I was noodling around this afternoon and decided to check out Drudge. Hmmm. A picture of Obama with ‘horns’ next to the pope. Some nutcases in California think the drought is part of a government weather-control conspiracy. China wants to control the internet. Obama has blocked a 13-year-old critic from following him on Twitter. Standard Drudge stuff. Then this: “FOURNIER: Come clean or get out…”
Ho hum. It was pretty obvious what the Fournier column was about, since he’s been obsessed about Hillary’s email server for months, but I went ahead and clicked anyway. I was pretty taken aback. He made three points at the top of the column:
- “The State Department confirmed that Clinton turned over her email only after Congress discovered that she had exclusively used a private email system.”
Nope. Fournier is referring to last night’s Washington Post story, which says the State Department discovered it didn’t know where Clinton’s emails were. (Or Condi Rice’s. Or Colin Powell’s. Or Madeleine Albright’s. Or much of anyone else’s apparently.) Clinton turned over her emails when State asked for them.
- “A federal court has helped uncover more emails related to the Benghazi raid that were withheld from congressional investigators. Clinton has insisted she turned over all her work-related email and complied with congressional subpoenas. Again, she hasn’t been telling the truth.”
This is flatly false. The linked Politico story says nothing about Clinton not turning over all her work emails. It says only that the State Department has claimed executive privilege for a few documents—something with no relation at all to Hillary Clinton. From Politico: “The FOIA lawsuits provide a vehicle to force the agency to identify those emails, although the substance of the messages is not disclosed.”
- “The FBI has recovered personal and work-related e-mails from her private server….The FBI has moved beyond whether U.S. secrets were involved to how and why. In the language of law enforcement, the FBI is investigating her motive.”
I guess this isn’t flatly false, but “how and why” were words used by Bloomberg’s reporter in the linked story. There didn’t seem to be any special significance attached to them, and it’s the airiest kind of speculation to say this means the FBI is investigating Clinton’s motive. They’ve consistently said that she’s not the subject of a criminal investigation. Why would they be investigating motive if they’re not investigating any underlying crime?
That’s three stories linked to, and all three were described in a badly misleading way. This is one of the reasons I usually pay so little attention to the Hillary email affair.1 It’s been months now, and there’s simply no evidence of anything other than unwise email practices and an unfortunate but instinctive defensiveness from Clinton over trivial matters. At some point, when nothing more comes up, it becomes clear that this is just the usual Clinton Derangement Syndrome at work. We passed that point a while ago.
Fournier has all but shouted that he’s never trusted the Clintons and never will, and that’s why he’s so obsessive about this stuff. We all need a hobby, I guess. Still, he’s a reporter. Deliberately distorting his descriptions of news accounts in the hope that no one will bother clicking on them is a bridge too far. He repeatedly claims that Hillary is lying, but Fournier is living in a glass house.
1Except today, I guess. But it’s just an odd coincidence that this is my third post of the day on this “scandal.”