... There's a lot to question about Hillary Clinton's policy positions, especially, in my view, on foreign policy. But those questions will never get asked by the Media on its own.Kilgore also quotes Greg Sargent, who writes:
The Media doesn't actually care about policy. Partly because it's hard to report on policy. Partly because they don't really care about policy. The only way they do is if a political opponent raises the issue....
Do you want to hear about income inequality and how Clinton would try to attack the problem? Don't hold your breath waiting for the Media to cover that. It will require a primary challenger to do this.
Want to hear about Hillary Clinton's foreign policy views? Want her hawkish ideas challenged? Don't count on the Media for that. It will take a primary challenger....
Without a contested primary, no important issues will be covered.
Democrats need a contested primary.
Hillary Clinton needs a contested primary.
Because our Media is simply terrible.
The alternative to a real primary is a year and a half dominated by the aforementioned Hillary-versus-the-media death struggle.But why would a primary challenger make the media coverage of Clinton any less awful? She faced a formidable challenger in 2008 -- what do you remember from that primary campaign? Issues? No -- you remember the media writing "Clinton Gets Emotional!" stories at the time of the New Hampshire primary.
You remember the press obsessing over insults and slights. (Clinton surrogates seemed to be playing the race card! Barack Obama said Hillary was "likable enough"!)
Sargent quotes Democratic consultant Bob Shrum, from a New York Times story:
“I don’t think the press primary is helpful: It can get very annoying and distracting,” Mr. Shrum said. “Al Gore got tortured by the press for claiming that he invented the Internet, which he never claimed....”And Gore had a primary opponent, at least in the early contests: Bill Bradley, who was a pretty big star in the party at the time. Bradley stayed in the race through Super Tuesday.
Did it help? No. The coverage of Gore was awful. The phony charge that Gore claimed he'd invented the Internet was based on an interview that took place in March 1999. Bradley had formed his exploratory committee in December 1998. Having a challenger did nothing to save Gore from awful campaign coverage. The same would be true for Hillary -- once the press decides it hates you, you get dumped on no matter what. And the press hates Hillary as much as it hated Gore.