Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Clinton Foundation: a Unique Setup That Isn't Unique

Peter Daou says something very true. If cable news pundits are afraid to criticize Trump too much for fear of losing Trump supporters, they don't know much about Hillary supporters. They don't seem to realize how many of us there are, though there were millions more of us than Bernie or Trump supporters even if we don't spend our time screaming 'Lock her up!' and 'Everything is rigged! Rigged, I tell you!'

"And if you think your ratings will suffer by covering both candidates equally, consider the fact that her millions of supporters will flock to anyone who has the guts to report on her without the usual cynicism. That’s not conjecture. As the author of the most shared article about Hillary of 2016 (half a million shares and counting), I know for a fact that unfiltered reporting on Hillary and her enthusiastic supporters is a path to success. There’s a hunger for fair coverage of Hillary."

There is indeed such hunger. At times, lately CNN's Brian Stelter has experimented with being more fair. More fair than the median of Beltway pundits anyway.

But if you want to see truly fair coverage of Hillary Clinton, the choice is obvious: Joy Reid's show, AMJoy.

Her interview with the Washington Post writer, Spencer Hsu was amazing, in that you so rarely see this kind of journalism. Not when the subject is the Clintons. Remember the Clinton Rules:

1. Always assume bad character and attribute malicious motives.

2. Completely overlook and invisibilize supporters.

3. Focus relentlessly on negatives — and portray positives as negatives.

As Hsu wrote about the Clinton Foundation the Beltway way is to simply join Hsu in piling on. While the media can't decide who's the racist between Hillary and Donald Trump(!) the Clinton scandals is the one area the media goes beyond blandly cataloging what both sides said and calling it a day.

Here is Joy's full interview of Hsu here.

A very good job by Joy but what's shocking is how rare what she did was. She actually provides some sort of context to the furor over the Clinton Foundation.

I was shocked that she pointed out that Bush Sr. had his own foundation which was run for 8 years while his son was President. Shocked as no other pundit on cable news has ever mentioned it.

"Joy Reid did what other reporters failed to do. Did you know that the Clinton Foundation has a searchable database where you can see who donated to the foundation? No one else has done this."

"Did you know that President Bush Sr and Jr had a foundation during their time in office? Jeb Bush was running for office and no one questioned his family’s foundation. Jeb Bush used a private server when he was in office."

Yes, by the way Jeb failed to turn over all the relevant emails. Sure, Jeb isn't running-anymore. But when he was running the press allowed him to hit her on her email server without pointing out to him that he had the same.

Did you know that President Bush Sr and Jr had a foundation during their time in office? Jeb Bush was running for office and no one questioned his family’s foundation. Jeb Bush used a private server when he was in office.

Joy Reid ask’s Spencer Hsu why wasn’t anyone asking questions when the Bush’s were in office he can’t answer the question."

Yes, that was great. Hsu literally had nothing to say. He just looked stumped and finally said he didn't know about Points of Light. Exactly. Why wasn't that an issue then? Why is there no knowledge of it?

Another example very relevant to the questions about Hillary? Libby Dole as head of the Red Cross taking in corporate donors in 1996 while her husband ran for President.

There was also Colin Powell's wife raising money from corporate donors while he was Secretary of State. Maybe the AP can give us a study of very single person who met with Powell to make sure none donated to his wife's charity.

But while Hsu bobbed and weaved, Joy had him. He had made a big point about how the Clinton Foundation setup is 'unique and unprecedented.'

The examples of Bush, Dole, and Powell show that it is anything but unique and unprecedented.

Hsu can claim that he was ignorant of that. Fair enough. But if you don't know the history you shouldn't make such sweeping statements as 'This is an unprecedented arrangement in American history.'

No it isn't. Not even close. If you want to make statements about what is unprecedented, maybe learn a little more about history.

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