So it’s come to this: the most potentially explosive revelations about America’s Fifth Avenue Mussolini, Donald Trump, are behind an entertainment-industry paywall, one that no mere journalistic enterprise has the power or (in all likelihood) the resources to scale.
Like most revered American public traditions, presidential debates are jury-rigged miasmas. True, Monday’s feverishly hyped Hofstra University rhetorical slugfest between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican Lord of Destruction Donald Trump didn’t feature the absurdist brio of the 1976 Carter-Ford showdown culminating in 27 full minutes of silent bipartisan immobility, or the pedigreed theatrical sighing of the 2000 Gore-Bush contretemps.
Sit up and take notice, monitors of plain speech in our elite journalistic discourse: the New York Times has at long last elected to call a lie a lie, at least as far as Donald Trump is concerned.
Never do our media savants look more blatantly biased than when they’re trying to wave off complaints about how they shape, and distort, the critical flow of political information. A case in point: New York Times public editor Liz Spayd’s absurdly complacent recent column on charges that the political press has been indulging “false balance” narratives in its coverage of Campaign ’16.
We interrupt the cloddish accumulation of campaign effluvia to bring you Nick Bilton’s epic anatomy of the downfall of Theranos, the smoke-and-mirrors Silicon Valley startup that was allegedly poised to revolutionize the diagnosis and treatment of disease.
In a development that has surprised no one, it appears that Corey Lewandowski—the former head of the Trump campaign who was cashiered at the insistence of the candidate’s children earlier this summer—remains a paid consultant of the rampaging bigoted ego atop the 2016 GOP presidential ticket.
A curious outbreak of truth-telling seems to be seizing our right-wing media. In this most deranging campaign season of our postmodern political lives, the specter of Donald Trump—billionaire tribune of the forgotten white working class—has sent some of our most notable right-spinning pundits directly into confessional mode.
The financial unwinding of Gawker Media’s tawdry tour through the justice system landed on an oddly anticlimactic note this week: Univision, the Spanish-language TV network that has been aggressively colonizing the digital mediasphere, picked up the bankrupt web empire for $135 million.
All right, then—America’s own major-party-anointed oligarch has officially urged Russian cyberspies to hack State Department communications.
And his underlying political rationale is enough to give M.C. Escher a throbbing migraine: Hillary Clinton is guilty of grave, if unspecified, trespasses against American national security for conveying classified information on an unsecured private email server.
It’s certainly not in character for the corporate chieftains at Fox News to keep mum during the marquee action at a Republican Nation Convention. It’s a bit like having ESPN’s Chris Berman contain himself during a home-run derby—or Bravo TV reality impresario Andy Cohen staying quiet about anything at all.
Just as Al Gore was once described (by Michael Kinsley) as “an old person’s idea of a young person” so is Mike Allen a corporate account executive’s idea of a politics reporter. Or, to put things in the argot to which both he and his power-elite readership are accustomed, he’s the forward-looking mascot of all things breathless, political, and digital in the MAJOR JOURNO REALIGNMENT ALONG THE POTOMAC.