David Weigel balances Ballance with non Ballance in this remarkable passage in which he says that public ignorance about candidate’s policy proposals is and isn’t partly Donald Trump’s fault
Whose fault is that, and whose fault is it swing voters are unsure where Donald Trump stands? Not the media’s — piles and piles of money are spent to get reporters and cameras to the places where candidates deliver policy speeches. Not the candidates’s, though in this particular election Clinton has given exponentially more detail than Trump. (Literally, exponentially. CNN’s Brian Stelter points out that there are 9,000 words about policy on Trump’s campaign site, and more than 100,000 words on Clinton’s.)
So he asserted that ignorance about Clinton’s policy proposals is not Clinton’s fault and that ignorancde about Trump’s policy proposals is not Trump’s fault. Then (in parentheses) he noted that ignorance about Trump’s policy proposals has something to do with the fact that he has slogans not policy proposals.
Now Weigel might argue that he didn’t want to write another column about how Trump is unfit to serve as President (OK fine). That it is also true that voters blame others for ignorance which are due the votoers’ laziness (OK fine). He could have illustrated (and proven) his claim by quoting people who complain that they don’t know what policy reforms Clinton has proposed and then providing a link to her campaign’s issues page https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/ .
There was no need to even mention Donald Trump. If one wishes to discuss what people could learn, but don’t bother to learn, about candidates policy proposals, Donald Trump is as irrelevant as Kim Kardashian, because neither is a candidate for public office with coherent detectable policy proposals. But noooo, he had to bring Trump into it and say that Trump is and isn’t to blame.
My outraged comment follows.
I think a very large part of the problem is journalists who write things which they know are false to achieve Ballance (TM). YOu claim it is not the candidates’ fault, before noting that no one (especially including Donald Trump) can possible understand Donald Trump’s policy proposals, because they don’t exist. You note the 9000 words, but fail to try to estimate how many he has contradicted when speaking ad lib (A rough guess would be give or take a few 9000 including “and” and “the”).
Voters who claim that Clinton hasn’t told them what she proposes have no one to blame but themselves (as you note). Voters who claim that Trump hasn’t have no one to blame but Trump, because he hasn’t.
One problem is lazy voters who click click bait rather than doing serious research. Another is spineless journalists who do the research, know the facts and refuse to report them frankly, because the facts have a clear liberal bias.
Do you really believe “it’s not the candidates’ fault” ? That means “it is not Clinton’s fault and it is not Trump’s fault” which implies “it is not Trump’s fault”. Do you believe that ? would you swear under oath that you believe that ?
You could have written “it is not Clinton’s fault and it isn’t even entirely Trump’s fault, voters themselves share the blame with Trump”. But you didn’t.
Because telling the truth would violate the rule that when discussing the candidates you must be Ballanced and so must give Trump one break after another. It is not possible to be fair and Ballanced so you have decided to unfairly deny (and in parentheses admit) what Trump is.
“Ballance” refers both the former representative Jack Ballance and also the Washington Post’s tradition of breaking the rules it chose in order to be more than fair to Republicans.
I note that the editor in question was not fired or even publicly named.
Here at AngryBear I notice that David Weigel was briefly assigned to report on the conservative movement, the reassigned because his reporting tended to suggest they were nuts and so wasn’t Ballanced enough. He’s about as frank and blunt as the MSM gets.