Blog - Matt Lewis
Regular readers of this space will know that I am fascinated by the topic of media bias. And the most interesting kind is not obvious or even intentional. For example, a reporter might approach an individual story objectively—but the real bias already occurred upstream, when the decision was made regarding which story to cover. This is called selection bias.
For years, I have heard rumors that Eleanor Roosevelt carried on a lesbian relationship. I think there's even a rather crude joke about it on HBO's "Veep." But I had no idea there was written evidence until I received Susan Quinn's book from Penguin Press, titled Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair That Shaped a First Lady.
My immediate take on last night's debate can be found here, but I wanted to add a couple of quick insights.
In the wake of James O'Keefe's latest video, a Democratic operative is "stepping back" from his role helping the Hillary Clinton campaign. As CNN notes, an edited video suggests the operative "and other staffers hired people to attend Donald Trump's campaign rallies and incite violence."
Like every other responsible citizen, I'm concerned about Donald Trump's preemptive declaration that the election is rigged. Odds are that nothing will come from this, but I believe he is playing with fire (and the American people are the ones who will be scorched).
In his Friday column, Matthew Continetti notes that paroxysms of populism are cyclical and that economic growth is the cure. He's correct, but there's no guarantee that will happen.
In 1998, Dr. James Dobson was stunned by the public's ability to "rationalize" Bill Clinton's behavior. In a public letter, he lamented the fact that as long as Clinton did a good job in office, many Americans felt that "it’s nobody’s business what he does with his personal life.”
I'm accumulating a growing list of "lessons learned" from the Donald Trump campaign, and here's one sure to make the top ten: The mainstream media still matters.
The internets are having a good laugh at a Trump supporter who is calling Beyoncé fan Hillary Clinton hypocritical for criticizing Donald Trump's sexually aggressive rhetoric.
Over at the Weekly Standard, Jonathan V. Last makes the observation that "Trump is all tactics and no strategy. Clinton is all strategy and no tactics." This, I think, is spot-on. And, as James Carville and Paul Begala wrote in their book Buck Up, Suck Up...and Come Back When You Foul Up, "Strategy is hard. Tactics are easy."
Overnight polls are showing that Hillary Clinton won last night's presidential debate, but I scored it differently. Plagued by scandal, Donald Trump stemmed the bleeding. Instead of Trump's campaign being effectively over, he lives to fight another day---and that, I think, constitutes something of a win.
In my own life, I've tried my best to help popularize the Angela Duckworth maxim that you should "choose easy" and "work hard." (Dr. Duckworth authored Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.) I think this advice applies to our personal lives as much as it does to our careers. In fact, I believe the two directives are inseparable.
Yesterday, I tweeted that Mike Pence's performance in the vice presidential debate, coupled with his general performance as Donald Trump's running mate, effectively positions him as the leader of a future hybrid GOP that marries Trumpism and traditional conservatism. Not everyone agreed.
Game recognizes game, and I have to hand it to the Baltimore Sun for their lede yesterday about a “high-stakes, but seemingly interminably-long competition” coming down to “a single, nationally-televised moment between second-tier antagonists.”
Disasters have a way of waking people up to the reality of their situation in life. In Stephen King's epic novel The Stand, a weaponized strand of the flu is accidentally released from a military base, and it decimates most of the world's population. The story follows different groups of survivors trying to make sense of their new normal.
You might have heard that billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk wants to colonize Mars. While many are describing it as "ambitious," not everyone groks this idea. Some on the Left are already mocking it (see The Grist's "Spaced Out" post), at least partly because they see it as a form of escapism. (Why would we worry about saving the environment on Earth if we can just move to another planet?) And I'm sure that the same conservatives who mocked the "starry-eyed" Newt Gingrich for promising to build a moon base by the end of his second term as president will think this a utopian scheme, if not a boondoggle.
Robert Draper's terrific piece in the New York Times highlights some of the backlash that occurred when—in the wake of Trump's comments about Fox News' Megyn Kelly—Erick Erickson disinvited the casino magnate from the "Red State Gathering" last summer:
It's still unclear how Monday's debate will impact the trajectory of the election, but one thing seems likely: The results will not adequately reflect the degree to which Hillary Clinton dominated.