Donald Trump admits what most sentient Americans know: The media have flogged Hillary’s emails so obsessively that no one cares anymore.
Mr. Trump said he could not “spend more than five minutes talking about her emails at my rallies, because people will lose interest, and you have to talk about other things to keep their attention.”
Setting aside the kid gloves with which Healy treats Trump’s fake “pivot” in his latest NY Times story, let’s unpack that one comment.
Trump is conceding the obvious: Hillary’s use of a private email account is the most over-hyped political story of the decade, perhaps of the century.
That’s not hyperbole. Our team took to Lexis Nexis, TVEyes, and Google and came back with a staggering, though unsurprising, conclusion:
Hillary’s “damn emails” (to quote Bernie Sanders) have been mentioned in the mainstream media every single day of 2016. And every single day going back a full year.
We’re talking big media outlets, not blogs or local papers: AP, CNN, CNBC, Fox News, New York Times, Washington Post, etc. And more often than not there were multiple mentions across the national media on a given day.
To this moment, the issue is still being treated as major news by our national press.
I’ve postulated a counter-intuitive take on the emails, namely that every day the story is covered is a day Hillary is winning. Here’s how I argued that point on August 18:
A recent Monmouth poll found that 63% of Americans are tired of hearing about Hillary’s emails.
There was always going to be something Hillary’s opponents tried to derail her with, something the national media would latch onto and refuse to let go.
It could have been a dozen other trumped-up issues. It ended up being the emails. So be it.
As we head into the fall, there’s little doubt that the emails will be flogged by Hillary’s detractors every day for the remainder of the election. But does that actually hurt her? Or does it help?
Consider that the comprehensive FBI investigation led to no evidence or accusation of intentional wrongdoing on her part, nor any charges of misconduct. And consider that despite month after month of emails, emails, emails, Hillary is in a strong position to win in November.
Now why should we assume that hammering the email story for the remaining days of the campaign will somehow magically accomplish what an entire year of relentless coverage hasn’t been able to do?
This may sound counter-intuitive but it’s a logical conclusion from the facts: Every day Hillary’s opponents flog her emails is a day she’s winning.
Simply because it’s a day they’re not landing any serious blows on anything else.
So keep at the emails, Hillary critics. And we’ll see how far the issue gets you on Election Day.