Newspapers and TV newscasts are biased in one way more than any other: They focus on what is new. Lately, they’ve focused on a statement by FBI Director James Comey that emails on Anthony Weiner’s computer may inform the investigation into how Hillary Clinton handled classified information as Secretary of State. Though the content of the emails remains unknown, the chattering classes pounced on the story like cats on balls of yarn. You’d think nothing mattered more in the election.
At their best, commentators offer context and perspective about the news so that the newest information is synthesized with what was already known. Then citizens can draw more circumspect, sensible conclusions. With days to go before an election that role is especially vital. The public and its news media have short attention spans. And it would be folly to ever let the last news cycles determine our leaders.
At The Week, Damon Linker, who is no fan of Clinton, argues that despite all her weaknesses and petty corruptions, the choice on November 8 is an easy one. Trump “is a menace to American democracy,” he writes, “a know-nothing demagogic con man who hasn’t released his tax returns, who brags about assaulting women, who has invited Vladimir Putin to meddle in the presidential election while also suggesting on the basis of no evidence at all that the election will be ‘rigged’ against him, and who regularly uses social media to promote white supremacists and neo-Nazis (who increasingly feel emboldened to spew their civic poison in public). And that's just the most minimal accounting of Trump's offenses.”