Sharpening the knives
April 16, 2015
The 2016 presidential elections are now officially underway. Three Republican candidates, those generally considered the most conservative, have formally announced their candidacy. Also, Hillary Clinton used Twitter to announce her intentions to run on Sunday. Just a side question, does that make her a Twit?
The real indication, however, that the 2016 presidential campaigns are underway is the reaction of the liberal mainstream media. They are gleefully trotting out the whetstones and sharpening their literary knives.
The first indication was their propensity to attack Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. He surged ahead in polls, which was enough for the media to turn their attention to them. Apparently, they didn't find much, but they haven't grubbed through his trash yet ala Sarah Palin.
First to announce was Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. His announcement speech was about 40 minutes and presented without notes or teleprompter. That earned him some grudging acknowledgment from the media that was quickly qualified by stating his message might not appeal to those other than Tea Party people. They then expressed disbelief that he could raise over $30 million within the week after his announcement.
Next was Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. His coverage was similar to that of Cruz. The reviews of his announcement was that it seemed "robotic." I don't know by what measure that was arrived at, but they certainly excluded Hillary from the comparison. The main attack on him occurred after his announcement. He was on a live interview with Savannah Guthrie. During that interview, he pushed back on editorializing "questions" and gotcha questions.
This is in keeping with his normal style of not being bullied or trapped by this type of questioning. Since the interview didn't result in any cannon fodder for a smear job, the media opted to call him a woman hater for picking on poor Savannah. Having watched that interview, I can say if acting like a circling barracuda sniffing for blood is being picked on, then Savannah Guthrie was picked on.
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The next Republican to announce was Marco Rubio. He also had a targeted message and a polished delivery. The media, however, could only focus on how his announcement would affect Jeb Bush's fundraising and how Rubio was overshadowing Hillary's announcement. He did seem to be viewed more favorably than Cruz or Paul. I will leave it up to you as to why.
Of course, Hillary Clinton announced (sort of) her candidacy for President. She did so via Twitter with a link to a video announcement. The initial announcement contained an embarrassing typo that reversed the meaning of that statement. The video clip received poor reviews. Then things went downhill from there. Her first meeting in Iowa had 22 people. She was not recognized in a Chipotle's restaurant. So much for talking with ordinary Americans. The No. 1 Google search was "How old is Hillary Clinton?" Interestingly, the mainstream media found it more important to accuse Rand Paul of hating women than to mention any of Hillary's stumbles.
After her social media candidacy announcement, it was revealed by two different reputable online audit tools that over 2 million of Hillary's Facebook fans are fake. Only 44 percent of her 3.6 million Twitter fans are real people. Further, her Facebook "likes" contain more people from Baghdad than from any U.S. city. These revelations, by the way, did not come from a U.S. news source. It was reported by the U.K. Daily Mail. It is really sad when information about the apparent deceit of a U.S. presidential candidate has to come from Great Britain. Come to think of it, nothing has really changed. One other question comes to mind. Who is paying for creating and maintaining all of the false accounts?
Make no mistake, one or more aspiring "journalists" will launch their career by taking down a 2016 presidential candidate. Interestingly, this will only happen if it is a GOP candidate. Take down a Democrat candidate and you will be a pariah. Thus is the bias of the media.
With a projected field of 12 to 16 GOP candidates, there will be plenty of ammunition for mainstream media. The other effect of this is many candidates may be that of dilution, where with so many candidates they won't be able to concentrate on a handful. If the candidates run against each other, they will fuel the media frenzy. If they all run against Hillary, media could likely be forced into a defensive mode. One thing is for sure, It is going to be a hypocritical but interesting election season.
Tom Riggins is an LVN columnist, and he may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org