There was some very unwelcome news this week for many of our media elites. According to a CNN poll of likely voters, Donald Trump has taken a slim lead over Hillary Clinton.
It should be noted that most other surveys show Secretary Clinton leading. But the very fact that Trump may be closing the gap was a call to action for many media types.
As just one glaring example, take the story of two for-profit universities and their connections with the candidates.
The Washington Post, to its credit, published a detailed story this week about Bill Clinton’s former position as ‘honorary chancellor’ of Laureate Universities.
You may think that the word ‘honorary’ means the job would include a token honorarium, but Laureate paid President Clinton $17.6-million over five years. Written another way, that’s $17,600,000!
Even though Mr. Clinton didn’t do much beyond lending his name to the school and visiting a few campuses, Laureate founder Doug Becker obviously felt he got his money’s worth.
Perhaps this is why: While she was Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton personally ensured that Becker was given a seat at the table when the State Department hosted a dinner dealing with higher education.
To employ that Latin term we hear a lot these days, was there a quid pro quo? That’s hard to prove, but let’s just say the dinner invitation and the ensuing cushy job to Bill Clinton were a mutually beneficial coincidence. Laureate also donated as much as $5-million to the Clinton Foundation and Doug Becker has personally contributed to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
What’s most interesting is how this bombshell story, reported by a highly respected media outlet, was handled by others. The conservative Media Research Center provided a rundown of the morning shows. ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today totally ignored the Laureate-Clinton connection, while CBS This Morning gave it less than 30 seconds.
However, we are hearing a great deal about a candidate and a for-profit university. It’s just not Hillary Clinton and Laureate. The media are now focused, laser-like, on allegations involving Donald Trump and Trump University.
A few years ago Donald Trump’s foundation donated $25,000 to the campaign of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who was then investigating possible wrongdoing by Trump University. That investigation was dropped, and there are now allegations of – you guessed it – a quid pro quo.
We do not know whether Donald Trump tried to improperly influence Pam Bondi. In fact, the Trump Foundation was fined $2,500 because charities are barred from giving to political campaigns. But what is astounding is the coverage.
The New York Times, which wrote nary a syllable about the Laureate story, devoted 1,250 words to the Trump University allegations. This was despite the fact that, by our rudimentary math, $17,600,000 is about 700 times greater than $25,000. Other anti-Trump media outlets, as always, will follow the lead set by the Times.
Donald Trump, if he is not ‘surging,’ is certainly rising in the polls. If that continues, expect more ‘investigative’ stories about his past political donations, of which there were very many.
It is no secret that many pundits and reporters despise Donald Trump and don’t want him to be president. They will do everything in their power, which is fading but still considerable, to make sure he does not occupy the Oval Office.
So, yes, expect to read and hear a great deal about Pam Bondi and Trump University. And if that accusation doesn’t stick to the wall, more anti-Trump stories are on the way. Some of them may even be legitimate. Donald Trump is fully aware that he has many enemies in the media who are desperately seeking the story that will end his candidacy while earning them a Pulitzer Prize.
This all inspires a word of advice: Over the next few weeks, Donald Trump should do whatever it takes to avoid any coughing fits. Hell, even if he sneezes twice in a row, the media will have him on his death bed, declaring him absolutely unqualified to serve as commander-in-chief.
In the year 2016, that’s just the way it is.