The health of a prospective president is one of the most important issues of any campaign, but whether to ask hard questions about a candidate is usually a matter of whose prospective president, and whose health. When the prospective president is a Democrat, the media only sends candy, flowers and best wishes.
Ours is a curious campaign, and the precedents set in the coverage of it are dark and dangerous because they’re likely to be long-lasting. Objectivity, honored if sometimes only in the breach for more than a century, is regarded this year as no longer necessary because “going after Donald Trump” is not only legitimate, but morally righteous.
If you’re a reporter or pundit and believe that Mr. Trump is evil, or at least bad, “you have to throw out the textbook American journalism has been using for the better part of the past half-century, if not longer, and approach it in a way you’ve never approached anything in your career,” Jim Rutenberg, the “mediator” at The New York Times, wrote Monday. “If you view a Trump presidency as something that’s potentially dangerous, then your reporting is going to reflect that.”