By BEN SHAPIRO – – – – –
Donald Trump has spent this week claiming that the election is “rigged” against him. This past weekend, Trump told a massive crowd in New Hampshire, “Looks to me like a rigged election. The election is being rigged by the liberal media to push outright lies to rig the election.” This follows hard on Trump’s Wednesday rally at which he accused a secret cabal of media figures and international bankers of rigging the election against him. Newt Gingrichappeared on This Week on ABC News where he said that this was a “coup d’etat. Fourteen million citizens and private ballots picked Donald Trump, 20 TV executives have decided to destroy him…I think that without the unending one-sided assault of the news media, Trump would be beating Hillary by 15 points.” Vice presidential candidate Mike Pence, in an attempt to split the baby, said that Trump would accept the election results, but that the media had indeed “rigged” the election.
Now, it’s certainly true that the media hate Trump and want Hillary Clinton to win. Trump’s been slammed with blanket coverage on claims similar to those that have been largely ignored about Bill Clinton, and have been completely shut down about Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton’s Wikileaks revelations have hit Fox News, but not many other outlets. The media have indeed been egregiously awful this election cycle.
But to claim that Trump faces some exponentially greater obstacle than any other Republican running for president is asinine. Mitt Romney, who unlike Donald Trump is actually a man of decency, was destroyed by the same media; John McCain took it on the chin from the media, too. The media hate Trump more than they hate Romney and McCain, but they also have far more material with which to work. Tim Groseclose of UCLA says that the media shift elections approximately eight to ten points in favor of Democrats – always. The notion that Donald Trump would be experiencing a 26-point-swing in his favor without the media, as Gingrich suggests, is simply ridiculous. Media bias is a systemic disadvantage Republicans have faced for nearly a century, but Trump is a uniquely terrible candidate.
In fact, it’s only because Republicans have done such a decent job destroying the credibility of the media that Trump is still in the race. Many Republicans simply don’t believe anything the media have to say after decades of lies and obfuscations from them – which is why Trump can say that the media lie about him even when they’re not lying about him. Trump isn’t destroying the media over their bias. He’s taking advantage of their already-shattered credibility to run the world’s shoddiest campaign.
In any case, media bias exists. It’s Trump’s job to overcome that bias. Otherwise, he’s just railing against the wind.