Hillary’s Emails and the Media’s Pound of Flesh

11 Sep 2015

Hillary’s Emails: Truth Trumps Media Madness 2

In her interview with ABC’s David Muir Monday night, Hillary Clinton apologized for her decision to use private email as Secretary of State, while noting her actions were legal at the time and done with the full knowledge of the State Department. Secretaries before her, like Colin Powell, used personal email and never complied to requests to turn any over. Yet mainstream media would not stop until it got its pound of flesh solely from Secretary Clinton over her error in judgment. Media strategist Shawna Vercher stated, “This is partisanship and throwing mud at the wall to see what sticks, so it is unlikely to stop.”

Author and commentator Anita Finlay argues that this “scandal” harped on by media might be viewed through another lens and states, “A few conglomerates own the bulk of mainstream media in this country. So when Hillary’s detractors pretend this isn’t a smear campaign and say she is “in the pocket” of corporations, if that were true, these networks would not be working so hard to defeat her.” The New York Times, leading the call for Hillary’s head, just replaced its Washington Bureau. One imagines that be due to damage to the paper’s reputation stemming from its faulty, sensationalized reporting on this issue.

A former prosecutor writing in The Hill  averred last Wednesday that this brouhaha was “Much Ado About Nothing.”

On Thursday, The Washington Times, a conservative publication, scooped everyone in reporting Department of Justice confirmation that Hillary Clinton did nothing wrong in deleting personal email sent or received while she was Secretary of State:

“There is no question that Secretary Clinton had authority to delete personal emails without agency supervision — she appropriately could have done so even if she were working on a government server,” the administration lawyers argued. “Under policies issued by both the National Archives and Records Administration (‘NARA’) and the State Department, individual officers and employees are permitted and expected to exercise judgment to determine what constitutes a federal record.”

This is a significant development in the story, minimizing the alleged email “scandal” to an even smaller molehill. While The New York Times led the charge to criminalize this story, bashing Clinton on their front page for six months, they took 35 hours to report this exonerating development — and then only on page A14.  No one else reported the story almost till the weekend when Ruby Cramer of Buzzfeed and Chris Hayes of MSNBC, to their credit, picked it up.  Hayes even posted a story asking if the New York Times was “out to get Hillary Clinton.” Associated Press and Huffington Post finally ran with the story. We can take bets whether the Sunday shows will mention it or continue their biased coverage.

Shawna and Anita have a lively discussion looking at other candidates lucky enough, thus far, to avoid the same level of scrutiny. They also examine whether this issue will do damage to Clinton going forward. If there is any justice, it will not.

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