THE BLOG
09/21/2016 03:53 pm ET Updated Sep 22, 2017

The Real Email Scandal Has Nothing To Do With Hillary

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For a long time, the country has been obsessed with Hillary Clinton's emails. There has been an almost total press blackout, however, on another, far more serious White House email scandal.

On September 12 Newsweek published an article, "The George W. Bush White House 'Lost' 22 Million Emails". The article, by Nina Burleigh, noted,

Clinton's email habits look positively transparent when compared with the subpoena-dodging, email-hiding, private-server-using George W. Bush administration. Between 2003 and 2009, the Bush White House 'lost' 22 million emails. This correspondence included millions of emails written during the darkest period in America's recent history, when the Bush administration was ginning up support for what turned out to be a disastrous war in Iraq with false claims that the country possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and, later, when it was firing U.S. attorneys for political reasons.

It gets worse:

Like Clinton, the Bush White House used a private email server--its was owned by the Republican National Committee. And the Bush administration failed to store its emails, as required by law, and then refused to comply with a congressional subpoena seeking some of those emails. 'It's about as amazing a double standard as you can get,' says Eric Boehlert, who works with the pro-Clinton group Media Matters. 'If you look at the Bush emails, he was a sitting president, and 95 percent of his chief advisers' emails were on a private email system set up by the RNC. Imagine if for the last year and a half we had been talking about Hillary Clinton's emails set up on a private DNC server?'

Press coverage? A week later, on September 19, when I googled "George W. Bush email scandal" I got the Newsweek story and pieces by NPR, Huffington Post and Mother Jones. None of the major papers or networks critiqued, analyzed, or even discussed this story, with one exception. Fox News, ever ahead of the news cycle, had a piece last year explaining "what was really going on in 2007 and how it is different from the current situation Clinton is in." The latest CNN piece, "White House: Millions of e-mails may be missing," was dated April 13, 2007.

About the same time the Newsweek story broke and was ignored, Donald Trump, Jr. accused the press of covering up for Hillary Clinton. "The media has been her number one surrogate in this. Without the media, this wouldn't even be a contest. But the media has built her up. They've let her slide on every discrepancy, on every lie...." In this case, the press indeed has been failing in its duty, but it's not Hillary Clinton getting a free ride, it's Republicans.