THE BLOG
08/28/2016 03:32 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The 'Race To The Bottom' Has Only One Runner

Carlo Allegri / Reuters

2016-08-28-1472411616-6547753-TrumpandHillaryAugustracespeeches.jpg

Jackson, Mississippi. The media have decided that the presidential campaign is a "race to the bottom" in which both campaigns are engaged in "mudslinging" and voters are, rightly, equally disgusted with the way the two major party candidates are behaving.

This assessment is both mind-boggling and almost as outrageous as what Mr. Trump says and does on a daily basis. On "MTP Daily" on Friday, Chuck Todd talked about the "race to the bottom" and how horrible what the candidates are saying about each other and the mud they're slinging at each other are. Say what? Every example Mr. Todd gave came from Trump or another Republican. What has Hillary done that's mudslinging or a race to the bottom? Her speech on Thursday simply detailed, in a calm, rational, truthful way, what Trump is doing with the alt-right racists.

Look at the images above of the two candidates giving their speeches this week. Do they both look like they're slinging mud?

Yet the meme of both sides dragging the presidential campaign to new lows has taken hold across the media. This palpably absurd argument was being stated as the sad truth across the Sunday shows this weekend.

Calling Mrs. Clinton a "bigot," with zero evidence, as Mr. Trump did here in Jackson on Wednesday is mudslinging. Making up out of whole cloth and repeating over and over the charge that the Democratic nominee has some horrible illness is mudslinging. Saying that the Clintons have been using the Clinton Foundation--a charitable organization from which they make no money--to "line their pockets" and that "the Clinton Foundation is the most corrupt enterprise in political history" is mudslinging. So are numerous other outlandish charges Mr. Trump has hurled throughout the campaign.

When Hillary Clinton said in Reno on Thursday that "From the start, Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia. He is taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party. His disregard for the values that make our country great is profoundly dangerous," she was stating plain facts. She wasn't slinging mud; she was merely pointing to the mud (and more unpleasant substances) with which Trump has covered himself and his campaign from the start.

The only mud that has been slung at Donald Trump was thrown by Donald Trump.

Mrs. Clinton said nothing that went nearly as far as columnist Leonard Pitts, Jr. did when he described Mr. Trump this week as "a racist clown who lies like bunnies copulate." Yet even that isn't mudslinging; it's stating facts.

The bottom is entirely being plumbed by Trump and company. It is high time for all of us to call loudly upon the media to stop pretending that there is "immoral equivalence" between the candidates and that this campaign's stench is coming from both sides.

Analysts bending over backwards to appear "fair and balanced" when it is one side that is wholly unfair and unbalanced is journalistic malpractice and a great disservice to American democracy.

Donald Trump has already won the race to the bottom. It was an easy victory for him, because his campaign is the only contestant in that race--a fact that the media owe it to the American people to recognize and talk about.