Saturday, August 27, 2016

The (Intentional?) Silence of the Republicans

As noted previously, Hillary Clinton has launched a devastating attack on Donald Trump's history of racism and accommodation of white supremacists.  While many in the GOP continue to bloviate about the non-story of Benghazi, Hillary's self-inflicted e-mail problem, and the non-story of the contributions received by the Clinton Foundation, other than Trump himself who ridiculously called Clinton a racist and few Trump surrogates, Republicans have been largely silent when it comes to defending Trump racism.  As a short piece in The Atlantic suggests, the silence is intentional because far too many know that Clinton's allegations against Trump are true (and also true about many in the GOP, in my view):  Here are highlights:
Last night, in Time Capsule #88, I noted the deafening silence of Republican officialdom, after Hillary Clinton delivered her calmly devastating indictment of Donald Trump’s racist themes.
After this frontal attack on their own party’s chosen nominee, the rest of the GOP leadership said ... nothing. The cable-news Trump advocates were out in force, but senators? Governors? Previous candidates? Wise men and women of the party? Crickets.
A reader who is not a Trump supporter says there’s a logic to the plan:
I think you might be missing the GOP strategy here regarding Sec. Clinton’s bigotry speech, and the fact that no Republican came forward to defend Donald Trump. Republicans know that she spoke the truth—the indefensible truth about Donald Trump—and they want to squelch any discussion about it. That’s what they are doing.
Because they don’t want this speech on the airwaves, debated on panels, over several news cycles, with more and more of the dirty laundry getting debated in the mainstream news cycles, leading the Nightly News with dramatic music. Screaming headlines. Any any—ANY—statement by a Republican will trigger that discussion that no GOPer wants.
The mainstream news guys are sitting there at their email boxes, waiting, waiting, for statements, so they can write a piece on it. Benjy Sarlin mentioned it on Twitter, which you probably saw. [JF: I have now] And a couple of other journos, agreed.
But without some outraged statement from Ryan, Cruz, anybody, the mainstream journos have nothing to write about, there is no news cycle, no panels, no screaming headlines, no multi-news cycle. Just a Wow! Clinton gave a rough speech!” End of story. And that’s the strategy. Bury this story. And it’s working.
That’s how the GOP handles this kind of story. And it works just fine, every time. The mainstream journos can't find a both-sides hook, and they are nervous about this alt-right stuff anyway, so the story dies. Journos fear the brutality of GOP pushback. So it goes. Every. Time.
Contrast that with the non-story about the Clinton Foundation. Every GOPer was sending out a truckload of statements to keep that story going. Chuck Todd has stated in the past that he—they—have no choice but to write about whatever the GOP is upset about because they all put their shoulder to the wheel. And the GOP always has something for journos to write about. Controversy! And no fear of brutality from the Democrats. That’s how that goes.
That’s why we hate the media. Still. Even more than ever.

I have to agree with the reader's analysis.  The mainstream media is lazy and largely worthless.  The cowardice and laziness has done much to lead the country's decline in civility and the increasing dishonesty of politicians, especially those on the right. Had the media done its job, the Iraq War could have been avoided.  If the media had done its job and consistently exposed the ugliness of the Christofascists and racists in the GOP, perhaps the GOP would have become the hideous party that it is today.  

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