It’s an impossible task, and Rutenberg fails because he must. Any reporter who agrees with Clinton about Trump has no business covering either candidate.
It’s pure bias, which the Times fancies itself an expert in detecting in others, but is blissfully tolerant of its own. And with the top political editor quoted in the story as approving the one-sided coverage as necessary and deserving, the prejudice is now official policy.
It’s a historic mistake and a complete break with the paper’s own traditions. Instead of dropping its standards, the Times should bend over backwards to enforce them, even while acknowledging that Trump is a rare breed. That’s the whole point of standards — they are designed to guide decisions not just in easy cases, but in all cases, to preserve trust.
The Times, of course, is not alone in becoming unhinged over Trump, but that’s also the point. It used to be unique because of its adherence to fairness.
Now its only standard is a double standard, one that it proudly confesses. Shame would be more appropriate.