WaPo Hillary apologist: Hey, Trump probably doesn't know what the (C) means either!

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Published by: Dan Calabrese on Tuesday September 06th, 2016

The all-purpose fallback.

Charles Lane is a columnist for the Washington Post, which is about as in the tank for Hillary as any media outlet not spelled CNN. As such, he probably sees his role as a participant on any Fox News panel as balancing his conservative counterparts - in this case, Charles Krauthammer and Tucker Carlson.

That's fair enough. It probably is what Fox wants him to do. But it's one thing to provide balanced based on a bona fide different point of view compared to your counterparts. It's another thing to reach for any rejoinder, no matter how absurd, because you just can't bring yourself to admit what's obviously true.

So, you're Charles Lane, and Hillary has just done an impromptu press availability on her new campaign plane. It would be far too generous to call it a "press conference," but I guess it's something, and it happened because a) people have started to notice it's been almost a year since she's had a press conference; and b) she's slipping in the polls. So she does it, and in the course of doing it, she offers a lame, change-the-subject response to the question about her obvious lie when she told the FBI she didn't know what that (C) meant classified material in the e-mails she received.

How does Lane attempt to defend this? Not by dealing with the lie at all, but by insisting none of it matters because her opponent is the horrible, awful, unacceptable Donald Trump. And oh, by the way, he probably doesn't know what the (C) means either!

Yeah. That's really his argument. Watch:

I guess this is what happens to you when you exist in the Beltway bubble long enough. Nonsense like this actually starts to sound like wisdom to you. You actually start to think you're smart for saying it.

Not to take Lane's argument too seriously, but I'll indulge him this far: Trump may not know what the (C) means because he's never - or had never until recently - dealt in classified material. If that was something he did as part of his job, why does Lane think he wouldn't know what it means? Trump knows real estate and finance because that's his business. He could probably explain a good deal of it to Lane - not that Lane would necessarily understand anything he was being told.

Put Trump in the White House and have him dealing every day with classified information, Trump knows what the (C) means. There's no comparison between the two. Plus: Trump didn't tell the FBI he didn't know what it means when it's virtually impossible for him not to unless he is the dumbest person alive. No. Hillary did that. So to suggest there's some equivalence between the two candidates lack of knowledge of the meaning of the (C) - purported or real - is about as lame as an argument gets.

But so goes Lane's line of thinking in the entire segment. His response to every substantive criticism of Hillary is basically, It doesn't matter because she's running against Trump and he's awful so Hillary will still win.

That's absurd, but even if it were true, does that absolve Charles Lane as a major media columnist from scrutinizing Hillary's very real faults? Are a candidate's faults only worth talking about to the extent that a pundit thinks they make the person likely to lose? If the drawback may have no damaging political consequences, that's a reason to be dismissive of any discussion of it?

This seems to be how the media thinks it can justify blowing off all the things that are wrong with Hillary: None of it matters because she's running against Trump so she'll win anyway, therefore we don't have to talk about it.

And if that's what they really think, we don't just need a new president. We need a new media too.

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