Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Shabby reporting at the NY Times on SoS Clinton

SoS Clinton and Australia's PM Kevin Rudd. Courtesy of Wiki.
The NY Times doesn't have a spotless record on its investigative reporting. I still recall its published apology for its coverage of the US invasion of Iraq. Most recently the Times has been called out for its attempt to muddy Hillary Clinton's reputation at the State Department by accusing her of breaking a rule that wasn't put into effect until after she left office. Wonder when the Times will apologize for this shabby reporting?

 Igor Bobic at the Huffington Post writes:

The Daily Beast and Media Matters on Tuesday pushed back against a New York Times report that suggested former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may have violated federal law by using a private email address for her official government communication.

The Times on Monday reported that Clinton "did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act." The existence of Clinton's private email address was first reported by Gawker in 2013.

Critics accused Clinton of failing to uphold her commitment to transparency by choosing which personal emails to turn over to the State Department for public record, as well as putting potential high value information at risk to hacking by foreign agents. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), Clinton's potential rival in the race for president in 2016, immediately called on her to submit unclassified emails to public record.

A report by Michael Tomasky in The Daily Beast, however, cast a heavy dose of skepticism over the Times' reporting on the regulation that required officials to preserve email communications. A State Department official told Tomasky that employees were told in October 2014 that personal email should generally not be used for government business, but if it is, communications must be forwarded to a government account in order to be appropriately preserved. Clinton left the Department prior to that, in February of 2013, however.

"So if these new regulations went into effect after she left State, then what rule did she violate, exactly? And, if this is true, why did the Times not share this rather crucial piece of information with its readers? No one could possibly argue that this fact isn’t germane to the story. It’s absolutely central to it. Why would the Times leave it out?" wrote Tomasky.

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  1. Hi Virginia
    I've been following this story since it broke two nights ago. Being a previous Hillary supporter I've been bracing myself for the coming onslaught of Hillary bashing etc as in 2008 during her presidential run. I have mixed feelings about this current "scandal". On the one hand I think it nothing more than a fishing expedition by her enemies. On the other hand I'm disappointed in her. I don't know why she finds it so difficult to color within the lines of appropriate behavior for a public servant. Why give her enemies fodder? She has to know what will come of it each and every time she does something like this. She has her reasons for only using a personal email account, but she hasn't yet explained them and I will wait to hear them before making my final decision about how I feel about this. I don't believe that she broke any laws or even rules, but still, why is it so hard to do the ethical thing and have a government email account so that there will be no appearance of skirting the rules? I'm sorry to admit that I have Clinton scandal fatigue and for that reason I have been holding out hope that she chooses not to run. I strongly supported her in 2008 but since then I've been introduced to another strong woman - Elizabeth Warren. I find her so much more authentic and real and relaxed in her own skin, unlike Hillary who to me now appears inauthentic and ill at ease in her own skin. She continually gives the appearance of one who has something to hide and that troubles me. Does she have enemies? Absolutely. But her constant fear of them and her behavior just fuels their rabid pursuit of her. Those are my thoughts about all of this. I'm angry that she makes the choices she does, and I've lost a lot of respect for her that I'm not sure I'll regain any time soon. I could be persuaded but gee, why even bother? It's just one scandal after another with her and she just doesn't get it. Shaking my head.

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  2. Hi Becky,

    I admire Elizabeth Warren very much, but I do not believe she's qualified to be president. For one thing, she has no foreign policy experience. As for your criticisms of Hillary Clinton, several of them are subjective - your perceptions, etc. And actually, John Kerry is the first SoS to use a govt. email account:

    Hillary will continue to be pilloried by both right and left extremists as she was in 08, but she has the toughness, the experience, the intellect, and the compassion for the oppressed (especially females around the globe) that will make her a great president.