Paul Krugman, the “liberal” columnist for the New York Times (as though there are any other types), wrote last Friday that he was very concerned about how the media would cover the general election. Is he afraid that too much anti-Trump coverage will produce a backlash? No, no. He’s worried that the media won’t be anti-Trump enough for his liking.
Krugman’s biggest concern is that the media will engage in “false equivalence”:
I’ve already seen pundits suggest that both presumptive nominees fight dirty, that both have taken the “low road” in their campaigns. For the record, Mr. Trump has impugned his rivals’ manhood, called them liars and suggested that Ted Cruz’s father was associated with J.F.K.’s killer. On her side, Mrs. Clinton has suggested that Bernie Sanders hasn’t done his homework on some policy issues. These things are not the same.
That’s true. They aren’t. On the other hand, pundits have also tried to suggest that Donald Trump’s off-color, “sexist” remarks make him a reprehensible misogynist. Meanwhile, Bill Clinton’s lifelong practice of using political power to get women into bed, emboldened by Hillary Clinton’s lifelong practice of viciously silencing these women later on – well, all of that is simply off-limits. That’s personal stuff. That’s “below the belt.” Uh-huh. Sure.
Oh, but Krugman is on a roll. Driven to the brink of sanity by this man they call Trump, he predicts that the media will “sanitize” the real truth about the billionaire’s supporters and “downplay the racism that is at the heart of the movement”:
Trump support in the primaries was strongly correlated with racial resentment: We’re looking at a movement of white men angry that they no longer dominate American society the way they used to. And to pretend otherwise is to give both the movement and the man who leads it a free pass.
Rest easy, Mr. Krugman, because the media is going to (continue to) paint Trump and his supporters with the same racist accusations they’ve been using for the past year. And they’ll have as much justification for it as you do: None.
For the journalists out there who think Krugman has a point, be careful. The more you try to craft a narrative that contradicts the obvious truth, the more irrelevant you become. Just for fun, why not report this election straight down the middle for once?
Well, it doesn’t hurt to ask.