This campaign season, journalists have moved beyond biased broadcasts, massaging off “official” reports, and selective candidate coverage. This time, they are more than comfortable staking out territory firmly on one side, calling out those who stray from the pack. Clinton must be treated with respect, and Trump must be dealt with.
This month, Jimmy Fallon invited Trump to appear on “The Tonight Show.” It was pretty much what you’d expect: The canned jovial atmosphere was spiced with a few choice barbs, but overall it was a harmless and forgettable interlude. The next day, however, Fallon came under fire from all sides of the media spectrum. What had the host done to raise such scorn?
The answer: nothing. He was demonized for not attacking The Donald, or even for simply having him on his program. Fallon—the man who “slow-jams the news” with President Obama—became a bison without a herd because he did what late-night hosts do: treat a politician kindly with lighthearted banter. What’s more, all this outcry took place after Hillary received fawning national coverage for appearing on Kimmel’s program and opening a pickle jar.
All the proof you need that the response was rigged? Consider the uniformity of the hysteria. The media often exposes its reliance on spoon-fed talking points via repetition. Friday outlets from The Atlantic, New Republic, New York Magazine, and even Samantha Bee echoed dismay at Fallon by criticizing how the segment “normalized Trump.”