Lazy Saturday Reads: The Media’s Endless Harassment of Hillary Clinton

Woman reading, Jean-Baptiste Emile Corot

Woman reading, Jean-Baptiste Emile Corot

Good Afternoon!!

For the first time since she announced her candidacy for POTUS, the media spend two days noticing that Hillary Clinton is winning in the national and state polls and with many experts–including Republicans–who know what it takes to be President and Commander-In-Chief of the armed forces. That ended yesterday after Hillary answered questions from “journalists” at a meeting of the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Two of the “journalists” asked about her emails and about why everyone supposedly hates her.

The reviews were scathing. Here’s one of the hundreds of negative reactions, this one from Slate: Hillary Finally Gave a Press Conference. It Was a Master Class in Obfuscation.

In Friday’s press questioning, the trouble began when she was asked her first question about her private email server and recent statements about that server which independent fact checkers have labeled as categorically untrue. Clinton’s responses here—and her previous responses to questions about the truthfulness of past statements—are so overly legalistic and convoluted that they are difficult to even explain. But here’s a shot.

Last month, Fox News’ Chris Wallace asserted to Clinton that FBI Director James Comey said her public statements about which documents on her private email server were classified and which were not were untrue. In actuality, Comey declined to address the truthfulness or lack of truthfulness of those statements in Congressional testimony on the matter. But in announcing his investigation into her server—which cleared Clinton of any wrongdoing—Comey implied that she had either misled the American public about her poor handling of material she should have known was classified information, or been incompetent in doing so. “Even if information is not marked ‘classified’ in an e-mail, participants who know or should know that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it,” he said. Clinton had previously claimed: “I am confident that I never sent nor received any information that was classified at the time. I had not sent classified material nor received anything marked classified.”

In response to Wallace’s question claiming that Comey had said she was not telling the truth, Clinton said this: “Director Comey said my answers were truthful, and what I’ve said is consistent with what I have told the American people, that there were decisions discussed and made to classify retroactively certain of the emails.”

painting by Gerrit Albertus Beneker

painting by Gerrit Albertus Beneker

But the “fact checkers” say she’s lying. And of course this is so much more important than the idea of Donald Trump having access to the nuclear codes or that he is likely being manipulated by Vladimir Putin. It makes no difference to the media that Hillary did nothing criminal, that she will not be indicted, and never was even in danger of being indicted. Her emails are the only “issue” that matters to those in the DC media bubble. Read the rest of the article at the link if you are interested in intense parsing of every word that comes out of Hillary’s mouth.

Here’s Charles Pierce: Somehow Hillary Clinton Made the E-mail Mess Even Worse Today. Trump is imploding. Hillary should be soaring. What’s wrong?

At least Pierce admits that most voters don’t give a flying fuck about her emails. They voted for her by the millions in the primaries and she is way ahead in the polls. This should be a dead issue. But it will never die. Pierce also draws attention to another question that Hillary was forced to answer yesterday–in so many words, “why does everyone hate you?”

…she sat for questions, which is the closest she’s come to an actual press conference in over 200 days, something that’s been the topic of insufferable whining from our elite political press. Said whining was represented ably by Ed O’Keefe of The Washington Post, who prefaced his question by being fairly snotty.

“We encourage you to do this more often with reporters across the country, especially those news organizations that travel the country with you wherever you go.”

Tough guy.

Pierce left out O’Keefe’s actual question which was a demand for her to answer why people think she’s so untrustworthy, and how can she possibly lead the nation when that’s the case. Gee, I wonder why Hillary chooses not to give press conferences?!

But Pierce has no mercy on Clinton for her response the the email question. He quotes part of her answer and then writes:

That is not within an area code of satisfactory.

Hell, it’s barely in the neighborhood of English. It is legalistic gobbledegook. You can turn an ankle trying to get from premise to conclusion in that tangled thicket of weaselspeak. It ought not to matter at this point, and it never has mattered all that much to me, but, Lord above, if HRC and her people ever wonder why her trust numbers are so abysmal, they ought to read back her answer to that question.

That’s the way you talk when the mule you sold somebody died on the way home.

Remember, folks, we are talking about emails after it has become clear that Hillary did nothing different from previous Secretaries of State and thousands of other government officials whose emails have not been examined. Furthermore we’re talking about it after the case has already been decided in Hillary’s favor. Finally, James Comey (a Republican) is not the final arbiter on what is or should be classified, and he went against DOJ rules when he spoke publicly about the case.

painting by Ivan Kramskoi

painting by Ivan Kramskoi

This morning, the New York Times actually attacked Clinton for putting her hand on her heart when she is speaking!

When Hillary Clinton told her audience at a rally in Las Vegas on Thursday “Here’s what I believe,” she punctuated those words with not just a vocal flourish but a physical one. Up went her hand, placed over her heart.

It’s a gesture unfamiliar from her past campaigns, but it’s a favorite this time around. In Columbus, Ohio, and Omaha, Mrs. Clinton spoke of her late father, and up went her hand, placed over her heart.

At the Democratic National Convention, when she took the stage to wild applause, she cued the audience on how grateful, moved and humbled she felt by putting her hand to her heart, once, twice, then a third and fourth time.

It’s a subliminal message of sincerity that some language experts consider contrived.

Bill McGowan, a communications coach and chief executive of Clarity Media Group, calls the hand-on-heart motion “the gesture du jour.” He said he has noticed that other politicians have adopted the habit, and he doesn’t think it’s entirely artless.

“Voters are more and more wise to the fact that speeches are carefully constructed and vetted, yet at the same time there is so much demand for a higher level of authenticity,” Mr. McGowan said. “Candidates are looking for anything that makes them seem like they are speaking genuinely from the heart, and not from a thoroughly vetted key message document.”

Oh my God! Putting her hand on her heart? She’s the Devil! Has anyone ever written an article like this about Donald Trump’s hand gestures?

I wish I could stop caring so much about the media’s treatment of Hillary Clinton, but I can’t. I hate what they are doing to her. Anyway here are some antidotes to the media hatred.

Read more of Melissa’s tweets here.

Peter Daou also posted a stunning and insulting CNN interview with Hillary in 1996 that shows how far back the media harassment of her goes.

In his piece on the video, Daou quotes Melissa McEwan:

The thing we have to understand about these interviews is that they’re not about trying to establish facts about Hillary’s fundamental truthfulness or integrity. They’re about an attempt to hurt her on camera and capture her pain. The persistent exploration of negative feelings toward Hillary is about shaming her, about replicating the visceral responses many people have to women seeking power.

Finally, here’s Peter Daou on the “hand on the heart” story: NYT Chastises Hillary for Putting Her Hand on Her Heart — What’s Next, Breathing?

In the past week, like every week before it, the national media have worked overtime to convince the public that Hillary is a liar, continuing their interminable obsession with her State Dept. emails. Even while she’s leading her unhinged opponent by wide margins, they continue to characterize her as a loser….

Now we get this inane and insulting piece from the New York Times rehashing the stale “Hillary is inauthentic” narrative….

Got it? She’s “contrived.” According to our national media, nothing Hillary says or does is real. She’s just a cold, robotic, scheming, lying ambition machine.

Back in March of 2015, I identified the dominant anti-Hillary frames — see if you recognize them:

• CALCULATING (Scheming, crafty, manipulative)
• SECRETIVE (Suspicious, paranoid, uncommunicative)
• POLARIZING (Divisive, alienating)
• UNTRUSTWORTHY (Corrupt, deceitful, dishonest, unethical)
• OVER-AMBITIOUS (Will do or say anything to win)
• INAUTHENTIC (Disingenuous, fake, unlikable, insincere)
• INHUMAN (Machine-like, robotic, abnormal, cold)
• OVER-CONFIDENT (Inevitable, defiant, imperious, regal)
• OLD (Out of touch, represents the past)

Now think about the profoundly misplaced priorities of the NY Times (and other major media outlets) whose singular mission is to mangle Hillary’s public image even as we face the possibility of a Trump presidency.

It boggles the mind.

Exactly what do there “journalists” want Hillary to do? Would they be satisfied if she got down on her knees on stage and cried for mercy? I doubt it. Do they want her to withdraw from the race for POTUS and cede the presidency to Donald Trump? Do they want her to be flogged in the the public square and then tarred and feathered? I honestly don’t think anything would satisfy them.

Please post your thoughts and links on any topic in the comment thread and have a great weekend!


52 Comments on “Lazy Saturday Reads: The Media’s Endless Harassment of Hillary Clinton”

  1. bostonboomer says:

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  2. bostonboomer says:

  3. ANonOMouse says:

    I watched her yesterday during that presser after speaking with Black & Hispanic Journalists and I thought her explanation of the email question was the exact correct answer. Perhaps some of these so-called journalists would do a better job if they took the fucking time to go back and watch Hillary testify before the House Benghazi Committee and Comey’s Emergency testimony before the committee. I watched all of the testimony, from each occasion, and what I heard was what I heard James Comey testify to.

    But what’s happening now is an obvious effort for the media to act like they’re being unbiased. If they cover Donald Trumps batshit craziness for a week they have to rehash Hillary emails or approval numbers for a few days so we know that they are being “fair”. Goddam!!!!! Isn’t it enough that they’ve spent decades torturing Hillary? Is it enough that they’ve asked her the same fucking questions repeatedly for the past year with her giving the exact same answers over and over and over again? They care about nothing but putting their
    THUMBS on the scale trying to keep this race as close as possible so they have readers and ratings for the next 95 days. FUCK THEM!!!!

    • bostonboomer says:

      Exactly. Except they’re not fair at all. They spend 3 times as much time and energy attacking Hillary for minor shit than they do on any of Trump’s insanity.

      • Sweet Sue says:

        That’s because they all think they need to bring” that bitch” down a peg!
        Remember the Whitney Houston song, “I’m Every Woman?”
        Well, Hillary really is every woman.

        • Fannie says:

          Yeah, the sexism is over the top, bitch, c-word, fat, and the whole nine yards. I really was so pissed I had to call several parents out on this, and guess what, I was told this was America, and get over it. Pisses me off.

          • Sweet Sue says:

            Thanks for fighting the good fight, Fannie.
            You may have given the parents some food for thought, although they wouldn’t admit it to your face.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I agree BB, they are not fair. All they have is the BS Benghazi/Email thing and they will replay that over and over and over until the election. Instead of reporting on the Julian Assange pushing the Russian narratives about the DNC in an effort to lift Trump, they’re concerned about an investigation that found NOTHING. I watched the video of Hillary on Fox News and she gave the short answer which she described as “short circuited”, when she gives the LONG answer, they accuse her of being to much of a lawyer or of talking to long. No matter what she does it is never good enough. Trump on the other hand plays by a totally different set of rules. He can scream from the podium, turn red in the face, lie at EVERY rally, make outlandish comments about NATO, Nuclear Power, the Economy, Jobs, Choice, refuse to release his tax returns, insult veterans, publicly advocate for Putin’s heavy handed methods in the Ukraine and that’s just “who he is”. Fuck Trump!!!!

        • joanelle says:

          Of course his latest proclamation, that if a woman is sexually harassed she should leave HR job and go find another one is totally ridiculous- what a jerk.

      • Fannie says:

        It’s been a rough day for me, I’ve got three young white hot heads for Trump and all they do is attack Hillary. Piss on them, they can’t seem to function right now, knowing she’s ahead.

    • Sweet Sue says:

      Agree. Last Sunday, Chris Wallace was talking about Comey’s unusual and sketchy press conference, and Hillary was talking about Comey’s sworn testimony in front of Congress.
      They’re very different, because in one venue, Republican Comey was free to speculate and make innuendoes; in the other setting, Comey had to tell the truth and NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH.
      For Christ’s sake, a five year old child could understand that.

    • teele says:

      I’m still confused by the reasoning, from a business standpoint. One the one hand, you have a campaign that has reserved $98 million in advertising purchases; on the other hand you have a campaign that has reserved about 1% of that total for advertising purchases. I get that the press is SUPPOSED to be in a unique position of not favoring their largest advertisers, but look at the NYT, which I quit reading in the seventies when they were running quarter-page Mobil propaganda ads on their editorial page. They have always known which side their bread was buttered on, and editorialized accordingly. Can misogyny really be so strong that you feel the need to kick your star customer this season in the gut while simultaneously fondling the tiny little package of a customer who is contributing jack to your bottom line, and who has, further, threatened to jail most of your employees if successful in his aspirations? My best customers are treated like royalty, and while I am courteous to serial time-wasters, I don’t go out of my way for them. Donald Trump is the equivalent of the customer who gets you to put out a 12 page quote, then tells you he can get it cheaper online. And I guess if I was a member of the “news media” I would get on facebook and marvel at what a fabulous guy this non-customer is.

      It seems the news organizations are expecting other companies to pick up the advertising slack for their non-stop Donnie and the Trumpeteers Fun Show. I guess it’s time to start writing to companies that advertise on CNN and MSNBC and in the WP and let them know I won’t be seeing their ads if they are going to spend their money on that kind of garbage.

      • Sweet Sue says:

        Great comment.
        When I was a child in parochial school, the Catholic Church inculcated in its adherents a hatred for Communism that burned white hot.
        It was only later, that I heard some smarty pants explain that those two institutions were in direct competition for world dominance.
        Now, it’s Corporations/Consumerism versus Democracy.
        Don’t believe anyone who conflates the two.

  4. ANonOMouse says:

    And what Hillary needs to say when they ask the same questions about the emails over and over is “I’ve given my answer to the question repeatedly and I’m no longer going to elaborate on my previous answer”. When they ask her about her trustworthy ratings I’d advise her to say, “how would you be rated if everything you’ve done for the last 25 years had been raked over the coals by a party who fears and hates you? How would you be rated if you were so badly hated by your political opponents that they wasted 3 years and $7.1 million dollars looking for smoking gun that never existed.” Then I’d say “I will not answer that question again, it has been asked and answered the same way for the past 18 months”.

    • jan says:

      exactly. It is only sexism that drives these ‘enquiries’ into the emails etc. They are so afraid of a left leaning woman in the WH that they can’t see straight.

    • Sweet Sue says:

      Yes.

    • gregoryp says:

      Poor Susan McDougal spent 18 months in the slammer because she refused to lie the stand. It doesn’t get any worse than that. Either tell them the story they want to hear or go to jail. Just plain ass sorry all the way around. And the way I remember it, the Clintons basically got swindled out of money in that deal. Only in America do they want the people who got victimized by a criminal to go to prison rather than the actual criminal.

  5. William says:

    The media is not only wrong morally here, but they are wrong factually. Hillary did not receive any emails which were considered classified by the State Deparatment at the time, AND marked as such. That is that. But facts never mattered to the media where Hilalry is concerned. That is why she should not have taken questions from the media yesterday. The media will not stop. Someday, some media people will write about how unfair they were, but we can only pray that it is not too late at that point. The media is like a junior high school clique which is filled with bloodlust toward someone. 86% of people in a recent poll said that they did not trust the media; why doesn’t someone ask one of the media why that might be?

    And, yes, we are that close to electing someone who might well blow up the world. This has been echoed by several people who have reason to know. And the media is so sick and twisted, that they either do not care, or are so fixated on trying to find a flaw in Hillary’s statements, that they don’t see what is coming right toward them. They are despicable people in either case. It is extraordinary that HIllary never loses her temper at them, never argues back. Finally, I think that the fact that every question they direct toward her is about the same things, emails and “trust,” is easy proof that these people talk to one another, sit around and have drinks, and discuss ways to get Hillary. They can’t all be doing this on their own.

    • Sweet Sue says:

      They’re “just following orders,” William.

    • gregoryp says:

      One of the reasons why she would make a wonderful President. I predict that if elected she’ll be even more popular than Bill was and the media will still act like everybody hates her. I think she’ll be the most successful President since FDR and she’ll also be the most well liked. I am optimistic, I know but at some point our fellow Americans are going to have to get a friggin’ clue.

    • joanelle says:

      William, read Michael Arnovitz article, Thinking about Hillary; it explains where the foundation of ‘garbage’ about Hillary came from. I think it was BB who posted a link to the article. It’s a long read but well worth it, I’ve agreed it with people on the fence and it changed their minds in favor of Hillz

      • William says:

        Thank you, Joanelle, I will read it. It’s good that you showed it to some of your acquaintances, since most people have no idea what the history and the facts are.

  6. quixote says:

    As to what she should do, what I’d *like* to see is her give the “journalists” that same steely gaze she turned on the protesters rushing her podium, and say,

    “That question has been answered a thousand times with respect to me. The answer is always that a) I’m trustworthy and b) I’m well-liked by a large majority of voters. That question is not asked of my opponent, despite the fact that he’s due to appear in court on fraud charges after the election.

    “Based on our respective records, there is less than no reason to be asking me about trustworthiness and not him.

    “So let’s discuss sexism, shall we?”

    And then the entire roomfull of “journalists” falls on the floor in foaming fits (insert screaming — sexism! — how dare she! — nobody’s sexist! — we’re past all that! — zomg! eleventy! she accused me of sexism! — she’s the devil! — etc etc etc etc) and she loses the election and we are all 100% goners.

    So, much as I’d like to see her lay it on the line, I suspect she’s handling it in the only way it can be handled. In high heels and backward.

    Yes, it makes me want to scream.

  7. janicen says:

    Of course the backlash would be ferocious but I’d love to hear her say, “You can find my answer to that question in multiple issues of the publication for which you work. Read your own paper once in a while.”

  8. janicen says:

    Conversely, here’s the media bending over backward to show that Trump is not such a bad guy. Can anyone, anyone at all, come up with an example of the media doing this for Hillary?

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2016/08/06/trumps-right-he-didnt-kick-a-baby-out-of-a-campaign-rally/?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_factchecker525pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

  9. Ownaa says:

    If she continues to answer the question about likeability and trustworthy the way she did it will never end. She should have said I don’t know what polling you are going by but for me the millions who voted for me along the years they trusted me and will work to earn the trust of more and that is enough for me period.
    Also I never felt those so called journalists at any time have an upper hand in any interview with her. I usually feel them to be small and petty and most of the time the way she look at them seem like she felt the same, and that explain the bitterness on their part.

  10. dakinikat says:

    Hey BB. Wonderful post and lots of linky goodness. It drives me crazy that the press seem to latch on the some sexist trope and ride it for decades. You think they’d think about something new. Most of these questions were crap that’s floated around rigging hate groups for years with no truth to it. Look at her favorables with Dems yet still with the stupid likeable thing. Gets exhausting for me. Only can imagine how she deals with it. Guess she has a strong circle of family and friends.

  11. Ownaa says:

    Hillary should start refusing to answer any question on e-mails. Anyone who still doesn’t know her answer she should advise them to go look it up. Her supporters should start a push towards that, signatures or something to that effect. This will also be significant in the trust issue. At this stage vigilance and activism is important

    • joanelle says:

      Or simply say “Oh, I’m sorry you must have missed the numerous articles on that topic; if you’ll go over there (pointing) Harry has a handout he’d be happy to share with you.” Or some such deprecating comment that helps the world see how inept they are.

  12. Ownaa says:

    Seriously petition is in order. Activism.

  13. Minkoff Minx says:

    Great post BB and it illustrates the exact reason why I cannot be involved in this election. Every time I try to get into the Hillary movement, I come across shit like this…and I end up loosing any enthusiasm I had started out with…I won’t even mention the disgusting and frightening feeling Trump brings me. It has become too much for me to handle. Like you say above, what do they want? If Hillary had a dick, it would be a different story. She is not a man and that is the man reason for the hate.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I’m sorry it’s so hard for you. I wouldn’t miss a minute of our first woman president’s long journey.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Me either. I intend to stay in the thick of it until the LAST damned vote is counted. Then I’m going to celebrate Hillary’s victory with all of the gusto I can muster.

  14. Caro says:

    I just today read a very interesting take on the “untrustworthy” meme. From someone to the left of Hillary: “What Do “High Negatives” Mean?” – http://bit.ly/2aDbQJF

    It’s a long article, but the gist is that people have only half formed and half understood notions about the various assaults on Hillary from the right wing for the past 25 plus years (and some from the left, too), but also some of the “untrustworthy” ratings probably come from people who don’t “trust” her to enact the policies they want enacted. Neither of those is the same as people giving high negatives for Trump because they’re afraid he’ll blow the earth to smithereens.

    And this by Peter Daou: “Behind The Media’s Deceitful (and Loathsome) ‘Is Hillary Honest’ Game” – http://bit.ly/2aDF0bQ