Once again a story about Hillary Clinton gets front-page coverage even when the reporter uses innuendo and unsubstantiated "facts" to suggest wrongdoing. That is what we saw in the New York Times this week in a report by Michael Schmidt with regard to Hillary's use of a private email account when she was Secretary of State. The New York Times story was questioned by many as reported by Igor Bobic in the Huffington Post. David Brock of Media Matters sent a letter to the New York Times asking they print a "prominent correction" for their sloppy reporting. Instead the New York Times appears to be doubling down in an effort to protect their reporter.
This is nothing new where Hillary Clinton is concerned. Crazy accusations about her have been written in the mainstream media for years. These reports include everything from suggesting she asked the FBI for files to target political opponents to accusations she murdered Vince Foster and were chronicled in a Mother Jones column by David Corn. One must ask why when Clinton is close to announcing for the Presidency with the best chance a woman has ever had to win would we be surprised stories with partial facts and innuendo appear in an effort to derail her prospective campaign.
James Carville spoke at the Ready for Hillary Finance Committee meeting in New York last November saying he anticipated the media, the right-wing conspiracy Hillary has always talked about, and the very left-wing of the Democratic Party would all try to derail a Clinton campaign. He added it wouldn't work but we are seeing what he anticipated come to fruition.
This time the American public appears to be way ahead of these groups of self-important insiders and members of the press who talk to each other as they travel the corridor between Washington, D.C. and New York. All indications are the voters won't be swayed by innuendo and new half-baked stories about Hillary. There is little change in the way the majority of voters see her. They recognize a supremely competent woman who has spent a lifetime working for them.
Somehow all the sturm and drang created by each new "accusation and bombshell" her opponents dream up, and the press jumps to report, ends the same; Hillary is never shown to have done anything wrong. She comes out of these made for TV crisis looking like what she is; a brilliant woman and good politician who gets things done.
Reporters like Michael Schmidt will continue to get front page stories when they say anything nasty about Hillary. It is sad this happens in the New York Times which by many accounts is still the best newspaper in the nation. In this case, it seems the reporter was taken in by staff of a Republican Congressional committee still trying to prove Hillary Clinton did something wrong with regard to Benghazi. It appears they decided now is the time to release information on Hillary's use of a private email address when she was Secretary of State which according to a Politico story by Lauren French Committee Chair Trey Gowdy (R-SC) admitted "the committee has known since last summer that Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic Party's 2016 nomination, used personal email addresses while serving as secretary." It's clear he waited for what Republicans thought was a good time, as Hillary indicated she was about to announce her candidacy, to push this information to a reporter.
As this story unfolds and Hillary calls for the State Department to release all her emails to the public Kasie Hunt on MSNBC reports "Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush owns the server that runs firstname.lastname@example.org, the personal email account he used as governor to conduct official, political and personal business. Asked who controls the server that operates that email address, Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell responded: "He owns it." We will see all kinds of reports on people doing exactly what Hillary has done and like her totally legally. But without Hillary's name in the headline it doesn't end up on page one and the reporter doesn't get to preen on television when talking about it.
So if Hillary does announce her candidacy for President we must be prepared to see these stories throughout the campaign. Reporters seem to think writing about Hillary is comparable to the sign my mother had on her refrigerator, "Anything I like is either illegal, immoral or fattening." Her detractors will be gleeful and her supporters will move forward knowing it's time to elect the person best prepared to be the next President of the United States; and know what makes it even better is that person is a woman.