March 14, 2015

This Saturday was round two for Blue Nation Review's Jimmy Williams and Kochhead Republican strategist Mercedes Schlapp on MSNBC's Weekends with Alex Witt and Schlapp didn't fair much better than the last time she sparred with Williams.

After first taking a look at recent polling for the GOP 2016 presidential candidates, the topic moved to, what else, Hillary Clinton's email flap, and Williams started off repeating what he wrote in a recent column where he called out Republicans and Trey Gowdy for their double standard on transparency.

The Staggering Hypocrisy of Trey Gowdy and the Republican Party:

I really hate hypocrisy. I specifically hate Republican hypocrisy. South Carolina’s favorite Congressman Trey Gowdy doesn’t disappoint.

Gowdy is the feather-haired silver fox leader of the so-called “Benghazi Committee” in the House of Representatives. The former prosecutor loudly demanded all of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s personal emails this week:

“Having finally heard from Secretary Clinton about her exclusive use of personal email with which to conduct official business while serving as Secretary of State, regrettably we are left with more questions than answers…Without access to Secretary Clinton’s personal server, there is no way for the State Department to know it has acquired all documents that should be made public, and given State’s delay in disclosing the fact Secretary Clinton exclusively used personal email to conduct State business, there is no way to accept State’s or Secretary Clinton’s certification she has turned over all documents that rightfully belong to the American people.”

As I wrote on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton’s emails are none of his or anyone else’s business. They’re called “personal” for a reason. Do Clinton’s work emails “belong to the American people?” Indeed they do and she’s turned them over to the State Department. We the people will see those emails. All of them. The same can’t be said of Gowdy and his fellow Congressional attack dogs. Members of Congress don’t actually have to show anyone their emails. Ever. Congress is exempt from all Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. Read on...

Williams continued to call for the same standard for every single 2016 presidential candidate and took Schlapp to task for suggesting that Clinton was not following State Department guidelines or may have broken the law with the way she handled her emails. As Media Matters pointed out this week, The New York Times is finally starting to reverse course on some of their reporting: The New York Times Reverses Course On Clinton's Emails After Public Editor Admits Fault In Reporting:

The New York Times has begun to quietly reverse course on reports about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private email use, after Times public editor Margaret Sullivan admitted that the publication's initial misleading insinuation that Clinton violated the law was "not without fault." The new, more accurate reporting underscores the publication's initial sloppiness and rush to judgment. [...]

NYT Public Editor Admits Original Story "Was Not Without Fault." On March 8, the Times' public editor Margaret Sullivan responded to criticism of the paper's initial reporting on Clinton's use of private email while secretary of state, stating that the story "was not without fault" and "should have been clearer about precisely what regulations might have been violated." [...]

NYT Then: Clinton "May Have Violated" Federal Law With Email Use. In its initial report, the Times accused Clinton of possibly having "violated federal requirements that officials' correspondence be retained as part of the agency's record" with her use of personal email for official government business during her time at the department, specifically citing the Federal Records Act. [The New York Times, 3/2/15]

NYT Now: Guidelines On Email Use Were Vague, "Until Three Months Ago There Was No Law." The Times' earlier allegation that Clinton may have violated federal law was undercut by a subsequent report published over a week later explaining that oversight of email guidelines have been "vague" at the time Clinton worked at the State Department:

Members of President Obama's cabinet have a wide variety of strategies, shortcuts and tricks for handling their email, and until three months ago there was no law setting out precisely what they had to do with it, and when. And while the majority of Obama administration officials use government email to conduct their business, there has never been any legal prohibition against using a personal account.

Hillary Rodham Clinton's disclosure that she exclusively used a private email address while she was secretary of state and later deleted thousands of messages she deemed "personal" opens a big picture window into how vague federal email guidelines have been for the most senior government leaders. [The New York Times, 3/13/15]

Read on...

That's not going to stop Republicans from continuing to make accusations as Schlapp did in the segment above. As Williams noted in his column linked above, the motives behind the hand wringing over Clinton's emails are obvious:

And so I’m compelled to keep asking: why are the Republicans being held to a different standard than Secretary Clinton by the media? Clinton hasn’t even declared a run for the White House and yet, Gowdy and followers are already investigating her. Hell, at least former Congressman Dan Burton and former Senator Fred Thompson waited to investigate her husband until after he actually won his race for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Understand these attacks for exactly what they are: a systemic, concerted effort by the Republican party to destroy her and anything she does. And you know what really stinks about this? The media’s thirst to devour any and all Clinton-related morsels matches the GOP’s hatred. They go hand-in-hand.

Can you help us out?

For nearly 20 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.