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Though I don’t want to be called a Trumpist – it sounds so silly – there can be little doubt the latest Clinton email upset has left slavish hacks on both sides of the Atlantic bewildered. Most thought the ball netted, and furthermore, that they had netted it. The institutionalism that has become an endemic feature of the corporate media had made it practically impossible for leading political journos to imagine Donald Trump as POTUS. Not surprising when you think of all the hard work they’d put in trying to make sure they didn’t need to. No worry, in a matter of days, stretching the imagination might not be their only problem.
That said, the only head that may end up on the block, whichever the vote goes, is James Comey’s. And that’s something the main media hasn’t even thought of, as dazed journalists struggle to work out what on earth’s happening. Yet the head of the FBI can’t be so eager to get it the neck as to put it on the block without being asked. Most likely, having weighed up the options, Comey decided the shrewdest strategy was to suffer being damned now, as opposed to being damned later. At least his move pre-empted even more people spilling the beans than already have. Only time will tell how sound his reasoning for revealing his hand so close to polling day. After all, there’s no guarantee of a slam dunk in this match. The only other possible explanation is that the head at the Fed suffers from an irresistible urge to hover dangerously close to the edge whenever he spots a deep canyon.
Gambling solely on Clinton was never the best idea. To be on the safe side, back in the old days, the media used to hedge its bets. With one side yelling blue and the other side yelling red, someone always got it right. Old school hacks understood that the political mafia is even less predictable than the real one. Unless the predictability of being unpredictable counts as predictable, that is. Blaming FBI director James Comey for doing his job was fairly predictable. Though my bet would’ve been on Putin taking the rap. And as there’s still enough time left for Johnny journo to point the finger Vlad’s way, I’m not changing horses midstream. Though, like the vast majority of US voters, in the crocodile-infested waters of this presidential race, I’d rather be riding a tortoise in a different race completely.
Spurred on by Clinton’s most able aides, the media seems to be spreading the odd notion that some sort of moratorium comes into play, if possible criminal activity involving a presidential candidate surfaces while that candidate is running for the highest office. If that were the case Al Capone would’ve spent most of his life on the campaign trail. Certainly, being the centre of a criminal investigation does tend to make things rather more uncomfortable for the contender concerned, as Hillary can testify. But is a contender’s discomfort good enough reason to hold a moratorium? When exactly would it start? And would it include all crimes or just some? Have there really been so many occasions when presidential candidates have been chief suspects in criminal investigations for the question of holding moratoriums to come up? Or is someone having a laugh?
The bewilderment of the corporate media was summed up neatly in a bizarre poll published by last Sunday’s Independent where voters were asked: “Did the controversy over Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email user change your opinion of her honesty, or not?” If polled, my first answer would’ve been, “Can you repeat the question?” I mean, if I thought Hillary Clinton was honest before, I’d have to answer “No”. Then again, if I thought Hillary Clinton was dishonest before, I’d also have to answer “No”. On the other hand, if I said “Yes” that I thought she was dishonest before she lied about her private email account, but once she was caught lying, I changed my mind, I’d open up the strong possibility of being accused of dishonesty myself. Or certifiably insane. If I remember rightly, while 32% of those polled said it had changed their opinion, a whopping 68% said it hadn’t. Or maybe it was the other way round. Whatever, it left me so bewildered I had to reach for the cooking sherry. I still don’t see what the result actually adds up to. Are there more people who think Hillary is dishonest than there were before? Or are there more people who think Hillary is honest than there were before? What is the point of a poll that shows that 100% of those who bothered to answer are as stupid as the person framing the question? Needless to say, the poll was gone by Monday morning. Pity about that, it was the best laugh of the day.
Hillary Clinton just planted a bomb under American Democracy by Alexander Mercouris
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