There's no question that this election cycle has seen a bevy of radical media double standards. Donald Trump's sexual harassment and assault accusers have been treated as headline news; allegations about intimidation of sexual harassment and assault victims by Hillary Clinton have been utterly ignored. Trumpian bigotry against a Mexican judge dominated the news cycle for weeks; Clinton-connected bigotry against Catholics went completely unnoticed. We heard for a full week about a Miss Universe contestant Trump allegedly called "Miss Piggy" back in 1997; we've heard very little about Hillary Clinton's perverse dealings with the media and the FBI. We've heard for months about Trump's toxic impact on politics; we've seen precious few headlines about the firebombing of a GOP campaign headquarters in North Carolina or shattered windows at other GOP operations or the repeated violent attempts to disrupt Trump rallies or hurt Trump fans.
Part of this is the allure of novelty: Trump's a new figure in politics, and every bit of information now hitting the newsstands seems fresh. Meanwhile, Clinton's been in politics for decades, which means that every allegation of corruption and nastiness merely reinforces general perceptions about her.
But there's something else afoot here: Most Americans simply expect Democrats to act like Hillary Clinton and get away with it.
Take, for example, the new allegations by James O'Keefe that Clinton-associated parties are involved in promoting voter fraud and violence at Trump rallies. O'Keefe's Project Veritas went undercover with a Democratic operative who openly admitted to encouraging people to rent cars in order to drive to precincts and vote illegally. "You use shells," said the operative. "Use shell companies. Cars come in from one company; the paychecks come from another. There's no bus involved, so you can't prove that it's en masse, so it doesn't tip people off."
The operative also admitted to attempting to provoke violence at Trump events. "You put people in the line, at the front which means that they have to get there at six in the morning because they have to get in front of the rally," he said, "so that when Trump comes down the rope line, they're the ones asking him the question in front of the reporter, because they're pre-placed there." The activist admitted that a 69-year-old woman supposedly beaten up by a Trump supporter was actually working for him. That event generated major national headlines: "Arrest warrant issued in assault of 69-year-old female protester at NC Trump rally," blared The Washington Post at the time; "69-year-old says she was 'cold-cocked' by Trump supporter during protest," said Mediaite; "Video shows aftermath of 69-year-old woman punched at a Trump rally," reported The Los Angeles Times.
None of this seems to rate national attention. Has that 69-year-old woman, Shirley Teter, appeared on national news anytime this week? Apparently not. How about the firebombing of the Trump offices? Nope. And when's the next time Hillary Clinton will be asked about her position on voter ID now that it appears some associated with her campaign have been deliberately flouting voting law?
Some of this is due to the media's leftism. But a good deal of it is due to the fact that corruption regularized over time simply becomes background noise. Nobody expects anything else from Democrats. Americans have accepted the Democratic Party as the party of voter fraud and political violence since the 1960s. They've accepted Hillary Clinton as the candidate of manipulation and corruption since the 1990s. Democratic evils are normal; Republican evils are an ever-present source of news and interest.
That's terrible for the country. All corruption should be shocking. The fact that it isn't helps explain why the 2016 election has become a competition in pursuing new lows: The old lows just don't register anymore.
Ben Shapiro, 32, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, a radio host on KRLA 870 Los Angeles and KTIE 590 Orange County, host of "The Ben Shapiro Show," and editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com. He is The New York Times best-selling author of "Bullies." He lives with his wife and two children in Los Angeles. To find out more about Ben Shapiro and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.