Take a discredited writer with a special hate for the Clintons, blend in a hungry Beltway press corps looking for juicy gossip, and rabid right wingers who absolutely loathe Valerie Jarrett. Voilá! A rumor is born, one that serves two great purposes: smear Valerie Jarrett and divide Democrats into separate camps. What could be more elegant than that?
Here is Valerie Jarrett, speaking about Hillary Clinton's emails. In the interview she says nothing that wouldn't be expected of a White House adviser. There are policies, they expect the policies to be complied with, they hold trainings, and each agency is individually responsible for how those policies are carried out.
Exactly one week after this interview, disgraced writer Ed Klein popped up with a story typical of Beltway gossips. No on-the-record sources cited in the article, but instead a "Clinton ally" speaking about the nefarious character who leaked that opposition research to the New York Times so they could do a lazy article intended to get attention but shed little light.
Now Klein breathlessly tells New York Post readers that he has gleaned the truth from his panoply of anonymous sources. Per Klein, the report was leaked by -- wait for it -- Valerie Jarrett, in order to intentionally sabotage Clinton's 2016 bid. The "why" isn't important. Just the "who".
Of course, that was all the conservative echo chamber needed to awaken and do what it does best -- echo ridiculous and unprovable "information."
Lest we forget, Klein has a dog in the hunt, here. His 2014 book Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas is popular among those who really want to pretend there is such a thing, but for the rest of us living in fact-based reality, it's a joke.
Valerie Jarrett scares right-wingers because she's effective. They hate her almost as much as they hate Hillary. Here's another false report Klein will probably pick up for next week's column. This is one sample tweet. Click the link above for the full spectrum of rumor-mongering going on over this.
When I and others pointed out that an African-American person born to African-American parents who were living in Iran helping children with severe medical problems is not the same as an Iranian, it was met with stony silence and more rumors.
Except there is absolutely no evidence of that at all. By 1978, the Jarretts were back here in the United States and Valerie Jarrett was at Stanford earning her bachelor's degree that year.
Clearly Valerie Jarrett has become a paper target for all things right-wingers hate. From Obamacare to Iran, it's all her fault and now they're using her to pretend they give a damn about Hillary Clinton's bid for the White House.
Here's what Jarrett has to say about that: "I intend to stay until the lights go off."
If it feels like the 90s all over again, quit blaming the Clintons. There's an entire industry that was built on nothing stronger than Clinton hate and it's not going away whether Hillary runs or doesn't run in 2016. I'm sure this kind of nonsense will continue as long as there is an Ed Klein out there willing to stake his reputation, such as it is, on click bait and gossip.
Beltway media will continue to overreact, but just remember that they're not the gatekeepers anymore.