Wednesday, March 04, 2015


Maybe it's just a temporary state of affairs, but this is bizarre:
When the New York Times reported Monday night that Hillary Clinton exclusively used a private email account during her time as secretary of state rather than a government one, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow broke into her regularly-scheduled show to mention the story on air. In the next hour, Lawrence O'Donnell also talked about the story....

In fact, according to a review of transcripts of cable news shows from 9 p.m. on Monday, shortly before the story was published, to 9 p.m. Tuesday, MSNBC used the word "email," "emails," "emailed," or "emailing" in stories about Clinton more than CNN or Fox News....

And lest you think MSNBC spent those 669 uses of the word "email" defending Clinton, you can watch Maddow's segment when the story was published Monday and "Morning Joe" hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski interview with former pro-Clinton PAC Priorities USA Action member and Media Matters founder David Brock Wednesday morning ("I'm not sure what planet I'm on right now," Brzezinski said, stunned by Brock's answers to questions about the email account. "Are you reading the same thing we are?")....
Well, of course the story would play that way on Morning Joe, based on ideology. But it's understandable that Maddow's not being a Clinton advocate. It's not for the sinister reason given by Hot Air's Allahpundit:
The only reason there’s a bipartisan flavor to the current outrage over her e-mail corruption rather than unified wagon-circling on the left is because there’s still hope among progressives that Elizabeth Warren can be convinced to run. They’ll add some blood in the water if they think it might attract Warren. Once she’s definitely out, though, they’re out of the Clinton ethics-watching business too.
Sorry, that's not what's going on, or, at most, it's a small part of what's going on. The so-called liberal media piled on Eliot Spitzer when his governorship was rocked by scandal -- who was the Elizabeth Warren in that case? Lieutenant Governor David Patterson, who eventually succeeded him and was an undistinguished placeholder governor? I don't think so. And what about Anthony Weiner? He'd been seen as an abrasive showboat, but he'd also been seen as a passionate advocate of universal health care and other progressive causes. To some people, he was regarded as a bit like Elizabeth Warren. So why did so-called liberals in the press join that pile-on? (And I could extend this to Brian Williams, if you're of the opinion that all non-conservative media figures are liberal -- there was no wagon-circling around him.)

So-called liberals in the press try to play it straight. Conservatives don't get this because they don't operate by the same rules -- show me where they piled on David Vitter or Bill O'Reilly.

But what's puzzling here is Fox's relative silence regarding the Hillary email story. What are the Fox people thinking?

Years ago, Rupert Murdoch and Hillary Clinton cozied up to each other -- Murdoch even hosted a fundraiser for Clinton in 2006. In 2014, Murdoch said he "could live with Hillary as president" and claimed he could even support her ("It would depend on the Republican candidate totally").

But that doesn't explain the years of obsession with Benghazi on Fox, which has obviously been (among other things) an attempt to prevent Clinton's election in 2016. So why not this?

I'm stumped. The best I can come up with is that Roger Ailes, a former Nixon adviser and a very paranoid guy, actually relates to Hillary on the matter of secrecy. Remember what Ailes is like, as described in Gabriel Sherman's biography:
Ailes reportedly used to have an employee sit in meetings and write down the names of everyone present to intimidate any potential leakers; thought that he might be jailed if President Obama was re-elected; believes climate change is a "conspiracy" by "foreign nationals"; and wanted bombproof glass set up in his office to protect him from "homosexual activists."
To Ailes, it may seem that Hillary is just exercising a moderate level of caution.

Is that it? If not, I'm fresh out of theories. What do you think?


BR said...

Scott Walker likely still has a secret email problem hanging over his head in the John Doe investigation. Pimp the Hillary story too hard and he's wide open to uncomfortable questions about his (alleged) secret network and secret email system.

Victor said...

BR offers a plausible explanation.

Or, maybe you're right, Steve. Both Rupe and Rog might not hate Hillary as much as their on-air puppets.
After all, she's not exactly in the Warren camp as far as Wall Street and the Banksters are concerned.

petrilli said...

Fox Benghazi coverage does seem like an exception to the Murdoch/Clinton friendship as you mentioned, Steve. Perhaps they just pursued it with Obama in mind as the ultimate target with Clinton accepted as collateral damage. No one ever really expected the Libya thing to stick to her anyway, given her long history of batting away fake scandals. It wouldn't surprise me if Rupert even told her personally in one of those "House of cards" style midnight coffee shop rendezvous.

Danp said...

Fox and the GOP have spent lots of time and effort doing oppo research on the Clintons. The work is done, but the timing relies on her winning the nomination. I felt they were bending over backward to minimize her negative issues during the 2008 primaries. Fox doesn't want her to be President. It wants her to be the Dem nominee.

Yastreblyansky said...

I would imagine, especially given the state of the polls, that Murdoch in particular would be delighted to make the same deal with Clinton that he did with Tony Blair. (No jokes, please, about how he can be confident Hillary won't go out with his wife, at least as long as he stays single.) If Fox gets back to attacking her I'm going to be a lot happier about voting for her.

gocart mozart said...

The danger is that the media might apply the same scrutiny to conservative candidates all of whom I presume have Roger Ailes' personal email account on their friends list.