BOSTON (CBS) – In a campaign filled with lazy thinking and dumb statements, the laziest, dumbest thing I’ve heard is that “the media” is trying to rig the election.
I hear people say this quite a bit, and while I try not to be rude, I do sometimes ask them a simple question: what do you mean by “the media”?
That usually brings their tirade short. The old mainstream media doesn’t dominate the national discussion the way it did, and the online array of readily-available options for reporting and analysis is so vast, it makes a joke of any contention that “the media” is capable of dictating the election result.
But I do give the doubters credit for one thing – all informed news consumers should be skeptical about certain stories that take hold, and make an effort to separate the facts from the spin.
For instance, while Donald Trump’s denials have been rendered pathetic by his own boasting about sexual assault, the multiplying allegations against him lack corroboration, a fact that should be noted.
And while there’s plenty to criticize about Hillary Clinton, if you go online as I just did and actually read the much-discussed speeches she gave to the Wall Street investment firm Goldman Sachs, you’ll see there’s nothing incriminating there. It’s actually Clinton at her best – thoughtful, informed, relatively moderate.
Why she poured gas on the negative speculation about those speeches by refusing to release them is a big question mark, and speaks to her unappealing control-freak tendencies.
But the bottom line is, voters, do your homework.
And if you don’t, don’t blame the media for filling that void in ways you might not like.
Listen to Jon’s commentary: