Lazy Saturday Reads: “Both Sides Do It” — Your National Political Media


Good Morning!!

Today’s post is going to be mostly a link dump, because I have a busy day ahead; and besides, I’m still so overwhelmed with what’s happening in the news that I don’t think I can write anything much.

I’ll begin with Donald Trump’s latest inhuman tweet:

Apparently, Dwyane Wade (whose first name Trump misspelled) is a professional basketball player, and that may be what called Trump’s attention to the story. The Chicago Sun-Times: Woman pushing stroller fatally shot; was cousin of NBA star Wade.

“My cousin was killed today in Chicago,” Wade tweeted Friday night. “Another act of senseless gun violence. 4 kids lost their mom for NO REASON. Unreal. #EnoughIsEnough.”

Nykea Aldridge, of the 6400 block of South Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, was taken to Stroger Hospital with gunshot wounds to the head and arm and was pronounced dead at 4:15 p.m., according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

About 3:30 p.m., Aldridge, 32, was walking with a baby in a stroller and a man in the 6300 block of South Calumet when two male suspects walked up and fired shots at a third man, according to Chicago Police.

“As she was walking down the street some type of altercation occurred which didn’t involve her,” Deputy Chief of Detectives James Jones told reporters at Chicago Police headquarters Friday night.

Aldridge’s baby survived and is with relatives.


As with Trump’s reactions to the shootings in San Diego and Orlando, he sees this tragic death only as an opportunity for him. He doesn’t offer condolences; he apparently feels no empathy whatsoever for the woman who died so senselessly or for her family. He doesn’t even bother to use her name in his heartless tweet.

This is a man that much of the media spent yesterday defending against a serious speech by Hillary Clinton on how the Trump campaign is bringing vile white supremacist philosophies into the mainstream of the Republican Party. The “both-sidesism” in the media has been absolutely breathtaking, with multiple press and TV outlets pretending that Clinton’s serious policy speech is equivalent to Trump screaming “Hillary Clinton is a bigot” in a speech on the same day. Here’s prime example from The Washington Post: Clinton, Trump exchange racially charged accusations.

A series of racially charged accusations dominated the presidential campaign Thursday, with Democrat Hillary Clinton accusing Donald Trump of “taking hate groups mainstream,” while the Republican nominee repeatedly claimed that Clinton is a “bigot” toward African Americans.

Clinton started the day by releasing a video that featured Ku Klux Klan members and white supremacists touting Trump’s candidacy — then gave an afternoon speech condemning Trump’s racially inflammatory remarks and support within the “alt-right,” which she described as an “emerging racist ideology.”

“Trump is reinforcing harmful stereotypes and offering a dog whistle to his most hateful supporters,” she said in the speech in Reno. “It’s a disturbing preview of what kind of president he’d be.”

Trump, meanwhile, declared in an interview on CNN that Clinton is a bigot — an accusation that he first made at a rally in Mississippi Wednesday night, but that he repeated several times under questioning from CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

“She is a bigot,” Trump said in the interview, which was broadcast Thursday. “If you look at what’s happening to the inner cities, you look at what’s happening to African Americans and Hispanics in this country, where she talks all the time.”

The blisteringly direct accusations brought the subjects of race and bigotry, previously undercurrents, to the surface of this year’s presidential election. And the exchanges hinted at just how nasty the verbal battle between Clinton and Trump could become in the roughly 10 weeks until the general election.

This false equivalency is maddening. How are racism and giving voice to white supremacist groups not serious issues in this campaign? Is the problem that the national media is overwhelmingly white? I just don’t get it.

images (1)

A day after the Post published that ridiculous article, the editorial board denounced Trump’s racism: Republicans can’t pretend not to know what fuels the Trump campaign.

IN A major speech Thursday, Hillary Clinton linked Donald Trump to bigoted elements on the fringe of American politics. But she got it wrong when she said, “Trump is reinforcing harmful stereotypes and offering a dog whistle to his most hateful supporters.”

It’s not a “dog whistle” if everyone can hear the bigotry.

Republicans supporting Mr. Trump, explicitly or tacitly, cannot reasonably claim that they do not know who he is and what he has been doing.

Before running for president, Mr. Trump was the king of the “birthers” who questioned President Obama’s place of birth. He started his campaign by calling Mexican migrants rapists, then spoke approvingly of the inhumane 1950s deportation program known as “Operation Wetback” and delivered a convention speech that described a country overrun by violent foreigners. As Ms. Clinton recounted, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) called Mr. Trump’s attack on a federal judge because of his Mexican heritage “the textbook definition of a racist comment.” Add in the Republican nominee’s proposed Muslim travel ban, his false aspersions on the U.S. Muslim community, his long history of belittling women, his dissemination of an anti-Semitic graphic, and a clear picture was visible long before Ms. Clinton approached the lectern.

Women and Cigarettes, ca. 1920s (2)

In more recent days, Mr. Trump has attempted to salvage his image with appeals nominally aimed at African Americans. Instead, he only dug himself deeper, depicting African Americans as desperate people living in abject squalor with nothing to lose. He hired a new campaign chief executive, Stephen Bannon, a man who has called the Civil War the “war of Southern Independence” and who ran a website that warned the Obama administration is “importing more hating Muslims.”

Unsurprisingly, polling shows that a majority of Americans believe Mr. Trump is biased against women and minorities. Whether Mr. Trump is a genuine bigot or just cynically appealing to bigoted sentiment is not a question we can answer. Certainly not everyone who supports Mr. Trump is a bigot. But Mr. Trump has attracted the support of assorted American bigots, once thought ejected from mainstream U.S. politics. The candidate has courted this support with plainly visible winks and nods, retweeting their messages and hesitating to disavow them when asked. At any point — such as last August, when the New Yorker’s Evan Osnos pointed out that white nationalists were rallying to Mr. Trump’s cause — Mr. Trump could have offered the loud, full and unequivocal condemnation of the bigoted fringe that the situation required.

So which is it, WaPo? Did Hillary give a “major speech” or did she simply participate in an ugly racial back and forth, as your writers suggested? It’s time for those in big media to make up their minds whether they are going to continue to push the false equivalency doctrine or if they are going to stand up to real bigotry and demagoguery. At least the the majority of the American people seem to have taken Trump’s measure and rejected him.


One media figure who has been mostly even-handed and who has even defended Clinton at times, Joy Reid of MSNBC, published a mystifying and depressing piece at The Daily Beast late last night: Can President Hillary Survive the Media’s Fake Scandals? Though Reid obviously is not completely unsympathetic, she certainly sounds very negative about a possible Clinton presidency. I’ll let you judge this article for yourself, because I’m just too disgusted to excerpt from it.

More stories to check out:

Daniel Dale: What America’s ‘alt-right’ movement wants and what makes it different.

Massimo Calabrisi at Time: What Donald Trump Knew About Undocumented Workers at His Signature Tower.

NBC News: Trump Doctor Wrote Health Letter in Just 5 Minutes as Limo Waited.

The Daily Beast: Donald Trump’s ‘Apprentices’ Had to Agree to Go Nude.

Michael Gerson at the WaPo: Trump’s repellent inner circle

Jeremy Peters at the NYT: As Donald Trump Repels Minority Voters, GOP Fears Its Future in the West.


Politico: Teamsters endorse Hillary Clinton.

CNN: Paul Wolfowitz ‘might have to vote’ for Hillary Clinton.

HuffPo: Hillary Clinton Is Winning The Ad War–And Americans Have Noticed.

NY Daily News: Anti-Semitic Trump campaign CEO Stephen Bannon not a big fan of ‘whiny brat’ Jews, ex-wife says.

NYT: Breitbart Rises From Outlier to Potent Voice in Campaign.

Portland Press Herald: LePage effectively endorses racial profiling in Maine’s battle against drug addiction and Heroin withdrawal symptoms.

NY Daily News: EXCLUSIVE: Black 15-year-old was unarmed and surrendering when cops shot at him 16 times in Brooklyn.

NPR: Italy In Mourning: Funerals Underway For Earthquake Victims.

What else is happening? Please post your thoughts and links in the comment thread and have a great weekend.

61 Comments on “Lazy Saturday Reads: “Both Sides Do It” — Your National Political Media”

  1. dakinikat says:

    Did you see Bannon’s anti-Semitic comments in his divorce proceedings?

    • joanelle says:

      Nope. But I finally got fed up with this endless ‘race’ so I sent a message to Hilz campaign committee:
      “I love you Hillary but this race has gone on far too long. For heavens sake, let’s get on with it. This campaign is like a high school freshman class election. STOP the sniping at each other – ignore the idiot on the other side and tell us about the future you will help us achieve.
      I’m sick of the childish behavior. If you want the job, you have to interview for it with those that will make it happen – the voters and every time you talk about Trump you give him more ‘air time'”

      • bostonboomer says:

        I haven’t seen any childish behavior from Hillary. She gave a serious speech on racism in our culture and the dangers of having a major party presidential candidate who is supported by and now controlled by white supremacists. She didn’t call Trump any names; she simply discussed the very public views of the people who are now running his campaign.

        I think racism is one of the most important problem/issues in this country, and it underlies nearly every other “issue.” I’m very troubled by the attitude in some of the media that somehow it’s rude or inappropriate to point that out.

        • joanelle says:

          The media just keeps fanning the flames, as they need negativity to create readers.
          Hillary can address these important issues without directly mentioning Trump, just discuss the issues. He called her a bigot simply to stir up more ‘discussion’ and aggravate her.
          Clearly he is enjoying his game and she doesn’t have to play, rather she can capture more attention (voter) by helping them envision a better future under her administration.

          • Sweet Sue says:

            Joanelle, I know your heart’s in the right place and we’re all a little nervous, but don’t fall for the false equivalency of “they both do it.”

          • William says:

            The media never covers Hillary’s policy speeches, other than occasionally showing parts of them. The media has not discussed one policy matter in this election. How do the candidates differ in their tax proposals? What would be the effects of them? What do they think about climate change? What kind of legislation would they propose in their first year in office? Hillay could talk about these things for the next three months, as she has for the last year, and the media would ignore all of it. She has a small press conference, and the first two questions are about emails, and “why do people think you are dishonest?”

        • ANonOMouse says:

          Hillary had no choice but to call out the demagogues who are running the Trump Campaign because the MSM wasn’t going to do it. The only person I heard mention it before Hillary gave her speech in Reno was Joy Reid. After that it began to take off like “OH, how did we miss that?”.

          I’m glad Hillary called out Trump’s alt-right inner circle. I’m glad she connected the dots between the Alt-Right in the USA and the Alt-Right in Great Britain Farage who led the BREXIT war and also campaigned with Trump, in, of all places, Mississippi. Who missed that coincidence? Certainly not those of us old enough to remember the ugly racial past of Mississippi and the current racial position of Mississippi. There are also alt-right connections to the Kremlin because Putin himself is a white nationalist and seeks many of the same things Farage seeks, which is the destruction of the EU and NATO.

          So, keep talking about it Hillary until the MSM DOES THEIR FUCKING JOB!!

          If we lose this time it will not be because our candidate became demure and above it all. If we lose we are GOING DOWN SWINGING. That’s always been Hillary’s style and it’s served her well.

          • bostonboomer says:

            We’re not going to lose.

          • palhart says:

            I too think Hillary had to dissect Trump’s Breitbart affiliations. She laid out the evidence of Trump’s bigotry. She did not call him a bigot. She never acts childish.

            She knew going that the media and the failed Republican Party would dig and attach her every move. She has an excellent and competent staff, operatives, surrogates, and 2 supportive presidents. Plus republicans coming out of retreat ready to vote for her. You, and I, and millions of voters will cast out votes November 8th. The media over 30 years haven’t stopped her, or us. I was angry and enraged during the 2008 primary through Obama’s first year. I’ll never waste time and emotion over an event that I can participate in but not determine the outcome.

            I don’t believe even with her enemies’ attacks will she lose the election. I’ve been amused today applying King George V’s opinion that his son, Edward VIII, as his successor, would not last a year to Trump. He abdicated in less than 11 months. Trump will probably not even succeed to the presidency.

            I trust Hillary and think her campaign is running smoothly and smartly.

          • palhart says:

            Sorry about the errors in my former piece. I blame them on this damn small and confining iphone window and a pair of cats hanging on my arm or meowing for no good reason.

          • NW Luna says:

            Understand about cats in the way!

          • ANonOMouse says:

            I agree. I don’t think we’re going to lose either, but I can’t help but remember how Al Gore decided not to fight back against the false accusations put out by GWB campaign, or how John Kerry basically ran away from the Swift Boat Veterans. For too long the Democratic Party has chosen to turn the other cheek. You can’t beat the lies, the deceptions or turn a blind eye to the real agenda of Trump by not striking back. Hillary has courageously fought back her entire life and to not do so now goes against her character. Hillary 2016

        • Sweet Sue says:

          I thought her speech was very important and pitch perfect.

      • janicen says:

        I think Robby Mook has run a brilliant campaign for Hillary. Remember what they are up against, no matter what she does or says, the media will find fault with it and yet they are having a hard time making anything stick. Trump, Assange, Putin, Mannafort and Stone have thrown everything at her and Mook and company have skillfully dodged and struck back methodically. Honestly, I think this is one of the most brilliant campaigns I’ve seen run including Obama’s which was incredible.

        • bostonboomer says:

          I agree. Fortunately, lots of the Obama people are with her this time. The only one I can’t stand is David Axelrod. He just can’t seem to get over 2008.

      • Fannie says:

        I know how you feel about the media. But Hillary Clinton has to use his name, she isn’t running against Bush, or Romney, or McCain. She must connect those dots, and let the people know exactly where this man is coming from.

        They have stripped Hillary Clinton down to the bones in the media. It’s time that Trump face the music, and time for our country to know that he had a civil rights lawsuit out by the Justice Department charging him with refusal to rent to Black people. They caught him, as the Urban League sent out white and blacks to sign up and he refused to allow colored people to rent his apartments. Time to strip his ass down to the bone. Wood Guthrie was a tenant in one of his Fred Trumps apartments, and he accused his father (Fred Trump) of racial hate in the “blood pot of human hearts”……….Like father like son.

    • Fannie says:

      Yes, he expressed hatred for Jews, and did not approve of his children going to school with Jews.

  2. Jane Dodd says:

    Thank goodness Hillary spoke up about Trump’s new “CEO” and Trump’s history with African Americans. The press wasn’t going to do it. Hillary is doing the right thing. The press can spin it as “both sides do it” or not, but that’s not a reason to hit Hillary.

    Remember, no one stood up to him in the primaries. Good for our girl.

  3. janicen says:

    I’m appalled at the puff piece about Breitbart in the NYT. If you want to know about Breitbart and who is behind Trump, Rachel Maddow spells it out very nicely.

    • bostonboomer says:

      What was the puff piece?

      • janicen says:

        One of your links above. I was appalled that they only brushed upon Mercer’s relationship with Breitbart and seemed to talk about it as a rags to riches success story.

        • bostonboomer says:

          Oh. I didn’t read the whole thing. I should have picked a better article.

          • janicen says:

            Oh no. I thought it was a perfect example of media bias. I read it before you posted it and I was shocked that they only mentioned Mercer once in the article, almost glossing over the fact that he is the money behind Breitbart.

  4. ANonOMouse says:

    This is how I want Hillary to go at Trump for the rest of the campaign

  5. Sweet Sue says:

    I just saw that the reading woman on top of this post is not a sad amputee.

  6. palhart says:

    CNN is featuring Trump’s Story on Labor Day.

  7. William says:

    The media has been doing this ludicrous false equivalence thing for decades, but it has now devolved into insanity, given the polar opposite candidates in this race. I swear, if it were 1938 Gemany, the media would say, “Hitler, Jews exchange insults.” And I’m being grimly serious in saying that.

    The media is either filled with hopelessly stupid people, or a bunch of agenda-driven folks who try to turn the coverage into a funhouse mirror, so that the audience cannot discern what they are seeing. Hillary gives a calm and well documented speech about the connection between Trump, his manager, and the neo-Nazis; while Trump screams back, “You’re a bigot.” And these two are remotely similar? If the WAPO has now descended to this, the media has become worthless as a source of information. One might as well watch Jerry Springer.

    The Joy Reid piece, which I don’t feel like reading, was pretty much inevitable. “The right wing is going to attack Hillary every day, try to impeach her in her first week in office, will demand that she go to jail, or be executed. Therefore, one shouldn’t be too hopeful or excited about getting her elected.” Actually, this is one of the main reasons why the insane zealots do this: to try to get voters to think, ‘Well, maybe I should vote for the right-wing Republican, because the Democrats won’t try to block and destroy him at every turn.” They are trying to create identification with the oppressor. The Nazis did this, too. If the media actually were wroth something, these fringe-nut tactics wouldn’t work. But as it is, they are the enablers and fifth columnists who pave the way for them.

    • Beata says:

      William, Hillary is going to win. The Democrats will take control of the Senate and make strong gains in the House. Ignore the media. Listen to some relaxing music and enjoy the upcoming college football season.

    • NW Luna says:

      Therefore, one shouldn’t be too hopeful or excited about getting her elected.”

      What lame-ass reasoning! Buck up and do the right thing, damnit! Of course fighting the racist patriarchy is hard. And so effin’ what? We do it anyway, because the alternative is way worse. Grow up and join us.

      Rant over.

      • bostonboomer says:

        She is going to win. She has to, and she’s doing extremely well with the people who count–voters.

      • William says:

        That wasn’t my reasoning, it was my sense of what Reid’s article said, based on BB’s gloss on it. Actually, I’ve heard this kind of thing before. Actually, when Obama in the ’08 primaries said, “We don’t want to revisit the battles of the ’90’s,” that was the implication; that it would be better not to nominate Hillary so as to not have to go through all that again. Unfortunately, after he was elected, he found that he had to revisit all those battles, because they were never about Bill Clinton per se, they were about what he represented to the right-wing zealots. And they are stronger now after eight years of President Obama, not because he did anything bad, but because they used him as a lightning rod, and because he really never went after them when he might have.

        • quixote says:

          Plus, supporting your reasoning, I’ve heard actual real live people say, “I’m going to vote for X because he’s ahead anyway [it’s always a ‘he’ when this happens] and I want to vote for the winner.”

          I still haven’t figured out the snappy comeback to show how braindead that is.

          The other implication, of course, is to keep pointing out how far ahead Clinton is — the way people here do — to swamp what passes for reasoning in that mindset. 😉

        • Beata says:

          William, I understood you were paraphrasing the Joy Reid article and that you disagree with Reid’s reasoning. I don’t think Luna’s rant was directed at you. If it was, then I believe she misunderstood your post. That happens on the Internets sometimes.

          I know you are very excited and hopeful about Hillary’s future administration. You have told me many times that you believe she will be our best president since FDR.

          Thank you for your many years of advocating for Hillary.

        • NW Luna says:

          William, my rant wasn’t at you — it was at Reid. Yes, it’s unfortunately a given that we have keep fighting the current version of the same old right-wing monster.

  8. William says:

    I do appreciate the positive sentiments, and certainly hope that this all happens; or at least the first two. It’s been a more stressful campaign season than I thought it would be.

    • Beata says:

      Yes, it certainly has.

      From one Jerome Kern fan to another, escape the madness with a lovely song:

      • Sweet Sue says:

        Next time, Beata, please post Rita with my current obsession- Gene Kelly.
        Hint, hint: “Cover Girl.” 😉

        • Joanelle says:

          I know she’s going to win. It just get’s to me how the msm has written very little straight news for years – it’s always mixed in with their opinions – lots of opinions. And in their opinion it still isn’t our ‘girl’s’ turn. There doesn’t seem to be many places to find “news” these days – live speeches are the only places to find reality.
          Perhaps I’ve simply had too much campaign – and we’re not even to the debates yet. You know she’ll wallop him in the debates. He’ll be reading and Hill will respond as the well-informed adult that she is.
          I’m glad this discussion took place – once more it brought out more of the best of Sky Dancers. Thanks.

          • bostonboomer says:

            It has been very stressful for me too–as I keep writing; but I feel that I have to stand with Hillary and not check out. I need to know what the media is saying even if it makes me want to scream and pull my hair out. It helps me to go on twitter where there are lots of others who seem to feel the same way. Of course I never could have lasted this long without all of you Sky Dancers!

          • Minkoff Minx says:

            I don’t know how you do it BB. As for me, I have to “check out” because it has gotten to the point where…well, let’s face it, I was not mentally balanced to begin with, but all the stress from life and then the constant barrage of the shit from this election. I can’t handle it.

          • Beata says:

            BB, we appreciate you, Dak and JJ so much. Thank you for this blog. Not only do you keep us informed, you help us to stay sane!

          • bostonboomer says:

            Thanks, Beata.

          • NW Luna says:

            Beata, you speak for me too!

          • Fannie says:

            Thank you all, you all line my sky with beautiful dancing.

        • Beata says:

          Sue, not much dancing in this scene but the song is so beautiful.

          “Chills run up and down my spine…”

  9. palhart says:

    One of the Anti-Trump groups will begin running a 30 second ad Tuesday asking him to leave the race as he said he would do in the primary if his poll numbers drooped in order for them to put up someone else who has a chance of beating Hillary. The ad will run in FL, VA, MI, and OH. Too late and not going to happen.

    It’s possible that the Clinton’s Foundation could continue if the Clintons left for the time Hillary is president and resumed their leadership afterwards. It could be put in a contract for it does too much good work to be demolished, or partly given to other charities.

    • NW Luna says:

      Very sad that the right-wing bullies have so much power to destroy something which does so much good.

    • NW Luna says:

      But I will take gleeful delight in thinking how pissed-off Trump will be about that ad. He must absolutely hate his loser status being the subject of a TV ad!

  10. NW Luna says:

    Peter Daou knocks it out of the park:

    OPEN LETTER TO THE MEDIA: In the Name of Decency, Stop Tipping the Scale for Trump
    I know it’s hard to let go of Beltway narratives, to defy the conventional media wisdom that Hillary must be attacked at all costs. I know you must struggle with your own conscience sometimes.

    So I say this to you respectfully: Get your act together and start covering Donald the same way you cover Hillary — with dripping disdain, boundless skepticism and utter indifference to his voters.

    • palhart says:

      At last someone tells the truth about press biased reporting. Many voters and those undecided get all their news from tv. Good for Daou. 15 million Hillary supporters will read fair reporting. Quit acting as though you have to be macho and cater only to (coward) Trump, his thugs, and followers for clicks.
      We delve in manocide here. Cackle times 20.

  11. palhart says:

    Hillary was correct when in WV she said coal mining jobs weren’t coming back, because the mining work is becoming automated. Factories are coming back but not many manufacturing jobs because of automation. 80% of private sector jobs are in service and those workers should be paid a living wage. Donald Trump is lying to voters when he tells them he will bring back the lost jobs. This notion that he will be the greatest job creator of all time is magical thinking. Trump is all out for himself not for leading this country to greatness again (?).