clinton-sadMore Americans see her as unethical, but still think she’ll win as the media cover up scandals

Unable to suppress bad news in the era of the Internet, the mainstream media are struggling to defend Hillary Clinton as a slow trickle of scandals are reminding Americans she’s just awful.

A new Washington Post-ABC poll finds only 41 percent of Americans say she is “honest and trustworthy.” That’s her lowest mark since April of 2008.

In fact, it’s a plunge of 21 points since last year.

More Americans have a negative impression of Clinton than a positive one, by a 45 percent to 49 percent margin. Just two months ago those numbers were virtually reverse, with 49 percent seeing her positively and 46 percent negatively.

Twenty-four percent of Americans have a strongly favorable impression of Clinton, but that’s down six points in the past two months.

The share of Americans with a “strongly unfavorable impression” of her is up four points in that time, to 39 percent.

The Washington Post is sounding alarm bells.

The decline in Clinton’s ratings as a candidate who is honest and trustworthy highlights a likely vulnerability as a general-election candidate. Half of all Americans disapprove of the way she has handled questions about the Clinton Foundation, and 55 percent disapprove of how she has handled questions about her personal e-mails as secretary of state.

Meanwhile, half also disapprove of the way she has dealt with questions about the attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012, that resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

Majorities see the issues of the Clinton Foundation and Benghazi as fair game in the presidential election, while almost half of Americans say the e-mail issue is a legitimate topic.

Despite that, Clinton still leads Republicans in a presidential matchup, which the Post was more than happy to report.

The survey tested Clinton against Bush in a possible general-election matchup. Among registered voters, she led 47 percent to 44 percent, within the poll’s four-point error margin among voters. Two months ago, she had a 12-point lead over Bush in that hypothetical ballot test. When asked to predict who would win such a contest, however, 55 percent predicted Clinton and 39 percent said Bush.

Perhaps realizing the scandals would hurt her election, the media can’t be bothered to report on them.

“(I)n the flurry of coverage since her official rollout (April 12 – April 20) the e-mail scandal garnered a total of just 3 minutes, 53 seconds on the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) evening and morning shows,” the Media Research Center (MRC)finds.

Even when it was mentioned, it was used to defend her.

“And when the e-mail controversy was actually brought up in Clinton announcement stories, it was framed as an annoying issue those pesky Republicans refuse to drop,” the MRC writes. “NBC’s Chuck Todd, on the April 10 Nightly News, noted: ‘Well, Republicans are trying to do everything they can to hit her and hit her hard. E-mails is something that they want to hit her on.’”