Considering how many people are reporting about the election, news organizations are faced with a daunting challenge. How do you find a different angle? How do you show the election in a different light?
For today the award for originality goes to the New York Times. Of course, the Times has been staunchly and resolutely in the Clinton corner. Not only on its editorial page, but in its presentation of the news.
Today, the Times has outdone itself, in a slightly unexpected way. It sent some reporters out to take the pulse of the New York City electorate, especially Hillary’s supporters. Their story offers an excellent picture of the local reaction to the recent Clinton meltdown and the concomitant Trump surge.
How do good Clinton supporters react to this unexpected and highly unwelcome shift? According to the Times, they do what they always do. They wet their beds.
I didn’t say it. The Times did:
For both parties, every election can feel like the most vital of a lifetime, the one day standing between a still-proud nation and its imminent demise. Among liberals, there is an especially rich tradition of “bed-wetting,” as even some practitioners call it, at the faintest sign of shakiness from their candidate.
Everyone from Barack Obama on down has assured us that Hillary is the most qualified presidential candidate in American history. You and I know that using mindless hyperbole can only mean that Hillary is inept and incompetent.
Anyone who bought the first story is more than shocked at the realization that the ever-competent Hillary does not know how to run a campaign. Even with Bubba at her side, she looks to be blowing it… and not in the good sense of the word.
The Times reports:
But as Hillary Clinton lurches toward Election Day, her supporters at times seem overwhelmed by a tsunami of unease, exacerbated by Mrs. Clinton’s bout of pneumonia and a slow-footed acknowledgment of the illness. They are confronting a question they had assumed, just a few weeks ago, they would not need to consider in a race against the most unpopular presidential nominee in modern times: Could Mrs. Clinton actually blow this?
“… a tsunami of unease…” That sounds like a very serious problem, one that you are not going to stop by ordering it to stop. When you are faced with a tsunami, you do best to evacuate the area. Right away.
Apparently, Times writers are not very adept at metaphor. The tsunami of unease becomes a “creeping dread.” Evidently, the creeping dread is more manageable than any tsunami. Tsunamis do not creep. Creeps might creep, but tsunamis don't.
The creeping dread has accelerated in recent days, reaching critical levels even by Democratic standards.
Mrs. Clinton became sick. Several polls tightened to the margin of panic, with Mr. Trump overtaking her in surveys in Ohio and Florida. And even as Democrats hoped on Friday that Mr. Trump’s latest gambit — seeking to distance himself from his long history of “birtherism” — would backfire, there is a fear that no scandal can sink him.
A cartoon in The New Yorker captured it best: A woman sits in her psychiatrist’s office, perspiring in distress. The doctor scribbles on a pad. “I’m giving you something for Hillary’s pneumonia,” the caption reads.
Some Hillary supporters are so upset that they have taken to blaming the candidate herself. They might have asked themselves why they had believed that this manifestly incompetent government official would be a great candidate, but that will be for another day.
The Times continues:
But even some zealous Clinton defenders have grown frustrated with their candidate, marveling at the prospect of her snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, for which some say they would never forgive her. The campaign’s decision last week not to acknowledge Mrs. Clinton’s pneumonia until two days after a diagnosis, once video surfaced of her stumbling out of a Sept. 11 memorial service on Sunday, has especially rankled.
And yet, some still hold out hope for a great debate performance… as long as Hillary does not have a coughing fit. Recently, she has been hard at work mastering the art of hiding her coughing fits.
Some optimists have preached calm, reminding one another of Mrs. Clinton’s organizational advantages and holding out hope that she can best Mr. Trump decisively on a debate stage.
To my mind, the best part is this. Those Hillary supporters who cannot bring themselves to blame the candidate have taken to… blaming the media.
If only the media had not been reporting on the race, if only the media had not been in the tank for Donald Trump, if only… if only. Notable fanatic Gloria Steinem is totally upset because the media has been ... evenhanded. Can she be thinking of the New York Times? For her self-esteem, we hope against hope that it isn’t so.
The Times concludes:
While allowing that Mrs. Clinton has not run a perfect race, many of her admirers have cast blame elsewhere, singling out the news media, the Republicans who nominated Mr. Trump and, of course, the man himself.
Gloria Steinem, the feminist leader and a Clinton supporter, said in an email that she had sensed a growing worry in recent weeks, fearing that Mr. Trump’s candidacy was becoming “legitimized by ‘media evenhandedness’” that had made his assorted scandals seem more banal.