Press Biased Against Hillary Clinton?
Bob Somerby, Matt Yglesias, Garance Franke-Ruta, Greg Sargent, and Kevin Drum agree that the press is horribly unfair to Hillary Clinton, holding her to a much higher standard of intellectual consistency and integrity than is expected of other politicians.
The crux of the complaint, initiated in this instance by GFR, is that Barack Obama is being lauded for courage for taking a position on Iran that is rather similar to a position for which Hillary Clinton is taking flack. This is somewhat diffused, however, by the fact that none of the people cited as praising Obama criticize Clinton (except perhaps by omission in one instance) and none of those attacking Clinton are praising Obama.
In the more general sense, it strikes me that Clinton is being treated no worse by the press and her opponents than any other frontrunner in recent memory and no worse by her critics in the blogosphere this go-round than Rudy Giuliani or John McCain and better than Mitt Romney or, goodness knows, Dennis Kucinich.
Clinton is constantly lauded in the press for her brilliance, discipline, and work ethic. Aside from the more obscure elements of the conservative blogosphere, the scandals of her pre-Senate tenure are seldom mentioned. That she is eminently qualified to serve as president is simply presumed, despite a complete lack of executive experience and having served only one term as a Senator, to which she was elected almost entirely on the force of the celebrity she gained from being married to Bill Clinton.
Hillary Clinton has been a polarizing figure her entire career and is now the odds-on favorite to win the Democratic nomination and favored to win the presidency in 2008. That, quite naturally, puts the spotlight on her. She’s the candidate her Democratic opponents and their supporters will train their fire on. She’s also the natural whipping gal of the Republicans.
It won’t get any easier from here on out. Indeed, it’s barely started.