Neal Gabler – Why Hating the Media Could Make the Difference in November

As the political pundits keep reminding us, this might be called the “hate” election. Both major parties’ presumptive nominees, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, have historically high net unfavorable ratings – so high that voters are said to be casting their ballots against a candidate rather than in favor of one.

The question seems to be: Whom do you hate less?

The question seems to be: Who do you hate less?

So Trump’s and Clinton’s ratings are the equivalent of, say, the batting averages during a baseball season in which no one is hitting very well. Americans are just in a very surly, unreceptive mood. They hate everybody.

The second flaw is that the candidates’ unfavorability ratings set up yet another false equivalency: that Trump and Clinton have somehow earned their enmity in equal measure – Trump for his racist, sexist, bullying remarks, his endless prevarications and his general depreciation of the entire political process, and Clinton for… well, Clinton, apparently, for having used a private email server for communications that only later were classified. See? They’re two peas in a pod.

But within this very angry electorate is another hate boiling, and it may very well alter the course of the election. That is the hate the public feels for the media, especially the mainstream media.

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