Does approval from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability offer Christians useful information about an organization’s financial discipline?
After two conventions in late July, it’s clear that the United States has three major political parties (Republicans, Democrats, and Mediacrats) and three minor ones (Libertarians, Greens, and the Fox News Network).
Mediacrats include five networks—ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, and NBC—that together pulled in 70 percent of those viewing the Republican convention and 89 percent of those viewing the Democratic effort one week later. Fox, with its Republican tilt, has clout, but five pro-Democrat competitors immensely outweigh it.
Those five will have the biggest impact on the presidential election, and during their convention coverage they scolded Republicans 63 times for trying to “work up a big hate for Hillary” (the words of NBC’s Tom Brokaw). When Democrats worked up a big hate for Trump, the journalists offered only five mildly negative comments.
The Media Research Center also noted that during the two conventions CNN aired 18 Democratic public relations videos but only three Republican ones, skipping videos on the Benghazi attack and other Clinton nightmares. MSNBC ran prime-time interviews with Democrats five times during the GOP convention, with Brian Williams explaining, “We like to bring in the other side, as in fairness we’ll be doing when it’s the Democrats’ turn.” Fairness, rest in peace: During the Democratic convention, no such interviews.
Brokaw told viewers what they should think about Trump: “someone they will only think of as a demagogue.” Clinton demagoguery brought no such reaction: Instead, CBS co-anchor Norah O’Donnell touted “her steadiness, her readiness, her experience, and her empathy.” MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, as always, provided comic relief with his over-the-top assault on the GOP convention as a “witchlike ritual … bloodthirsty … bloodcurdling.”
Mediacrats are sending us two messages. First, to quote CBS’ Bob Schieffer: This campaign is “going to be about Donald Trump: Do you want him or don’t you?” Second, what’s often implied but not said on the major networks: If you want Trump, you’re stupid.
Both messages are wrong—and I say this not as a Trump fan. This campaign is equally about Clinton: Do we want her? Secondly, as one very smart person with a security clearance told me, if he had done what Clinton did with her emails, he would lose his job and face potentially 10 years in prison.
Some smart people will vote for Clinton, but many others will vote for Trump, unless headlines like these intimidate them: “We must shame dumb Trump fans” (Salon), “Donald Trump’s malicious stupidity” (The Week), and “Note to Donald Trump: You’re on Fire, Stupid” (New Republic). Googling “Donald Trump stupid” the day after the Democratic convention yielded 38.5 million results. (Of course, googling “Hillary Clinton stupid” brought up 28.7 million results, but should a secretary of state who used a private, poorly defended server be nearly 10 million behind?)
So, given the miserable choice the two macro-parties have given us, how do we defend ourselves against Mediacrat attempts to call this a race between a Clinton within the normal range of presidential ego and a Trump who’s outside it?
First, don’t believe the media lords: Clinton’s astounding falsifying makes her every bit as much an outlier as Donald Trump. Trump often proceeds woefully on misinformation. Clinton makes fewer obvious factual errors but, as Mary McCarthy once said of fellow author Lillian Hellman, “Every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.’”
Second, recognize that Trump is generally reckless and Clinton generally ruthless. (Sometimes it’s vice versa.) Trump is a proud adulterer. Clinton is a proud pro-abortionist. Since character counts, both will almost certainly be presidential failures. Harry Truman and Ronald Reagan both spoke of how much good can occur when a leader doesn’t care who gets the credit. We’ve seen for eight years how much bad can happen when a leader drives in traffic with high beams and runs over anyone blinded by the lights. We’re facing four more years of that.
Third, remember that we are voting not for one person but for tens of thousands of executive and judicial branch appointees. We at WORLD will try to give you more information about the candidates’ entourages and what their ascendancy is likely to mean. Let’s not rush the process. We have three more months (and three presidential debates) in which to see how these two candidates operate under extreme pressure. We should consider third party candidates as well. This is not a year for early voting.
Finally, as the election comes closer, partisans on both sides will become more critical of those not on their bandwagon. In the Civil War the Confederate motto was Deo Vindice, “God will vindicate us.” Meanwhile, Unionists claimed God was on their side as they sang “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” But as Abraham Lincoln said in his second inaugural address, “It is quite possible that God’s purpose is somewhat different from the purpose of either party.” Don’t let others intimidate you. Happily, God’s still in charge.