Lead story, The Hill, August 16, 2016
In a previous post, I note the deceptive practice by the MSM of presenting Clinton-linked political professionals as non-aligned experts.
The 24/7 deception by the MSM of presenting themselves as non-aligned news professionals goes without saying.
Only sometimes it doesn't.
Sure, there is the often mindless, and also often lawyerly shading and shaping of news that is constant, and thus hard to keep up with as it just washes over us. In this category, I would put the NYT/CNN's Maggie Haberman's recent expert assessment of that complex of soul-and-nation-devouring Clinton corruption, most currently on view in putrid gushers of unsecured email and other primary sources.
On CNN's New Day, the host (actually) laid out before Haberman some of the latest twists and turns in the Clinton email scandal.
KEILAR: Newly released emails from Hillary Clinton's time as Secretary of State are raising questions about the Clinton Foundation's influence on the State Department.
Of course, these emails are also answering these questions. Still, not a bad lead-in.
KEILAR: The Clinton campaign denying that there was any conflict of interest, but Donald Trump is calling it pay-for-play. I want to bring back our panel now. Maggie Haberman, Sara Murray and Jeff Zeleny.
OK. So, an example in one of these e-mails, Maggie, that you have is coming from Doug Band, top adviser at the time to Bill Clinton, helped found the Clinton Global Initiative. And he says in an e-mail to Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, two top aides to Hillary Clinton. "We need Gilbert Chougary," that is a big money donor to the Clinton Foundation "to speak to the substance person re Lebanon. As you know, he's a key guy there and to us, and is loved in Lebanon very important."
Huma responds, "It's Jeff Feltman. I'm sure he knows him, I'll talk to Jeff." That was at the time, the sitting US Ambassador to Lebanon.
And I think, you know, we expect sometimes -- I think we know that some of this goes on. This very, sort of, transactional behavior.
But this is -- it's pulling the curtain back in a way that just confirms what people already suspect goes on in Washington and what people already suspect goes on with the Clintons.
HABERMAN: Right. Look, there is an existing narrative out there about the Clintons that has been there for many, many years about the overlap between the foundation and the state department. There has been a lot of criticism about this kind of interaction before.
"Existing narrative"? Criticism before? The implication is old story, stale story.
HABERMAN: To see it there in writing is, of course, going to elicit criticism.
The subtext is, But it's an old story, let's move on, but we can't because:
Donald Trump is making the criticism that the Clintons would make about him if this kind of thing showed up.
Sometimes you have to marvel, whether that MSM reflex is autonomic or studied.
"Going to elicit criticism" has a sterile and disconnected sense of cause and effect. The pivot to politics as usual is effortless: Trump, Haberman tells us, is simply doing what the Clintons would do if "this kind of thing showed up" in his CV.
See how Haberman takes revelations of a global web of public corruption the Clintons, both in and out of high office, have presided over for personal gain and turned it into something that could show up anywhere, even in the GOP nominee's life, too?
She continues by talking about anything other than the meaning or import of Clinton's corrupt practices, going right to the Clinton campaign's explanations.
And none of the explanations for it have really done much to sort of, say exactly what -- essentially what they're saying is you're not seeing what you think you're seeing. Take our word for it. They would not take that again, from Republicans or Donald Trump if that was the case.
Again, she is taking the singularly Clintonian, and making it something that could just happen to Republicans, Donald Trump, anybody.
Now to her "criticism": They said they wouldn't do this.
HABERMAN: And this is the kind of thing that they had said, you know, they would not do essentially, in this agreement when she was made Secretary of State, governing what would happen between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department. There were sort of clear discussion of it. Her allies say this doesn't violate any of that. I got lots of unsolicited messages from Clinton allies in the last 12 hours saying "This is all nothing. This doesn't mean anything."
But A, the campaign seemed extremely unprepared for it and B, it is clearly a story.
Thanks, Maggie. We know it's "clearly a story." But is "A" really that the campaign is "extremely unprepared" for Corruptus Gigantus as bears down on it? Does that not sound like a defense lawyer creating and conceding a paltry point about deficient staffing? Isn't the real story Corruptus Gigantus itself?
Such conjectural parsing, of course, does not take shape in real-time when the skeptical viewer is more likely react with a big, fat, irritated, "Huh?!"
But there there is The Tank, where nothing is subtle, nothing is nuanced, where everything is right there, hitting you over the head. Here we may place The Hill, which should heretofore be known as The Hillary, if only for its performance this week (to date): photoshopping a packed house for Hillary yesterday, and its lead story today, August 12, 2016:
"Clinton team tasting victory."
There are 87 long days to Election Day.