Marl Sumner
September 2, 2016

... an entire industry has grown up around Clinton scandals, pseudo scandals and conspiracy theories.
... Republican-led congressional investigations have been launched, and lawsuits filed by conservative watchdog groups. ...
A search of Amazon.com finds more than 40 anti-Hillary books, with titles like “American Evita” and “Can She Be Stopped?” ...
So Hillary Clinton had it right when she made her famous declaration that a “vast right-wing conspiracy” was out to get her and her husband. 

Notably missing from that list of Internet, talk radio, etc? Newspapers. Network news. And all the press operations that insist on turning anything the Clintons do, no matter how innocent or selfless, into “scandal.” The kind of concerted effort that has turned a completely nonfactual tweet from the Associated Press, into poll numbers indicating that a majority of Americans now believe in the Clinton Foundation “scandal.”
But admitting that half the ink spilt in America is dedicated to picking fault with Hillary Clinton is only step one. Next comes the allocation of blame. And you know where that’s going.
The Clintons’ aversion to transparency, as well as their tendency to skirt the rules and play close to the legal and ethical line, have made it easier for their enemies.

Hillary and Bill Clinton have released 35 years of their taxes. They’ve played out their lives in front of cameras 18+ hours a day for three decades. Their foundation goes by self-imposed regulations that make it not only one of the most respected but the most open and easily reviewed of all charities. Hillary Clinton herself has appeared for more than 360 interviews and sat in front of congressional committees for days.
And somehow people still have the unmitigated, mountainous gall to pretend that Hillary Clinton isn’t “transparent” enough.
What’s the “moment” that Karen Tumulty of the Washington Post blames for the start of the press war on Hillary Clinton? 
But there was a moment early on when the toxic course of that history might have been changed, had it not been for Hillary Clinton’s impulses toward secrecy.
It came one weekend near the end of Bill Clinton’s first year as president, and pitted the first lady against her husband’s advisers. …
There was an urgent meeting that day to discuss a request by The Washington Post for documents relating to the Whitewater Development Corp., a failed Arkansas real estate investment the Clintons had made.

The request trickled up to advisers David Gergen and George Stephanopoulos, who carried it to President Bill Clinton. The president turned down the request.
Who do Gergen and Stephanopoulos, both now conveniently embedded in the press corps, blame for this?

“Hillary Clinton is a woman of many strengths and virtues, but like all of us, she also has some blind spots,” Gergen said in a recent interview. “She does not see the world in the same way that others do, when it comes to transparency and accountability.”
She was not in the room, but the aides felt her presence.

Hillary Clinton, who was not there, gets the blame. Of course she does. She “does not see the world the same way” as David Gergen. Because Gergen’s belief in transparency includes his ability to feel people who are not there.
It couldn’t possibly be that Bill Clinton, who had already dealt with questions about Whitewater both in Arkansas and on the campaign trail for more than a year, simply didn’t think the request merited a response. It couldn’t be that Stephanopoulos and Gergen did a piss-poor job of emphasizing why they thought it was important.
No, it had to be Hillary’s fault. Even though she wasn’t there. How can we know for sure it was her fault? It gets even better.

“You could usually tell when Clinton was making Hillary’s argument: Even if he was yelling, his voice had a flat quality, as if he were a high school debater speeding through a series of memorized facts,” Stephanopoulos wrote. “Gergen and I didn’t know what was in the Whitewater documents, but whatever it was, Hillary didn’t want it out — and she had a veto.”

Well. That settles it. There was a “quality” in Bill Clinton’s voice. A quality that said “though I am yelling at you, jerk wad, I don’t really mean it. It’s Hillary’s fault.” There’s one hell of a quality.
You know what turned out to be in the Whitewater documents? Nothing. There was genuinely nothing to see there. 
So how, in any sane universe, do Stephanopoulos and Gergen at this late date come to the conclusion that Hillary Clinton—who was not there—told Bill never to reveal those totally nothing wrong documents, which they know because they could feel her presence and detect it in the quality of Bill’s voice?
Because if those documents (with nothing in them) had been turned over … the press would have loved the Clintons.
“I believe that decision against disclosure was the decisive turning point. If they had turned over the Whitewater documents to The Washington Post in December 1993, their seven-year-old land deal would have soon disappeared as an issue and the story of the next seven years would have been entirely different,” Gergen wrote in his book about his time.
Sure. Because the press wasn’t already involved in “Travelgate,” a psuedo-Clinton scandal focused on Hillary that had been launched six months before the event that Gergen and Stephanopoulos tag as the beginning of the Clinton pseudo-scandal industry. It wasn’t weeks after the start of “Troopergate” or months after Jerry Fallwell’s media campaign called Clinton everything from a rapist to a murderer. 
The magic moment came while The Clinton Chronicles, the first of many anti-Clinton films, was already in production. It came after Republican congressmen openly called Bill Clinton a “Manchurian candidate” and hinted that during his time as a Rhodes Scholar he had been recruited by the Soviet Union. It came after Bill Clinton was accused of having a child with an African American prostitute. 
It came months after claims that both Bill and Hillary Clinton had used the Arkansas government to run drugs and order executions of enemies. It came only a couple of months before Republican Representative William Dannemeyer sent a letter listing 24 people whose deaths he attributed to the Clintons and actually called for congressional hearings on the matter.   
We were already that far down the hold of hating the Clintons before the magic moment of Tumulty.
Since then, an entire industry has grown up around Clinton scandals, pseudo scandals and conspiracy theories.

It wasn’t “since.” It was before, during, and after. And it’s not just the successors to Falwell and Dannemeyer, not just Breitbart or Fox News. Not just nut cases like Republican Rep. Dan Burton shooting watermelons to demonstrate how Vince Foster died. It’s also the New York Times. It’s also the Washington Post.
But Hillary Clinton. Who, you know, wasn’t there, started it. So there.

NOTE:  This is what I love Daily Kos for.  They can rip the mainstream/lamestream press to shreds on occasion and in a kind of “tongue-in-cheek,” irreverent cheekiness skewering “factual reporting” that just sets my oxygen starved liberal heart a fluttering.  This "piece" of "journalism" is nothing more than more of the same.  Hopefully this will be my last post in defense of Hillary Clinton.  What else needs to be said?   


Here's Tumulty's article in the Washington Post:  HOW HILLARY CLINTON CREATED THE VAST RIGHT WING CONSPIRACY


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