Over the past few weeks, the political press has settled into a pattern I was hoping we could avoid in 2016: the normalization of the presidential campaign. With increasing frequency, the media are ignoring or playing down negative news about Donald Trump while throwing a collective fit over Hillary Clinton’s appearances of possibilities of rumors of wrongdoing.
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman—whose paper has been a prime offender—warned on Monday that the race is in danger of turning into Bush versus Gore all over again. He wrote: “True, there aren’t many efforts to pretend that Donald Trump is a paragon of honesty. But it’s hard to escape the impression that he’s being graded on a curve.” Writing in the Atlantic, James Fallows provides a thorough overview of exactly how the media’s “normalizing approach” is playing out.