Melissa McEwan, who’s blogged at Shakesville.com for years, puts her finger on the real scandal about the 2016 election in this twitterstorm:

The issue isn’t just facts, but tone of coverage. Tone (eg treating Trump like entertainment) was an even bigger issue during GOP primary.

I don’t know why the people who ignored the facts would have changed their mind because you gave them more facts.

Don’t forget there was a very long time when there were virtually zero deep dives on Trump, because he wasn’t taken seriously as a candidate If we’d seen this sort of serious coverage of Trump even before the general, he might not have been the Republican nominee in the 1st place.

There were people outside the national political media who were sending up red flags about Trump from go. I was one of them. I was mocked.

One of the biggest issues we’ve faced is that Trump only gets taken more seriously + attendant scrutiny *after* he acquires more power.

He was a “joke” when he announced. “Entertainment” when he started winning. Only after he got the nomination did the real vetting began. Now that he’s president, media are doing victory laps about Big Scoops, but we needed big scoops starting when he came down that escalator.

Let me highlight this, because this is the real crux of the issue. I can’t emphasize it enough.
One of the biggest issues we’ve faced is that Trump only gets taken more seriously + attendant scrutiny *after* he acquires more power.

As I noted, the issue isn’t just what wasn’t published about Trump, but what was published about Clinton. 600 days of email. Foundation. etc

I suspect we will look back at this time & see a lot of Big Scoops as stenography for dueling coups b/t Trump & the intelligence community. Even now, it’s actually less investigating (with notable exceptions) than it is writing up the accounts of eager sources.


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What will (should) haunt us is that there was much to be uncovered about Trump that went ignored, b/c Clinton scandal-mongering is habit. Their desire to try to manufacture that context, which best suits them, around Clinton is what got us into this mess.

In fact, that tension is explained by the very fact that the political media thrives within scandal and corruption. It can be true (and is) that much of the media is doing a good job now, and did a terrible job during the election.

We can’t ignore that if more of this sort of digging and reporting had been done on Trump pre-election, we wouldn’t be here now.

I’m not knocking the good reporting that’s being done. We need it. But we can’t ignore these stories shouldn’t have needed to be written. There’s something deeply f*cked up about celebrating the Big Scoops on an administration that’s in power in large part b/c of media failures.

Too sadly true. I know that David Cay Johnston, author of “The Making of Donald Trump,” tried to bring these problems to the public’s attention. But he could rarely get TV news spots until after the election, when the scandal began to grow.

If only the media still did their jobs when it mattered.

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