowa was close, Sanders enjoyed a clear advantage in New Hampshire, and then Clinton started accumulating victories. But instead of telling that sober story, the press opted for a far more tantalizing tale -- a Clinton collapse! A 2008 repeat! Even when Clinton did win, the press often stressed how her victories weren't really victories. (Politico claimed Clinton was "stung" by her narrow Iowa win.)

    The narrative has been tightly knit: Voters don't really like her.

    "In reality, nobody is that excited about Hillary Clinton, and young voters, women and men -- the foot soldiers of any Democratic Party movement -- aren't coming around," BuzzFeed reported. Days later, Clinton won women voters in South Carolina by nearly 50 points.

    Keep in mind, Clinton's win-loss primary record today doesn't look that much different from Donald Trump's. Yet his coverage is delivered in the glow of a celebrity; of a candidate who's enjoying an astounding run of unmatched victories. Instead, the tone and tenor of Clinton's coverage this year often mirrored that of Jeb Bush's -- the guy who ran a historically futile campaign and dropped out without winning a state.

    By all indications the Democratic primary contest will march on, and Clinton remains a ways away from securing the delegates needed to officially secure the nomination. But in the wake of Super Tuesday and Clinton's widespread primary success, this seems like a good time for the press to reassess its coverage; to maybe reset how it sees the campaign, and specifically adjust the at-times comically doomsday coverage it continued to heap on the Democratic frontrunner.

    Request to the media: Please take your thumb off the scale. In fact, please take both thumbs off the scale.

    Trust me, critics of the Clinton coverage aren't looking for the Democratic frontrunner to get a free pass. Close observers of the Clintons over the years know that's just never going to happen. They just want a fair shot. They'd like the press to go back to its job of simply reporting and analyzing what's happening on the campaign trail and to get out of the narrative-building business. Stop with the hyperventilating that every Clinton campaign speed bump seems to produce, and stop trying to force-feed voters a story that's not actually happening.

    The cyclical waves of she's-doomed coverage have become as tiresome as they are predictable:

    *During Clinton's summer of 2014 book tour, which the press announced was a complete "disaster."  

    *During March of 2015 when the Clinton email story broke.

    *During the Clinton Foundation witch hunt in May of last year.

    *During renewed email fever last September when the Washington Post averaged more than two Clinton email updates every day of the month.

    On and on this production has run.  

    But was it really that bad this winter? Consider that this was an actual headline from a February Washington Post column, "Clinton email scandal: Why It Might Be Time For Democrats To Draft Joe Biden."

    Yep. Democrats might need to replace Clinton.

    On the eve of the Nevada vote, Vanity Fair insisted Clinton allies were "panicking," and that anything short of a "blowout" win would be "disastrous" for her campaign. Indeed, when Clinton won by five points, Vanity Fair announced she had lost "her narrative."

    Author Gail Sheehy, writing a piece for The New York Times, claimed Baby Boomer women weren't supporting Clinton's campaign, when in fact Baby Boomer women are among Clinton's most ardent supporters.

    And reporting from South Carolina, the Post stressed that Bill Clinton was causing all kinds of "headaches" for the campaign by being caught "on the wrong side of the headlines." Critiquing his campaign persona, the Post insisted "he seems to lose it," pointing to his "apparent vitriol." Hillary Clinton's subsequent 47-point victory in South Carolina raised doubts about the paper's claim that Bill Clinton was hurting the campaign.

    Meanwhile, Post columnist Kathleen Parker, leaning heavily on the she's-doomed narrative, painted an extraordinarily negative picture of Clinton's chances of winning in the Palmetto state. Parker claimed Clinton was entering "troubled water" in South Carolina and "particularly among African Americans."

    Fact: Clinton won 86 percent of the South Carolina African-American vote. As a pundit, it's hard to be more wrong than Parker was.

    Can you imagine scribes typing up articles and columns this winter about how Bernie Sanders was having trouble attracting young voters and arguing that if he couldn't tap into the enthusiasm of millennials his campaign was doomed? Of course not, because that would have made no sense. Yet that didn't stop people from writing about how Clinton was struggling with women and black voters, even though the premises were so easily debunked.

    Those are the Clinton Rules: Anything goes. There's no penalty for being wrong about the Clintons, which of course only encourages people to be as illogical as they want when chronicling her campaign.

    But now as the contours of the looming general election race come into view, it's time now for an honest media reassessment.