This is a nice illustration of how Trump has hacked the political media’s election coverage protocols:
The Atlantic’s Adam Serwer observed earlier this week “the public hears about Hillary’s emails week after week, and that Trump says offensive things sometimes maybe.” That’s a slightly hyperbolic but basically fair distillation of Gallup editor in chief Frank Newport’s findings.
If Mr. Trump talks about Muslim parents and their son who was killed in action, that’s what the public remembers. If he goes to Mexico or Louisiana, that’s what they recall reading or hearing about him. If Mr. Trump calls President Obama the founder of the Islamic State, “ISIS” moves to the top of the list of what Americans tell us they are hearing about the Republican candidate.
What Americans recall hearing about Mrs. Clinton is significantly less varied. Specifically — and to an extraordinary degree — Americans have consistently told us that they are reading and hearing about her handling of emails while she was secretary of state during President Obama’s first term.
The fact that Trump’s ethical, legal, and moral failings dwarf Clinton’s just isn’t breaking through all this. It’s not for no reason that Trump routinely trounces Clinton in polls measuring things like truthfulness and transparency. If there’s a silver lining here it’s that Trump occasionally says something so offensive that it damages him. But then sometimes he calls Muslim refugees a “cancer from within,” comparing them to “a Trojan horse” and to poisonous snakes, and nobody seems to notice.
We’re gonna feel pretty dumb if our weird obsession with State Department email practices and relative disinterest in fraud, bribery and self-dealing ultimately leads to ethnic cleansing.