Open Letter To The New York Times’ Public Editor — Updated
13 Sep 2015
I must add to the litany of complaints you have received regarding The New York Times’ coverage of Secretary Clinton. The pattern exhibited by your newspaper goes beyond errors in reporting and gives the appearance of a systematic campaign to derail her candidacy. The list is long:
The faux email “scandal,” accusing her of breaking laws not in place until 20 months after she stepped down as Secretary of State; your paper’s questionable association with Peter Schweizer to launch a smear against the Clinton Foundation, an organization considered the gold standard in low administrative costs and donor disclosure; one that has helped millions of people around the globe. The latest report about a “criminal inquiry” into Clinton that does not exist, your refusal to print her team’s rebuttal and the inexcusable avoidance of Executive Editor Dean Baquet.
All this in addition to the steady drumbeat of subtle negative characterizations from Chozick, Haberman, Healy and in particular, the odious bashing by columnists Frank Bruni and Maureen Dowd, whose piece last weekend was a new low, even for her. Her many years’ vendetta against Hillary Clinton is an embarrassment to your publication.
Then, the embarrassed “reporter” Michael Schmidt didi it again, with another story lacking substance that attempts to justify his earlier faux “criminal investigation” report. In place of evidence, he has offered the negative opinion of a random former employee of the State Department. We know neither why this officer’s employment ended nor what he has to do with this matter, if anything. My brother-in-law is highly opinionated. Perhaps I could get him to weigh in. Would that be helpful? Mr. Schmidt’s latest “contribution” hardly qualified as news yet The New York Times printed it.
In a new development on September 10th, 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 significant and reduces the alleged “scandal” to an even smaller molehill. While The New York Times led the charge to criminalize this story, bashing Clinton on the front page for six months, your publication took 35 hours to report this exonerating development — and then only on page A14. All in all, quite the collection.*
Hillary Clinton is running an intelligent campaign and has a strong service record. In your paper’s hands, this, too, is diminished. Instead, her deeds are painted as coming from a “calculating” she-devil operating only for her own gain. With this “meme,” the paper of record cements the notion that ambition is laudable in a man but despicable in a woman. The Times’ reporters and columnists have also pretended to Clinton’s sense of “entitlement.” Yet entitlement is allergic to hard work. No one with the work ethic Secretary Clinton has, fighting for the causes she has, starting with the Children’s Defense Fund over 40 years ago, can realistically be accused of being self-serving. This is the prescribed frame for many of the stories you publish. The New York Times’ stance is unfathomable. Could it be that beltway reporters have ingested each others’ predetermined biases long enough that they actually believe them? If so, we have come to a sad pass.
Where is the feverish reportage on Jeb Bush’s skirting of campaign finance laws, for example? Instead we get stories about his yoga mats and Tesla brochures. Hillary Clinton’s fame and accomplishment do not grant the right to subject her to a standard to which you do not hold anyone else. Throwing time honored traditions of journalism out the window leaves the reader little choice but to assume this is a conscious choice on the part of your publication. I pray that is not your intention and that The New York Times will take swift action to clean house and amend this improper treatment.
As you have noted, she deserves a fair shake.
Thus far, she has not gotten it.
H/T to All Been Arranged for drawing attention to this latest story.