The Election and Media Cognitive Dissonance

As everyone unfortunate or long-suffering enough to get all the way through a Puffington Host story knows, the PuffHo’s stories about Trump all conclude with this note:

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophoberacistmisogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

No bias there, no sir-ee, none at all. As Glenn Reynolds likes to say, the mainstream media are Democrats with bylines, whose personal sympathies all lie with Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.

True, but the major media are also quickly dying. The head of CBS News remarked quite candidly a few months ago that Donald Trump was great for ratings, and therefore good for the bottom line at money-losing news divisions.

Which raises the following question: if you think purely in terms of professional self-interest, who would most reporters want to win in November?

Hint: Who would make for the best copy and on-air time for the next four years—boring Hillary, or The Donald?

This is why I counterintuitively think the media actually want Trump to win, and may well slant their coverage that way at the margin. Sure, most reporters are partisan liberals, but most of them would like to keep their jobs, too. A key clue will be whether the media cut Hillary any slack over the email scandal when the FBI report is finally released.

UPDATE: Over at RealClearPolitics, Heather Wilhelm is thinking along a similar path.