On a recent episode of Fox News’ the O’Reilly Factor the host Bill O’Reilly wondered about the temperament of the American voter and about whether or not they’d be able to handle the rough and tumble general election that will soon be starting. It’s a good question. Voters in both parties have already been through so much, you have to wonder if they’ll be able to handle what promises to be the most rancorous election fight in many years.
First, a rock-solid statement: All famous people in America are targets. If you have money, power or fame, you need protection from those who would accuse and exploit you. There is a full-fledged extortion industry in this country that attacks the wealthy and corporations through the legal system. All journalists know that. We know we can find people to say negative things about any public person, and we know we can make any story come out a certain way. And if politicians or a businessperson is involved, it’s a lark.
Enter Donald Trump and Bill Clinton. Both men have been severely hammered in the American press. For example, a front-page article in the New York Times over the weekend heavily implied that Donald Trump mistreats women. But almost immediately one of the women quoted in the article disputed what the paper said. Talking Points does not know how Mr. Trump treats women in general, but we do know that he is a flamboyant entertainer, a provocateur who lives lavishly. Voters will have to make up their own minds about Mr. Trump’s private behavior and that will not be an easy thing to do.
The same thing is true with President Clinton, also the subject of a provocative article last week on Clinton Foundation money going to a for-profit energy company owned in part by friends of the Clintons. One footnote: The New York Times did not see fit to report that story even though they have covered questionable Clinton Foundation situations in the past.
Anyway, the latest expose is loaded with innuendo about Bill Clinton’s friendship with a neighbor in Chappaqua, New York. Again, Talking Points has no idea about that, but we do know that Clinton Foundation money flowed to a private company, which is now failing, for the benefit of people who have helped the Clintons. That in itself is a major story; the innuendo is meaningless at this point. American voters are going to be subjected to an incredible amount of speculative garbage over the next six months. The American press is not fair. It is heavily ideological and will spin all kinds of things to try to get a certain candidate elected. It should not be this way. But it is.
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