Tuesday Reads: NYT and WaPo Join With Fox News and Koch Brothers to Destroy Hillary Clinton’s Candidacy

woman-reading (1)

Good Morning!!

It appears that The New York Times and The Washington Post are determined to help the Koch brothers elect Scott Walker to the presidency in 2016. Dakinikat alerted me to this story by Dylan Byers at Politico:

New York Times, Washington Post, Fox News strike deals for anti-Clinton research.

The New York Times, The Washington Post and Fox News have made exclusive agreements with a conservative author for early access to his opposition research on Hillary Clinton, a move that has confounded members of the Clinton campaign and some reporters, the On Media blog has confirmed.

“Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich” will debut on May 5. But the Times, the Post and Fox have already made arrangements with author Peter Schweizer to pursue some of the material included in his book, which seeks to draw connections between Clinton Foundation donations and speaking fees and Hillary Clinton’s actions as secretary of state. Schweizer is the president of the Government Accountability Institute, a conservative research group, and previously served as an adviser to Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

Naturally, Byers article is accompanied by an unflattering photo of Hillary.

Fox News’ use of Schweizer’s book has surprised no one. The bulk of the network’s programming is conservative, and the book’s publisher, HarperCollins, is owned by News Corporation. But the Times and Post’s decision to partner with a partisan researcher has raised a few eyebrows. Some Times reporters view the agreement as unusual, sources there said. Still others defended the agreement, noting that it was no different from using a campaign’s opposition research to inform one’s reporting — so long as that research is fact-checked and vetted. A spokesperson for the Times did not provide comment by press time.

In an article about the book on Monday, the Times said “Clinton Cash” was “potentially more unsettling” than other conservative books about Clinton “both because of its focused reporting and because major news organizations including The Times, The Washington Post and Fox News have exclusive agreements with the author to pursue the story lines found in the book.

Anyone who calls either the Times or the Post “liberal” these days is either lying or ignorant. It both papers are morphing into something resembling The Daily Mail.

Peter Schweizer

Peter Schweizer

The author of the new “book,” Peter Schweizer is nothing but propagandist, as Media Matters demonstrates:

Clinton Cash Author Peter Schweizer’s Long History Of Errors, Retractions, And Questionable Sourcing.

Media should be cautious with Republican activist and strategist Peter Schweizer’s new book Clinton Cash. Schweizer has a disreputable history of reporting marked by errors and retractions, with numerous reporters excoriating him for facts that “do not check out,” sources that “do not exist,” and a basic failure to practice “Journalism 101.”

Read a compendium of evidence at the Media Matters link.

Echidne of the Snakes asks whether the Times and Post deals with Schweizer are ethical.

The Ethics of Journalism 101: Is it OK for NYT and WaPo to use Pre-Publication Opposition Research on Hillary Clinton?

I see three potentially serious problems with these exclusive arrangements.

First, depending on what newspapers are supposed to have as their objective*, getting opposition research on only one candidate can bias the reporting in the papers.  If conservative muckrakers are more diligent than liberal ones, the American people (how I love to be able to write that!) will be mislead, assuming that the Republican candidates might also have all sorts of skeletons in their mahogany cupboards.

Second, assuming that those at the newspapers know how to judge the research of Schweizer’s book may be a form ofhubris.  Or at least we should not just be told that there will be experts looking at all the stuff.

Third, and this links to my second point, using a book BEFORE it is published means that the newspapers won’t have access to the expert criticisms which follow the publication of a book.  It’s as if the book is allowed to hold the stage all alone, when the correct approach would be to wait to see what experts in the field might have to say about it.

It’s also important to note that Peter Schweizer writes for Breitbart. And Breitbart is crowing about the mainstream publicity their author is getting.

Scott Walker

As the NYT reported yesterday, David Koch has apparently picked Scott Walker as his preferred candidate for the Republican nomination. You have to wonder if Koch is completely detached from reality though.

From the New York Observer, David Koch: Scott Walker Would Defeat Hillary Clinton ‘by a Major Margin.’

Fuel mogul and conservative activist David Koch today declared to reporters that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker would easily beat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a general election—shortly after the co-owner of Koch Industries heard a private speech by the midwestern Republican at the Union League Club in Manhattan.

After meeting with Mr. Walker and a group of GOP donors called the Empire Club, Mr. Koch told the Observer that he believed the governor would trounce the former first lady if a sufficient number of Republicans get involved in the race.

“I think so, no question about it. You know, if enough Republicans have a thing to say, why, he’ll defeat her by a major margin,” he said, effusively praising Mr. Walker’s performance. “I thought he had a great message. Scott Walker is terrific and I really wish him all the best. He’s a tremendous candidate to be the nominee in my opinion.”

Mr. Koch said the Republican candidates should focus their primary season fire on Ms. Clinton to reduce her appeal among voters, arguing that she will most likely be the Democratic nominee.

Koch brothers

Will it work? Hillary commented on the strategy in Keene, New Hampshire yesterday.

ABC News: Hillary Clinton Says Republicans ‘Talking Only About Me.’

During her first visit to New Hampshire as a presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton brushed off accusations about the Clinton Foundation‘s acceptance of donations from foreign governments, dismissing the reports made in a new book as simply being a “distraction” from the issues of her campaign.

“Well, we’re back into the political season and therefore we will be subjected to all kinds of distractions and attacks and I’m ready for that. I know that that comes unfortunately with the territory,” Clinton remarked at the end of a roundtable discussion at a local business here this afternoon, when asked by reporters about a new book, “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.”

It seems the Koch brothers are opening controlling the choice of the Republican nominee. Today they announced they will give Jeb Bush a chance to be their pick instead of current favorite Scott Walker. From Mike Allen at Politico:

Koch brothers will offer audition to Jeb Bush.

In [a] surprise, a top Koch aide revealed to POLITICO that Jeb Bush will be given a chance to audition for the brothers’ support, despite initial skepticism about him at the top of the Kochs’ growing political behemoth.

Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Rand Paul and Sen. Ted Cruz debated at the Koch network’s winter seminar in January, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker made a separate appearance. Those were the candidates who appeared to have a chance at the Koch blessing, and attendees said Rubio seemed to win that round.

But those four — plus Jeb – will be invited to the Kochs’ summer conference, the aide said. Bush is getting a second look because so many Koch supporters think he looks like a winner. Other candidates, perhaps Rick Perry or Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, may also get invitations.

Jindal is apparently not high on the Kochs’ list. He must be deeply disappointed after he has destroyed Louisiana with Koch-backed policies in his efforts to please the the powerful brothers.

For a change of pace from the mainstream Hillary hate and GOP love, I’ll end this post with Charles Pierce’s latest assessment of Scott Walker’s chances.

ScottWalker

Watching Scotty Blow, Cont’d: Governor Of His Own Fugue State.

Because it’s fking April, and because it’s fking 2015, and because I have something of a fking life, I decided to take in the Republican floor exercises up there in New Hampshire through the kind auspices of CSPAN. I was especially interested in the evening show provided by Scott Walker, the goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to manage their midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin. I had to wait for John Sununu, Sr. to go through an introduction that lasted longer than the Good Friday ritual. (Sununu may still be talking. CSPAN cut away to listen to Walker.) But Walker was worth the wait. We heard about how he’s going to ride his Harley to Bike Week in Laconia this year. We heard the bit about buying the shirt at Kohl’s. We heard “go big and go bold.” We heard about the death threats. And we heard a lot of stunning misdirection about how rosy things are with the Wisconsin economy. (I was especially taken with how he boasted that he had turned his state into a right-to-work paradise, Walker having denied up and down throughout the last campaign that he had any such plans.) And there is no question. Scott Walker is the best Governor of Wisconsin that New Hampshire ever has had.

What we didn’t hear, of course, was that, back in America’s Dairyland, they may never get out of the death spiral into which Walker has shown the actual state he allegedly actually governs. His new budget is so draconian that even some of the Republicans in his pet legislature are starting to get nervous. And the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, a newspaper of wild ambivalence regarding Walker and his prospective candidacy,dropped a dungbomb on him that demonstrated that, while Scott Walker may have bought a shirt at Kohl’s, he isn’t qualified to run a cash register there.
Go to the Esquire link to read the rest and get the Koch Brothers and the mainstream media’s Clinton Derangement out of your mouth.
What else is happening? Please post your thoughts and links in the comment thread and have a terrific Tuesday!

37 Comments on “Tuesday Reads: NYT and WaPo Join With Fox News and Koch Brothers to Destroy Hillary Clinton’s Candidacy”

  1. janicen says:

    The 2016 election is shaping up to become an epic battle between the Koch brothers and the Clintons. What’s at stake? America, plain and simple. It all makes me think of The Stand by Stephen King. It will be up to all of us to make sure the good guys win because if they don’t, we’re all fucked.

  2. RalphB says:

    Charles Pierce also has a great piece this morning on the NYT and WaPo deal.

    Esquire: The Day Political Journalism Died And The People Who Killed It

    It’s a super read as always.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thanks. I guess that went up after I was there.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Pierce:

      I will make the Toby Ziegler bet with Carolyn Ryan that her newspaper linked up with this character because her newspaper has had a hard-on for the Clintons from the time it botched the original Whitewater story right up until last Sunday, when its star political columnist went off her meds again.

      That’s exactly what I think. The Times seemingly hopes to elect Scott Walker or Jeb Bush–but for what reason? Pure Clinton hatred? Do they want in on the Koch cash?

      • RalphB says:

        I think they want a really close race more than anything so they will get more revenue from the election cycle. Though beating a Clinton would make it sweeter for them.,

      • RalphB says:

        It’s hard to believe but that poorly sourced bag of lies that was the Whitewater story won a Pulitzer for Jeff Gerth and the NYT before it was completely debunked. Those miserable bastards have never retracted it either.

      • janicen says:

        I do love that quote from the piece. It makes sense. The newspaper of record got punked by the right wing dating all the way back to the Whitewater embarrassment and once again by Cheney Inc., and they just can’t admit it.

    • janicen says:

      The only thing I disagree with is his statement near the end of the piece that says there may be something that needs explaining about the money sent to the Clinton Foundation. WTF? I am so sick of this bullshit innuendo. The right wing would have us believe that foreign governments contributed to the Clinton Foundation in return for “access” to the State Department when Hillary Clinton was SOS.

      1. Why did they continue to contribute after she stepped down?

      2. What exactly would they get in return? WTH is “access” to the State Department? The SOS carries out the policies of and serves at the pleasure of the POTUS. What could foreign governments possibly gain? Speedier visas?

      3. What would the mechanics of this arrangement involve? Do these paranoid people imagine that lists of contributors were sent, possibly via secret email 😉 directly to the State Department so that Hillary could take them and run over to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. and shout, “Barak, Barak! Hold on a minute! We have to amend our agreement with (insert country) because they just gave a whopper of a cash contribution to the Foundation!”

      The entire accusation wreaks of Clinton hate and continuing to feed the paranoid fantasies of the right wing.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    CNN:

    Baltimore Police release names of officers involved in Freddie Gray arrest

    The Baltimore Police Department released the names of six police officers suspended with pay after the arrest of Freddie Gray, who died of a spinal injury Sunday, as the mayor promised answers.

    The officers were identified by the department Tuesday as: Lt. Brian Rice, 41, who joined the department in 1997; Officer Caesar Goodson, 45, who joined in 1999; Sgt. Alicia White, 30, who joined in 2010; Officer William Porter, 25, who joined in 2012; Officer Garrett Miller, 26, who joined in 2012; and Officer Edward Nero, 29, who joined in 2012.

    • bostonboomer says:

      The DOJ is already investigating the Baltimore PD.

      In October, the Justice Department announced a collaborative reform initiative with the Baltimore Police Department to “include an assessment of policies, training, and operations as they relate to use of force and interactions with citizens.” ….

      The Justice Department began the data-gathering stage of the lengthy process in January and held its first public town hall last week at Coppin State University. It was attended by hundreds of residents, many of whom sounded off about their experiences with Baltimore police.

      “Right now, we are past the stage of implementing policies and procedures. This is a state of emergency right now,” Tawanda Jones told Justice Department officials, according to CNN affiliate WBAL. Jones’ brother, Tyrone West, died in police custody in 2013.

    • gregoryp says:

      This whole thing is very perplexing. The video didn’t show the police being angry or aggressive towards this guy and yet this happened. Can’t fathom how it would be self inflicted or a prior injury. Somebody must have struck the man with one of those batons right on the spine. I hate to speculate but this is extremely difficult to rationalize.

  4. dakinikat says:

    The Koch Brothers need to be assassinated before they completely flush the country into the toilet. Wisconsin, Louisiana and Kansas are all good examples of states they’ve tanked due to the governors and their koch sucking legislature. About 80% of the state will be happy to be rid of Jindal and his economy crushing policies. Don’t even get me started on the environmental damage.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Michigan too.

    • gregoryp says:

      These folks are about just one thing. Greed. Nothing else or no one else even matters to them. Its like playing a game for them but they don’t even recognize there are real world consequences to their actions. They just want to buy off the government so they can continue their reckless and unrestrained exploitation of people and of our natural resources. It is not like they need another Rolls Royce, another mansion or more cash in the bank.
      They think it is a game and they are winning. What is really happening is that everybody is losing and losing big because of them and their immorality.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Media Matters:

    Who Funds Peter Schweizer’s Government Accountability Institute?

    Discredited Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer is the president of the Government Accountability Institute (GAI), a conservative group with close ties to a billionaire family funding Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential run. GAI has also received substantial support from groups backed by Charles and David Koch.

    Schweizer’s upcoming anti-Clinton book has garnered widespread media attention, despite the author’s long history of criticism from reporters for blatant errors, retractions, and reliance on sources that “do not exist.”

    Schweizer’s GAI, which was behind one of the “bogus” reports Schweizer has been excoriated for, bills itself as a nonprofit devoted to investigating “cronyism and government corruption” and protecting “free markets.”

    But as MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow explained on her show, “[W]hen you take a closer look at Mr. Schweizer’s organization and who is backing him, it is a who’s who of big right-wing funders, including one of the guys behind the right-wing media site Breitbart.com, for which Mr. Schweizer has previously written — also the billionaire family that is currently bankrolling Ted Cruz’s presidential run.”

  6. dakinikat says:

    Why Are You a Republican?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2015/04/20/why-are-you-a-republican/

    For me this question gets to the heart of it. A lot of conversations end with ‘that’s the GOP position.’ But where should the conversation start?

    I think it should start with why are you a Republican? The question is brought into focus by a rather astonishing interview I will link to below. The interviewee, a Republican, drops the following: “The GOP has scores of racists. Under Richard Nixon’s blessing, the GOP took advantage of disgruntled Democrats in the South. They are still there and their children are there. This is very much known in our party. This was a conscious strategy.”

    Okay then! Sure, he’s admitting the obvious here, but two things about that. It is obvious, and it’s rarely admitted. Call me a starry-eyed idealist, but I have to say that a party’s decision to broaden its base by appealing to racism is kind of a disqualifier, period.

  7. bostonboomer says:

    Joe Conason:

    ‘Clinton Cash’: Yet Another Charles And David Koch Production

    http://www.nationalmemo.com/clinton-cash-yet-another-charles-and-david-koch-production/

  8. ANonOMouse says:

    Listen to this woman, who supposedly is a CEO, attempt to make the case that a Woman shouldn’t be POTUS because of……hormones????

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/20/opinions/robbins-hillary-clinton/index.html

    This is the reason why women’s issues are always trailing behind minority issues. There are far too many women like this who don’t think women are capable of some jobs or who think that women are lesser than men. This particular woman is an idiot and a hypocrite and her real objection isn’t against women, it is against Hillary, but she hasn’t the ovaries to admit it.

  9. RalphB says:

    Truth from twitter …

  10. RalphB says:

    THinkProgress has already debunked one of the ‘Clinton Cash’ phony scandals. That didn’t take long. Wonder if the NYT or WaPo will ever notice?

    DKos: New anti-Hillary book relies on hoax to back up Keystone XL accusations

    [Schweizer] links the timing of the State Department’s generally positive report on the Keystone XL Pipeline with a slew of Clinton speeches paid for by TD Bank, a major shareholder in the project. As proof of how crucial Clinton’s support for the pipeline was to the bank, Schweizer quotes a press release that claimed TD Bank would “begin selling its $1.6 billion worth of shares in the massive but potentially still-born Keystone XL crude pipeline project” after Clinton left office. The press release was quickly revealed to be fake in 2013. Yet Schweizer, apparently unaware of the hoax, remarks, “Too bad for TD Bank. But the Clintons got paid regardless.”

  11. bostonboomer says:

    LA Times:

    Justice Dept. to investigate man’s death while in Baltimore police custody

    The federal government has begun a civil rights investigation into how Freddie Gray died of a spinal injury after he was arrested in Baltimore, the U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday.

    The announcement came a day after city officials promised an open and transparent investigation into the death of Gray, 25, who was arrested on a Baltimore street on April 12 and died Sunday. An autopsy released Monday showed that Gray died from a severed spine.

  12. NW Luna says:

    Because I’m brainwashed and complicit in my own victimization:

    A female president would be cool, but I’m not sold on Hillary Clinton yet

    There are real reasons that, like Lewinsky, so many women still say “I’m not a feminist, but”.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/apr/19/woman-president-cool-hillary-clinton-feminism

    Mary Mother Goddess. Where do these women come from, and please send them back to that special place in hell reserved for them.