The most obvious sign of liberal media favoritism is that liberal candidates can avoid press conferences for months at a time, and the media don't complain. After the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was attacked in 2012, the media hammered Mitt Romney at a press conference for daring to criticize President Obama, and then supinely allowed Obama to avoid a press conference. He merely made a statement in the White House Rose Garden to express his sympathies, and then jetted off to a fundraiser in Las Vegas.
Last week, Donald Trump was accused of having a horrific and almost undemocratic attitude toward the press after a contentious press conference. Hillary Clinton avoided a press conference for six months, and the press, like a gaggle of housebroken pets, didn't really care.
On June 6, former "Meet the Press" host David Gregory made excuses for her on CNN: "I think she would much rather give the spotlight of negative publicity to Donald Trump, who's doing an excellent job occupying that spotlight. She'll take the hit." As if anyone in the liberal media were hitting Clinton.
He added: "But I don't think she wants to face a series of questions and follow-up questions on the I.G. report," — on her email server — "on the Clinton Foundation donations and the kind of unscripted nature of a press conference. She'll face those questions in the interviews that she's doing, but I think for her it feels like a more controlled environment."
But Gregory is giving his media colleagues way too much credit. Hours before, Clinton decided to allow her media servants to address her during an impromptu stop at a community center in Compton, California, and there weren't any "unscripted" questions about her scandalous behavior. These were the questions, brief and obsequious:
—"You're on the cusp of being the first female nominee of a major party. What does that mean to you, and how are you reflecting on that?"
—"No matter what happens tomorrow, Bernie Sanders has said the convention in Philadelphia will be contested. Do you think there's anything you can do to change that at this point?"
—"Is it setting in that you might be making some serious big-time history here tomorrow?"
—"Some prominent Democrats have come out saying we maybe need to re-evaluate the superdelegate system more broadly. Irrespective of what happens in this primary, do you support looking into that and, perhaps, getting rid of that?"
—"Do you think Sen. Sanders should concede as you did in 2008?"
—"What role would you like the president to play in your campaign?"
—"Do you expect the president's endorsement as soon as this week?" As if that was doubtful?
But the Clinton-coddling prize goes to NPR reporter Tamara Keith, who uncorked this beauty: "Last night when you took stage in Sacramento, there was a woman standing next to me who was absolutely sobbing. And, she said, 'You know, it's time. It's past time.' You see the women, you see people here. And people just come up to you and they get tears in their eyes. Do you feel the weight of what this means for people?"
The only real question here is whether Keith was describing herself. That wasn't a journalist's question. It was a fan girl's question. Clinton gave a boilerplate response about how special it is to give girls the knowledge that they, too, could be president someday.
The reporters asked no questions about scandals; they asked no questions about policy. They only chatted with Clinton about the horse race and her sobbing superfans.
This is the same press corps that yells at Trump, "It seems as though you're resistant to scrutiny, the kind of scrutiny that comes with running for President of the United States?"
L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Brent Bozell III and Tim Graham, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.