One of my favorite sets in comedy is a story told by Larry Miller about the five levels of drinking, starting with the point when you should go home and ending at the point where you can no longer go home.
The punchline of the routine, aside from the observations in the story, is the prayer everyone says at the end of a night of drinking. “I swear I will never do this again as long as I live. And this time, I mean it.”
Media outlets have been stymied by the way the Trump campaign “doubles” down on the things they consider gaffes and missteps, not only because he isn’t listening to them, but because not listening to them has only helped his standing in the polls. With a few weeks to the first debate, Trump and Clinton are within the margin of error of each other.
Some have taken to making declarations that Trump is really bad, and anything they’ve stated about Romney, McCain or even Bush was exaggerated in the heat of the moment. In the case of were you lying then or are you lying now, they want everyone to believe the former but not the latter.
In the past, McCain or Rick Perry or others have denounced people who supported them to take the media heat off them. But it doesn’t matter because everything is subliminal, or a dog whistle, or code language. Mitt Romney was Satan because of 47%. Now we’re told that was a lie and Trump is Super Duper Satan.
I would suggest the media would consider the pledge to never do this again. Maybe they could try reporting things that actually happen.