Hillary Clinton

Yes, Hillary, the Media Did Help Trump Win. So Did You

But not the way she thinks.


Former Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is back doing what she does best: selling books. What Happened, her newest, doesn't feature a question. It has answers. Clinton blames the FBI. She blames sexism and fake news. She blames the "godforsaken" Electoral College and the "deep currents of anger and resentment" running through society.

She also blames Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for out-promising her at every turn. She probably blames clandestine Russian mind-control laser beams for persuading tens of millions of Americans that she was nothing more than a calculating, deceptive and insipid career politician.

And she blames the media. Political journalists, writes Clinton, "can't bear to face their own role in helping elect Trump." Now, hearing a Democrat argue that the institutional media wasn't accommodating enough in helping her win an election is, I admit, a bit jarring.

Support from journalists is so embedded in the Democratic Party's strategy that any negative coverage—even something as unavoidable as writing about an unprecedented FBI investigation into a leading presidential candidate—must be quashed.

Yet Clinton's claim happens to contain a morsel of truth, if not in the way she intended. When supporting Trump seemed advantageous, the media—not only left-leaning outlets like CNN or the Washington Post but also rating chasers like NBC's Joe Scarborough—did much to help lift the fortunes of the soon-to-be president. This was obvious to anyone observing coverage of the primaries. But for those who need confirmation, a study by the Harvard Kennedy School Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy found that during the year 2015, major news outlets covered Trump "in a way that was unusual given his low initial polling numbers—a high volume of media coverage preceded Trump's rise in the polls."

A big chunk of this coverage, the report found, was positive in tone. Of course, that tone would drastically change as soon as Trump won. It was curious happenstance, but somehow, the preponderance of ugly stories regarding his past only began pouring forth after he captured the nomination. The man didn't change at all; the coverage did.

While all this is true, the problem is that Clinton and her advisers were part of the same effort. "The variety of candidates is a positive here, and many of the lesser known can serve as a cudgel to move the more established candidates further to the right," read one Clinton campaign agenda item, according to WikiLeaks. "In this scenario, we don't want to marginalize the more extreme candidates, but make them more 'Pied Piper' candidates who actually represent the mainstream of the Republican Party." Those candidates included Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Dr. Ben Carson and Trump.

In fairness, some were worried that the strategy would backfire. "Right now I am petrified that Hillary is almost totally dependent on Republicans nominating Trump," Brent Budowsky emailed John Podesta. Most, however, liked the plan. Another agenda item involved how to prevent candidate Jeb Bush "from bettering himself/how do we maximize Trump and others?" Neera Tanden emailed Podesta: "Bush sucked. I'm glad Hillary is obsessed with the one candidate who would be easiest to beat. … Besides Trump, of course." Of course!

Although Bush was a concern, most Democrats seemed to fear Sen. Marco Rubio. Not that their takes would have swayed many conservative voters, but it's worth remembering that left-wing pundits played the same cynical game, which makes their histrionics today unconvincing. "Why I'm More Worried About Marco Rubio Than Donald Trump," read a Vox headline. "Donald Trump Is Actually a Moderate Republican," wrote Slate. "Why Cruz Is Worse Than Trump" read one headline by The New York Times' Paul Krugman. "Why Liberals Should Support a Trump Republican Nomination" was New York's contribution to this genre.

The major media outlets, the Clinton campaign and the liberal punditry all got what they wanted: Trump. The problem was they also got Clinton. The media did cover the FBI investigation into Clinton's emails and server. "It was a dumb mistake," Clinton now says. "I think it was a dumber scandal, but it hurt." This kind of attitude speaks to the entitlement she carried around with her.

Attempting to bolster the chances of an opposing candidate who is perceived to be the weakest isn't a unique strategy. The problem is—and I understand that many people disagree with me—Clinton probably would have lost to virtually any Republican candidate, and probably by even larger margins. But the bigger question now is: Why did Clinton's campaign prop up Trump, "the most dangerous White House candidate in modern history"? It seems irresponsible and selfish to put Americans in such a precarious position for personal gain. Maybe someone with access will take a break from sitting shiva and ask her.


NEXT: Movie Review: Mother!

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  1. Funny how the media works. Their primary goal, regardless of politics, always keeps the bottom line in mind, since they can’t very well get government-mandated subscriptions to prop them up. I think that as long as they were sure Hillary would win, they had no problem pandering to the money-spending masses with lurid tales designed to make Trump look good; people seemed lap it up, and the media could laugh all the way to the bank.

    I think it’s partly an indictment of how little they believed in their own power. They figured they could boost Trump, give Hillary the easiest candidate to beat, and make money in the bargain. But they never thought their braying for Trump would actually work against Democrats.

    They really are some dumb fucks.

    1. Or maybe, as a business, all they really care about is making money and Trump was a godsend for them as evidenced by CNN’s, NYT’s, etc. ratings skyrocketing

    2. I don’t remember the media ever doing anything to make Trump look “good”. Their “favorable” coverage early in the campaign was at best at the level of “Hey! Look at this colorful character! He’s certainly more lively than the rest of the Republican duds. Looks like he may be unstoppable! What wacky thing will he say next?” It’s not that they were ever remotely pro-Trump,

      But honestly, I don’t think they oversold Hillary’s negatives either. It would have been hard for the media to ignore the e-mail story as much as her campaign would have liked, if only because Trump and the Republicans as a whole were so interested in them, and it would have been hard to cover what was being said on the campaign trail without discussing such things for context.

      The media love an eye-grabbing spectacle more than they like any agenda. And to the extent the Left and Center wrote Trump off, that just made it seem safer to portray the campaign as a real horserace, rather than the walkover they believed it would be.

      1. You’re right. Trump’s word salads were always a joke, but the media at the time didn’t care. He was brash, flamboyant, aggressive, he shot from the lip, he was always good copy. By contrast Bush, Rubio, Cruz and the rest could have put a cup of coffee to sleep.

        And Hillary? She wasn’t running a campaign she was setting the stage for a coronation. Too bad.

        1. ” She wasn’t running a campaign she was setting the stage for a coronation. Too bad”

          TO BAD!

          I guess you missed this line in the article.

          ” It seems irresponsible and selfish to put Americans in such a precarious position for personal gain”

          Which is Clinton, every thought is for personal gain. And why “crooked Hillary” stuck.

  2. Of course Hillary would have lost worse to any other candidate. Gary Johnson didn’t gain ~3,000,000 votes compared to his 2012 results because his message improved. And if the GOP had nominated anyone else, Evan McMullin doesn’t run at all, and another 750,000 votes likely go to the GOP.

    1. That is probably why she is most pissed. In the election of suck, she couldn’t win. Realizing you aren’t even the best of the worst can be traumatic.

      1. It doesn’t matter who she lost to. She spent her entire life in pursuit of the single goal of being President. She stood by Bill and endured complete public humiliation to protect him and her political fortunes with it. She thought she had it in 2008 only to be denied by a nobody junior Senator from Illinois. She suffered through 8 years of serving and supporting a President she loathed and felt stole her destiny. After all that, she wins the nomination and was thought to be cruising to victory only to win the popular vote but lose the election because of close losses in states she took for granted. Her entire life’s work vanished in a single evening. She could have lost to Jesus himself and she would be angry and bitter about it.

        1. Third time’s a charm?

          1. I bet she runs, but I think even the Democrats have had enough of her and want her to go away.

            1. There’s no way she runs again. Nobody at the top of the party would support her after she managed to somehow lose to Trump. Now she’s going on this negative self-pity tour when the party should be moving on to think positively about the midterms. Finally, look at the co-sponsors of Sanders’ idiotic “Medicare for all” bill that actually isn’t anything like Medicare at all. The top of the party has swung far left. They think that’s the way to beat Trump and the GOP. I think they’re wrong, but either way, there’s no way Clinton can wedge her way back in.

              1. I agree with everything you say. But I wouldn’t be shocked if she tried to run anyway. She might be that delusional. The truth that no one ever mentions is that as bad of a candidate as she was, she still was the best the Democrats had. No way on earth would Sanders have done as well. The really scary thing about the Democratic Party is that Hillary is the sane one. Today we have two major parties, the stupid craven party (the Republicans) and the too fucking crazy to vote for under any circumstances party (the Democrats) God have mercy on us.

                1. This is only good for Libertarians. America is more conservative than anything, so socialists will never have national support.

                  Democrats have abandoned blue-collar workers with the exception of illegal immigrant laborers, so they just lost a huge chunk of supporters and there are just not enough brown people nationwide to make up that difference.

                  Republicans will stick with the religious and big police state (war on drugs) agendas and lose support that way.

                  In come Libertarians who support business, workers, and individual rights by wanting government smaller, more free market, and less laws. If Libertarians can shape our message to reach these groups as to why free market and smaller government helps workers and businesses, it would be a great time to get millions of people on board.

                2. Like herpes, Hillary will never go away. Her partisans still control the DNC. Nobody wants her but she can wreak a lot of havoc trying to get another shot. A Williams Jenning Bryan level of losership. If the foundation still has a billion or two dollars then she might be able to make a go of it.

                  Let’s face it, a 2020 replay of Hillary versus Trump will be a shitshow that none of us will be able to take our eyes away from.

                  “A (wo)man stung by the Presidential bee contracts an incurable disease that only embalming fluid can cure.”

                3. The Dems simply have no viable candidate. They didn’t have one in 2008 either, but the PTBs gave Obama their blessing. There’s no Obama in the wings now (and no, Kamala Harris and Corey Booker don’t count — they actually have records that can be used against them).

                  The GOP has no truly viable candidate either, just the guy sitting in the White House.

                  This may well open the door for the Libertarian Party, assuming the LP can come up with a candidate who can spark some real interest. I’ll vote for whoever anyway, but that’s not exactly a ringing endorsement since I live in California and my vote doesn’t mean diddly

                4. “[A]s bad of a candidate as she was, she still was the best the Democrats had.”

                  I disagree. Fauxcahontas Warren, or even “Crazy Uncle” Joe Biden would have beaten Trump handily, despite their policies being every bit as bad or worse than Hillary’s. She didn’t lose because of her politics (though that was more than enough reason to vote against her); she lost because of the despicable kind of person she is.

                  The Republicans nominated the ONLY person who might have lost to her, and she still lost anyway. That’s gotta sting. Good.

              2. The problem is that the Clintons still own the Democratic Party, in large part. Clinton has name recognition, and she could argue that she was the popular vote winner in 2016, and has learned from her mistakes. She can still swing hard left, and bill it as ‘throwing off the timidity of the political establishment and finally being true to the REAL HILLARY!’

                Barring some major health issue, I think she will run again. She can wait until the last minute to declare, because she already has nationwide name recognition and a campaign infrastructure that can be assembled at a moment’s notice. I don’t think she can give up on being the first woman President EVAR, especially if the Democrats do really well in the 2018 midterms.

                1. I don’t think she would be able to mentally handle a third loss. She WILL lose and everyone knows it, including her.

                  Furthermore, Trump will push to have Hillary re-investigated by the FBI. Any objective FBI director would have to recommend to the DOJ to prosecute her for mishandling classified information. She admitted it in her book. She might be acquitted at trial by a sympathetic jury but the absolute damage would be done.

              3. No, but Chelsea is waiting in the wings. It’s not a coincidence her parents bought her a house next to theirs, in a congressional district currently represented by an octogenarian. She was handed a $600,000 salary doing puff pieces for NBC straight out of school. I’m sure she shares her mother’s sense of entitlement to public office, and that New Yorkers will be eager to oblige her.

                Clintons are like cockroaches (or Kennedys): you can get rid of one, but there’s always another.

          2. One could only hope.

    2. I don’t think it is that simple. A lot of people who stayed home in 2012 turned out for Trump in 16. I am not sure any of the other Republicans could have gotten them to turn out. Certainly, Jeb, Kasich or Rubio could not have. Cruz might have but we will never know. Also, I don’t see how someone like Jeb or Kasich picks up many or any of the 3 million extra votes that Johnson got.

      1. Yeah. Jeb had zero chance from the word go. I normally vote Republican, but there are some I would never vote for (see McCain, John as an example). Jeb was a biggie.

        And the GOP does not seem to realize that the base learned from GW and now abhors the concepts of neo-conservatism that the party establishment seems quite obsessed with to this day.

        1. Republican voters want someone who looks out for their interests not the “ideology” whatever that is. The GOPe is totally unwilling to accept that. Their attack on Trump as being a “nationalist”, as if that meant anything to anyone, was particularly pathetic. There were endless column inches written about how Trump was a “nationalist” and that was bad but they were “patriots” and that was good. I never could figure out what being a patriot meant other than liking everything about the country except for the people in it.

      2. I gotta agree with you. I think Trump is the only Republican who could’ve beaten Clinton. I also think Clinton is the only Democrat who could’ve lost to Trump. Trump is a buffoon. But, he’s also the only Republican candidate who inspires a sufficiently passionate following to truly show up and force the election result.

        Without both Trump and Clinton in the election, turnout would’ve been much lower. In a race of Cruz/Rubio/Bush/etc against Clinton, there would’ve been some anger, but Republicans would’ve mostly accepted their fate and the fact that Hilary was going to finally be ordained. In a race of Sanders/O’malley vs Trump, without the anti-Hilary sentiment, far fewer Republicans would have held their nose and voted for Trump.

        1. I disagree, at least with your first statement. I think any competent Republican who ran for the 2016 nomination would have beaten Clinton in the general election, as long as he or she had the cajones to point out her many flaws and even crimes. Trump was willing to do so (if only barely coherently) and it energized the GOP base while demoralizing some of her presumptive voters.

          Polls taken during the primaries showed Trump as the only GOP candidate who would NOT handily beat Clinton, and yet even HE managed to squeak out a win. That says more about her than him.

    3. Gary Johnson stole far more Republican votes from Trump than Stein stole Democrats from Clinton. In a true popular election between Clinton and Trump, I’m pretty sure Trump would have still won. Let’s not forget that Republicans won the House with 1.5 million more votes than the Dems, with a higher overall percentage than Hillary.

  3. Hillary continues to make the case the Trump was the best choice of the two. She lost to the second worst candidate ever. And you know who else wrote a book blaming others for their troubles?

    1. She continues to make a fool of the idiots who said you had to vote for Hillary because Trump didn’t have the temperment for the office. Hillary is the most unfit person ever to be nominated by a major party and by a very long ways.

      1. And she seems so oblivious to how incredibly odd she comes across as in the book. Also her lie about how Bill handled his loss in 1980 poorly but she didn’t in 2016 is laughable. She comments how Bill couldn’t face his supporters after his loss…ignoring that she ALSO couldn’t face HER supporters after her loss.

        And the actions and attitude of the Left since her loss is reason enough to never allow a Democrat in office again.

        1. Her being unable to come out and speak on election night was proof she had no business being in office. If you don’t have the integrity and courage to stand up and face a loss, you have no business in any position of authority. For all the hammering of Trump, is there any doubt that had he lost he would have had the sack to face up to it that night instead of passing out drunk in horror, which is what I bet happened with Hillary?

          1. And John,good to have you back.

          2. “”If you don’t have the integrity and courage to stand up and face a loss, you have no business in any position of authority””

            I agree.

            The fact that should would lie about something so simple as a cough pretty much sums up her integrity.

        2. According to Hillary, she bravely went out under sniper fire to address her supporters after her 2016 loss, in a heroic address similar to Churchill’s ‘Battle of Britain’ speech.

          1. Well, Hillary (under sniper fire) did say “Never was so much owed by so many to so few”.

  4. Hillary Clinton the gun grabbing freak will NEVER be president!!!

    LOL X Infinity = Fuckin’ A!!!

  5. The book’s title is telling. “What happened.” Something happened to her. Something ALWAYS happens to her. It’s not her fault, it just…happened. Yeah.

    1. That is a good point. It sort of sums up the attitude of our entire government and media elite. Things just happen to them. Bad luck as the famous Heilein quote goes. Shots were fired. Mistakes were made. Things happened.

      1. “Shots were fired.” In Sarajevo?

    2. The book asked and answered the question right on the front cover.

  6. This still isn’t the biggest way the media is responsible for Trump, though. The biggest reason Trump is president is because of his “fake news” shtick, which made him mostly invincible. The press had been so comically blatantly biased, dishonest, and in the tank for Obama and Dems in general that nobody believed them.

    Americans’ view of the media has not changed since Trump announced his candidacy. Most Americans hated and distrusted them for long before that, mostly due to the Pravda-esque way they covered Obama. Gruber is on tape explicitly saying they lied about Obamacare and relied on the “stupidity of the American voter”, and Obama and Pelosi just said “we don’t even know that guy”, and the media dropped it. Media coverage of Romney’s “binders full of women” and “Russia is our greatest geopolitical threat” moments in the 2012 election were incredibly eye-opening to a lot of people about just how unfair and biased the media was, too.

    That is why Trump is president.

    1. It’s a huge part. I cannot think of a SINGLE Republican candidate who wasn’t labeled as racist, an idiot, etc. It no longer matters to me because, unless you’re a Democrat, you must be dumb. People mocked how “dumb” Bush was, but ignored that he was better in school than EITHER of his two opponents and more successful outside of the government than either of them.

      As has been said by Instapundit, when you constantly mock people who try to address their grievances through legitimate means, they will begin to seek to address them thru less “legitimate” ones. Fuck, they called McCain a racist and he did all he could to not criticize Obama.

      1. Not only did McCain not criticize Obama, he actively praised him. During the 2008 campaign, McCain was giving speeches telling his supporters what a good President Obama was going to be.

        1. This is why we have President Trump.

          1. There is some truth in this analysis.

            I have many republican friends who like Trump only because he thumbs his nose at the opposition. They don’t like wimps and were well and truly tired of politicians who rolled over for their critics in the media. They don’t really seem to care anything much about what Trump actually stands for, just that he stands instead of kneeling.

            (this isn’t the most sophisticated bunch, BTW. Although there are some pretty bright folks mixed in)

          2. We have Trump as president because Obama was so shitty?

            I agree with you.

  7. The media did cover the FBI investigation into Clinton’s emails and server. “It was a dumb mistake,” Clinton now says. “I think it was a dumber scandal, but it hurt.” This kind of attitude speaks to the entitlement she carried around with her.
    Of course, Hillary thinks violating federal law by mishandling classified information is a dumb scandal and does not consider American law relevant to her Highness.

    1. “”Hillary thinks violating federal law by mishandling classified information is a dumb scandal and does not consider American law relevant to her Highness.””

      Exactly. Hey, if Trump did it, she would call for his impeachment.

      “”This kind of attitude speaks to the entitlement she carried around with her.””

      Hillary has always been a rule are for the little guy person.

  8. Hilary — or anyone else for that matter — again shows what an idiot she is by suggesting there was some
    idea or intelligence behind how and why the media covered the campaign. The media is mindless. The media is just a blob of protoplasm. The media is like an array of jellyfish swarming a beach. There’s no there there.

    1. Except that most media outlets push lefty agendas.

    2. Except it was explicitly stated in the Podesta emails that she had direct control over what the media covered. The irony, of course, is that focusing on Trump was HER PLAN.

      1. And it was not a bad plan, for what it’s worth. This was an election between the two worst candidates ever fielded in a single election by the two major parties. With such negatives, you go negative. It’s just her loss that she was even worse.

  9. “Of course, that tone would drastically change as soon as Trump won. It was curious happenstance, but somehow, the preponderance of ugly stories regarding his past only began pouring forth after he captured the nomination. The man didn’t change at all; the coverage did.”

    Not very curious to me. Pretty obvious. Media does everything that they can to support the joke candidate from Team Red. Their mindset: He’s so god-awful and every time we put him on camera he spouts some kind of stupid buffoon shit. Hell, if he actually won the primary, it’d be awesome. There’s no way anyone could lose to him.

    Oops. Didn’t work out like they planned.

    1. Since that was exactly the plan outlined in the Podesta emails, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you are right.

      1. It’s absolutely right. And there’s lots of direct, explicit evidence for it. The entire media Blitz during the campaign was essentially, “Hey, check this Republican out!”

        Yes, Trump got tons of coverage– you even had media personalities such as John Oliver beside themselves with excitement over Trump running because it guaranteed a correct Clinton victory.

        But this notion of ‘positive-in-tone’ coverage is still baffling to me. Are they singling out Fox or something? Are the singling out partisan talk shows like Hannity and counting every Trump reference as a positive tone story tickbox?

        I have no idea where this ‘positive tone’ shit is coming from.

        1. During the primaries, Trump received more media coverage than the rest of the Republican field combined. I seem to recall that one estimate put the value of that free publicity in the $2 billion range.

    2. They forgot that there’s no such thing as bad publicity when it comes to celebrities. It was 24/7 Trump for almost 2 years – eventually people are going to see what all the fuss is about. I wonder how many people went from “What’s up with this Trump guy?” to “He’s ridiculous and says ridiculous things, I wonder what he’ll say next” to “Hey, he has a point about this one thing, maybe I should look into his positions…” Then boom, you have a Trump voter.

  10. A big chunk of this coverage, the report found, was positive in tone.

    I’m still trying to understand that infamous study, and I think it’s not just flawed, but fucking wrong.

    1. I guess that to the extent the coverage was merely condescending and incredulous about Trump, rather than calling him “literally Hitler” and the worst candidate since Martin Sheen in The Dead Zone, that counts as “Positive”?

  11. It was curious happenstance, but somehow, the preponderance of ugly stories regarding his past only began pouring forth after he captured the nomination.

    The pussy-gate story occurred after he won?

  12. It seems irresponsible and selfish to put Americans in such a precarious position for personal gain.

    … we’re talking about Hillary Clinton here.

  13. “”She blames the “godforsaken” Electoral College “”

    So Hillary is the kind of person who will complain about the rules of the contest after she loses the contest.

    1. Well, we all know she would have conceded the election, and certainly never have claimed a “mandate”, if she’d won the electoral vote but lost the popular.

  14. In their zeal to elect Hillary Clinton, NBC sought to make sure she faced the weakest possible Republican, so they held back their damaging tape recording of Trump & billy Bush until after Trump had secured the nomination, and then they used it as a “November surprise” to help Hillary.

    But, to their surprise (and mine), it (thankfully) wasn’t enough, and Trump beat Clinton anyhow.

    If NBC had reported the news before Trump secured the nomination, Rubio or Cruz probably would have been the nominee, and either of them would have beaten Clinton with relative ease.

    So if you ever get the chance, be sure to thank the Machiavellian schemers at NBC, who inadvertently did more than anyone else to make Trump the President of the United States.

  15. I am never going to read this book of whining excuses. Because “at this point, what difference does it make?” That should have been the title of the book. She is so pathetic.

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