Have you been following Wikileaks’ release of e-mails to and from Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta? Interesting items come out in dribs and drabs, mostly ignored by big media outlets. It could be argued there isn’t much news in them.
If you didn’t realize the Democrats have chummy relationships with the media, didn’t realize Hillary is as two-faced as a newspaper management type, didn’t realize she treats ordinary Americans with contempt, didn’t realize her people fret endlessly about her husband’s sex life and the sleazy doings of the Clinton Foundation, you haven’t been paying attention. Maybe you’ve been determined not to.
The Clinton camp has made ineffectual stabs at trying to discredit this massive leak, insinuating that some of the e-mails are fake (they aren’t) or that Russian hackers are behind them. Nothing sticks, mostly because Wikileaks has won journalism awards in its 10-year history. Clinton flack Brian Fallon went as far as put on Twitter that the documents were the “product of an illegal hack by a foreign govt.”
Since their lies aren’t flying, Clinton defenders must count on their operatives in the media playing defense. There are indications that no dissent will be tolerated by the elites, with Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs the outliers. (My post-election prediction: Sean makes good on his threat to move to Texas, concentrating on radio, and Dobbs, in disgust, retires again.)
There are consequences to all this, as Glen Greenwald points out at The Intercept: “While Donald Trump’s candidacy poses grave dangers, so does group-think righteousness, particularly when it engulfs those with the greatest influence. The problem is that none of this is going to vanish after the election. This election-year machine that has been constructed based on elite utility in support of Clinton — casually dismissing inconvenient facts as fraudulent to make them disappear, branding critics and adversaries as tools or agents of an enemy power bent on destroying America — is a powerful one. … It is capable of implanting any narrative; no matter how false; demonizing any critic, no matter how baseless; and riling up people to believe they’re under attack.”
Of course, it remains to be seen whether “those with the greatest influence” actually have it. It is interesting that of the top 100 newspapers, not a single one endorsed Trump. Some sat out; many of the Hillary endorsements were lukewarm. Whether newspapers’ editorial boards retain any influence is an open question. Since they won’t consider any opinions not embraced by leftists, my take is that they will change minds by the handful and lose readers by the boatload, exacerbating prevailing trends in a business long bent on committing suicide.