Imag­in­ing Pres­i­dent Hil­lary’s press

Ripon Bulletin - - Opinion - L. BRENT BOZELL III Founder and Pres­i­dent of the Me­dia Re­search Cen­ter

Pres­i­dent Trump’s first State of the Union ad­dress is a fine oc­ca­sion to imag­ine how close we came to a Pres­i­dent Hil­lary Clin­ton. Imag­ine if Clin­ton had ac­tu­ally cam­paigned in the Midwest in­stead of Ari­zona and won the closely con­tested Wis­con­sin, Michi­gan and Penn­syl­va­nia. (Imag­ine the ex­act same con­gres­sional re­sults.) Then imag­ine the dra­matic dif­fer­ence in tone in our “news” me­dia and en­ter­tain­ment elites as she pre­pared to de­liver her first re­port to the na­tion.

What would we have seen in Pres­i­dent Clin­ton’s first year?

Tweets by Don­ald Trump, the loser, say­ing that the elec­tion was “rigged” and pos­si­bly tipped by in­ter­na­tional in­ter­fer­ence through The Clin­ton Foun­da­tion were dis­par­aged as not only un­pa­tri­otic but also un­hinged and more than a lit­tle sex­ist. CNN was es­pe­cially ag­gres­sive in chal­leng­ing any­one who ques­tioned the new pres­i­dent’s phys­i­cal or men­tal fit­ness. The net­work sent chief White House cor­re­spon­dent Jim Acosta to Capi­tol Hill to yell at Repub­li­cans and demand they dis­tance them­selves from those ob­nox­ious con­ser­va­tives who can­not con­cede hon­or­ably and abide by the will of the repub­lic.

When Pres­i­dent Clin­ton fired FBI Di­rec­tor James Comey for al­most pre­vent­ing her elec­tion with his last-minute an­nounce­ment about her emails, Democrats cheered and Repub­li­cans de­manded an in­ves­ti­ga­tion. The press saw this for what it was: a GOP ef­fort to again thwart the will of the Amer­i­can peo­ple. It gave con­tin­u­ous oxy­gen to the new #moveon ef­fort to ex­pose this agenda while ig­nor­ing Repub­li­cans’ com­plaints.

In turn, Trump fans started the hash­tag #Re­sis­tance, which the me­dia im­me­di­ately in­ter­preted as a call for racism, sex­ism, ho­mo­pho­bia, xeno­pho­bia, trans­pho­bia and every other nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion of man that would thought­lessly be re­sisted by the far right. Trump sup­port­ers an­grily re­spond by show­ing pic­tures of Bill and Mon­ica Lewin­sky, and Har­vey We­in­stein and Hil­lary, and to no avail. Their com­plaints were ig­nored.

Con­ser­va­tives protested the nar­row Clin­ton win by swamp­ing Wash­ing­ton af­ter the in­au­gu­ra­tion in the largest March for Life on record. But that night on the news, no­body no­ticed. The three ma­jor net­works in­stead spent 10 min­utes each cel­e­brat­ing Planned Par­ent­hood Pres­i­dent Ce­cile Richards be­ing named sec­re­tary of the Depart­ment of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices.

The Wash­ing­ton Post created a new front-page motto for the Clin­ton era: “Democ­racy Thrives in Bright­ness.” Owner Jeff Be­zos in­sisted it un­der­lined the news­pa­per’s “his­toric com­mit­ment to hold­ing all pres­i­dents ac­count­able.”

The Wash­ing­ton Times was soundly con­demned for re­port­ing that the pres­i­dent called West Vir­ginia a “s---hole” in a pri­vate bud­get meet­ing with Repub­li­cans. Journalists de­nounced the story as un­proved, since there was no au­dio­tape, and in­sisted noth­ing could get done in a di­vided Wash­ing­ton if the GOP in­sisted

on leak­ing pri­vate con­ver­sa­tions.

Repub­li­cans re­minded the press about all those sto­ries cen­ter­ing on lamps flung by first lady Hil­lary in the gen­eral di­rec­tion of the POTUS’ cra­nium. The #moveon so­cial-me­dia armies were un­leashed to squash this as more fic­tion from the right.

Lib­eral colum­nists de­plored the on­go­ing dom­i­nance of the Is­lamic State in Iraq and com­pared it with­out shame to the pro­jected spread of the Repub­li­can ma­jor­ity in the midterm elec­tions of 2018.

It was an­other tough year for late-night comedians. At the Emmy Awards in Septem­ber, Jimmy Kim­mel and Stephen Col­bert al­most came to blows back­stage over who was more de­serv­ing to get Pres­i­dent Clin­ton’s 19th late-night in­ter­view. The pres­i­dent had just been hailed as still be­ing the smartest girl in class af­ter win­ning a game of cha­rades with Jimmy Fal­lon on “The Tonight Show.”

Pres­i­dent Clin­ton won a sec­ond Grammy award for Best Spo­ken Word Al­bum for a col­lec­tion of her speeches, in­clud­ing her in­au­gu­ral ad­dress. A de­lighted duo of Madonna and Cher grate­fully ac­cepted on her be­half.

One year into the Clin­ton pres­i­dency, the econ­omy would still be stalled; new taxes would be forth­com­ing to pun­ish the greedy rich; the Is­lamic State would have the Mid­dle East ter­ri­fied; North Korea would be lob­bing test mis­siles on the coast of Alaska; en­ergy pro­duc­tion would be at a stand­still; and thus, the stage would be set to wel­come Pres­i­dent Clin­ton’s call for the na­tion to march “For­ward To­gether.”

And how the me­dia

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