Reporting Accurately On Clinton Seems Difficult For The Media

U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton delivers remarks at a gathering of law enforcement leaders at John Jay C
U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton delivers remarks at a gathering of law enforcement leaders at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, U.S., August 18, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

She is smarter, more experienced, and better prepared than any person to ever run for president. She has a history of nearly 50 years of public service. She is also the first person who when sworn in as president is married to a former president who has spent his post-presidential years legally raising huge amounts money for his Foundation and traveling the world helping millions of people.

According to most recent polling the public seems ready to elect Hillary, perceived flaws and all, while the media appears to be having a really hard time with that. They willingly buy into any attack on Hillary, without proof of its accuracy; and evading their responsibility to write and talk about the issues that make a real difference in people's lives.

Clearly they are confounded by Donald Trump, also a different kind of candidate. One who lies with every utterance, shows his biases openly, plays to people's fears, and is a sexist, racist, bully lacking both the knowledge and temperament to be President. The majority of the public finds Trump untenable yet the media willingly gives him all kinds of passes; from not pressing him to release his taxes to questioning his lack of understanding of our Constitution. It appears they want to keep this a contest thinking it will keep people reading and watching them.

We have been reduced to getting 'news' which is actually rumor and innuendo. Andrea Mitchell repeats Donald Trump's totally unsubstantiated attacks on Hillary's health as if they are fact. Then suggests when someone calls her on it, that since other reporters on her network said it was unsubstantiated she is in the clear.

The FBI said there is no evidence of a crime with regard to her emails after reviewing all including the additional 15,000 emails they recovered from her server. The media on the other hand reports on these new emails as if no one in government saw them.

The media is beyond mentioning no other person running for president has ever been asked to open up their private emails for the nation to peruse. The millions deleted by Karl Rove during the Bush presidency, which no one investigated or tried to recover, long forgotten. There appears to be no interest in the emails from previous secretaries of State which have never been made public or apparently even retrieved by the State Department.

Yes, Hillary and Bill Clinton are different. First because no public officials have ever had the kind of scrutiny they have had or been attacked as viciously for so long. Then no former president has ever set up a Foundation like the Clinton Foundation accomplishing the good works the Foundation has for millions around the world. Lest we forget the Foundation has received a clean bill of health from a number of charity watchdogs.

Then no-one alive today remembers a time when the person losing a Party's hard-fought Presidential primary was asked by the winner who defeated her to assume what many consider the most important role in his administration.

The latest attack on Hillary comes from the Associated Press trying to make a direct connection between the meetings Clinton held as Secretary of State and donations to the foundation. They focus on 184 meetings. They include meetings with Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel and Bill and Melinda Gates as if they had to donate money to meet with the Secretary. Then they bury the sentence in the column that should actually have been the headline, "The meetings between the Democratic presidential nominee and foundation donors do not appear to violate legal agreements Clinton and former president Bill Clinton signed before she joined the State Department in 2009." The New York Times jumped on the story and they also take to listing names. But when talking about a supposed deal somewhere deep in the column admit "There was no evidence that Mrs. Clinton had exerted influence over the deal." The New York Times reporters continue their attacks on Hillary and their stories taken in totality amount to zero.

In fact the foreign dignitaries, rich people, corporations and foundations who happened to donate to the foundation and wanted to meet with Hillary had actual international business ideas or issues they wanted to discuss all of which were appropriate for State Department discussion. One example mentioned in the AP story happened in June of 2011 "Clinton met with Nancy Mahon of MAC AIDS, the charitable arm of MAC Cosmetics, which is owned by Estee Lauder. The meeting occurred before an announcement about a State Department partnership with MAC AIDS to raise money to finance AIDS education and prevention. The MAC AIDS fund donated between $5 million and $10 million to the Clinton Foundation and several million more in commitments to programs through the Clinton Global Initiative." Obviously the intent of including this in the story was to show a connection to the Foundation. But it is clear that connection is irrelevant to the international charity work they did in partnership with the State Department. They didn't get anything rather they gave more money and it wasn't to the Clintons but rather the money went to help people in need around the world.

Ignored in this continuing effort to discredit everything Clinton, is what Gary Bass, founder and former director or OMB Watch, originally formed as a government accountability organization, said "it was only after Clinton left the State Department, that the National Archives issued a recommendation that government employees should avoid conducting official business on personal emails (though they noted there might be extenuating circumstances such as an emergency that require it). Additionally, in 2014, President Barack Obama signed changes to the Federal Records Act that explicitly said federal officials can only use personal email addresses if they also copy or send the emails to their official account. Because these rules weren't in effect when Clinton was in office, "she was in compliance with the laws and regulations at the time." That corresponds to what the State Department and the FBI have said.

Now Hillary Clinton has apologized for using a private server. She learned from that and clearly won't do it again. But it has not been shown anywhere at any time that what passed across her server either hurt an individual or the nation.

What gets lost by the media in their rush to attack Hillary, using every Republican scattershot, is before she began her campaign she was honored by Republicans and Democrats, national and international leaders including John McCain all praising the work she did at State. She has an incomparable history of service to people. When she is serving people, whether in elected or appointed office, or simply as a private citizen, just not when running for office, people remember and admire that history. In 2015 American's voted her most admired woman in the world for the 20th time.

Maybe it's time out of fairness amid the attacks on her by the media, people like Andrea Mitchell, mention her history. Maybe some of the story they tell about Hillary includes her fifty years of service. On a recent front page the Washington Post attacks Clinton again for raising money from the wealthy. Well maybe if the true story of Hillary's life were told by the media she wouldn't have to raise the fortunes needed to pay the cost of the media ads, which pay the salaries of those writers and talking heads, to get her story out.

Hillary will win despite the media just going along and repeating Trump's attempt to portray her as this dark person only out for herself. The American people are smarter than that and understand there is absolutely no comparison between her and Donald Trump.

Hillary in a brilliant and pointed speech in Reno, Nevada correctly said, "Donald Trump is building a campaign on prejudice and paranoia." People understand that and know Hillary as president will help keep the world safer; abide by our Constitution; and work to make sure every person has an equal opportunity to succeed and reach their full potential. Isn't that what we want from our president?