Yesterday, Paul Krugman wrote that he expects Hillary Clinton will get "Gored" by press innuendo over the next few weeks. Today, The Washington Post's Paul Weldman wonders why "plain facts about Trump's corruption aren't covered much: "you'd think that a story about one party's nominee giving a large contribution to a state attorney general who promptly shut down an inquiry into that nominee's scam "university" would be enormous news. But we continue to hear almost nothing about what happened between Donald Trump and Florida attorney general Pam Bondi."
He then embarks on a tour of millionaire presidential candidate Donald Trump's acts of naked corruption:
- Trump's casino bankruptcies, which left investors holding the bag while he skedaddled with their money
- Trump's habit of refusing to pay contractors who had done work for him, many of whom are struggling small businesses
- Trump University, which includes not only the people who got scammed and the Florida investigation, but also a similar story from Texas where the investigation into Trump U was quashed.
- The Trump Institute, another get-rich-quick scheme in which Trump allowed a couple of grifters to use his name to bilk people out of their money
- The Trump Network, a multi-level marketing venture (a.k.a. pyramid scheme) that involved customers mailing in a urine sample which would be analyzed to produce for them a specially formulated package of multivitamins
- Trump Model Management, which reportedly had foreign models lie to customs officials and work in the U.S. illegally, and kept them in squalid conditions while they earned almost nothing for the work they did
- Trump's employment of foreign guest workers at his resorts, which involves a claim that he can't find Americans to do the work
- Trump's use of hundreds of undocumented workers from Poland in the 1980s, who were paid a pittance for their illegal work
- Trump's history of being charged with housing discrimination
- Trump's connections to mafia figures involved in New York construction
- The time Trump paid the Federal Trade Commission $750,000 over charges that he violated anti-trust laws when trying to take over a rival casino company
- The fact that Trump is now being advised by Roger Ailes, who was forced out as Fox News chief when dozens of women came forward to charge him with sexual harassment. According to the allegations, Ailes's behavior was positively monstrous; as just one indicator, his abusive and predatory actions toward women were so well-known and so loathsome that in 1968 the morally upstanding folks in the Nixon administration refused to allow him to work there despite his key role in getting Nixon elected.
1. The difference between Trump and Clinton is that Clinton bleeds when they hit her.
2. The news media loves a horse race.
Writing about Trump's corruption long ago hit the law of diminishing returns, because everyone knows he's corrupt and his supporters like it. It is news to no-one. Clinton, however, is clean—but her supporters waver at the thought of dirt.
For all we talk about new outlets with a strong ideological bent, the plain truth is that the topical focus is defined by mainstream media. Trump could say and do almost anything at all without being taken out their picture, whereas the frame they place around Clinton is fitted perfectly to her sins and an impervious image of what a woman must do to earn their respect (for starters: smile at them). Trump's going to win because false equivalence makes nothing meaningful, and the sheer witlessness of the media men asking the questions makes nothing matter. The same old morons on Cable TV and east-coast editorial pages will tell the same old stories, and it'll be easier to cast Clinton in them than Trump, before whom they will always stay quiet while the mouth runs.
Typhoid and swans: it all comes from the same place.