By Peter Daou and Tom Watson
Shortly after Hillary’s commanding debate showing, we predicted that the brief window of praise would close and the media and commentariat would quickly return to their vitriolic attacks against her. After all, Karl Rove’s Crossroads and other conservative groups have committed hundreds of millions of dollars to smearing Hillary – and their corporate allies in the media eagerly do their bidding.
As anticipated, less than a week after the debate, on a crisp and cold Monday morning in the Northeast, we do a quick 7 a.m. channel surf and are treated to roadblock negativity.
MORNING JOE: A panel of older white establishment males (with Mika Brzezinski gleefully joining the chorus) engages in what amounts to a verbal gang-assault on a female candidate, manically obsessing about her email server, calling her a serial liar and comparing her situation to Watergate.
They ignore the breaking news about Benghazi Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy’s staggering admission that he (potentially illegally) altered documents to make false claims against Hillary. They lie about her recent interview with Jake Tapper – where Hillary laughed about her amicable moment with Bernie Sanders and her laughter spilled over into a more serious question – pretending that Hillary was mocking the more serious question.
Morning Joe is an utter disgrace when it comes to coverage of Hillary, a sexist cesspool with sinking ratings, led by Republican operative Joe Scarborough, who uses his national platform to try to take down a Democratic candidate.
But Morning Joe isn’t alone. Here’s a snapshot of other TV outlets on this Monday morning in October:
CBS: Spin a good post-debate poll as negative, while ignoring the Trey Gowdy bombshell.
NBC: Report on Benghazi but ignore the Gowdy bombshell.
ABC: Report on Benghazi but ignore the Gowdy bombshell, then turn to Matthew Dowd, a Bush operative, for commentary about Hillary. Dowd calls her “inauthentic” and hypes Joe Biden.
CNN: Invite a GOP Benghazi committee member to go after her, ignoring the Gowdy bombshell. Spin a good post-debate poll as negative by saying she won the debate, but her lead “only” increased a bit. In other words, it’s somehow negative that Hillary “only” leads by double digits.
All this before 8 a.m. There’s still an entire day to do Karl Rove's and the Koch brothers’ dirty work. After all, institutional gender bias needs institutions to reinforce it and the corporate media are playing their appointed role.
Peter Daou and Tom Watson founded #HillaryMen to provide actionable analysis of the 2016 campaign focusing on the gender barrier in U.S. politics. Peter is a former senior digital adviser to Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative. He is a veteran of two presidential campaigns (Kerry '04 and Clinton '08). Tom is an author and Columbia University lecturer who advises companies and non-profits on social activism.