This was fascinating. I was trying to decide whether to post today about the latest spin tactics by Hillary’s minions and her dwindling but still formidable media allies in light of Clinton’s awkward press conference where she insisted that she didn’t do anything “wrong” regarding the mishandled State e-mails. Earlier in the day the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, a usually decent journalist whom it is sad to see succumbing to the Clinton Corruption Virus (you would think there would be a vaccine by now!), had used this same talking point—and it is a campaign talking point. In a column that could be used in a public service announcement, Cillizza seriously wondered why Hillary was in trouble. Gee, he mused, maybe Hillary just isn’t very good at campaigning! What else could possibly explain why she isn’t cruising to the nomination?
In other words, the fact that she has lied constantly, used her foundation to profit from influence-seeking foreign powers, was a flop as a Secretary of State, put U.S. security at risk and destroyed potential evidence so she could avoid getting caught in her complex political/financial machinations—Allegedly! Allegedly!—wouldn’t matter at all to Democrats, voters or Chris if she was just better at fooling the public. Darn!
“This is Chris, and this is the tragedy of Clinton Corruption Syndrome. Won’t you help?”
Then he wrote, “The appearance here — even if Clinton did nothing wrong (and there is no proof she did at this point) — is terrible.”
What? WHAT? Of course she did things that were wrong. Isn’t lying like crazy wrong, Chris? Isn’t paying people to throw the media off the track and confuse the public using deceit and misrepresentations wrong, Chris? Isn’t the tactic of smearing the messengers wrong, and sending out statements like the infamous “nonsense” letter wrong? Is intentionally breaking your own Department’s policies wrong? Is sending and receiving sensitive information in a manner that makes it vulnerable to hacking by foriegn governments wrong, Chris? Do you even know what wrong means any more, Chris?
That’s when it hit me, and that’s why I decided I had to post, again, on the Hillary Clinton E-mail Ethics Train Wreck, which is really just part of the The Hillary Clinton Presidential Candidacy Ethics Train Wreck. The Clinton campaign’s current strategy is now to make the public understand right and wrong the way the Clintons do. If it isn’t illegal, it isn’t wrong. (This is on the Ethics Alarms Rationalization list, incidentally: #4. Marion Barry’s Misdirection, or “If it isn’t illegal, it’s ethical.” Marion Berry went to jail.)
Talk about waving a red flag in front of an ethicist!
And there it was again on CNN this morning. Carol Costello had shown the ick-pooey clip of Hillary responding to reporter Ed Henry’s question about wiping her server by saying “With what, with a cloth?”—HAR! Hillary is here all week, folks!—then brought on CNN commentator John Avlon and paid Hillary liar Hilary Rosen to respond. This is an interesting gambit by CNN, and I’m trying to figure out what it means.
Avlon pretends to be a moderate, but he’s really a moderate progressive Democrat who, among other things, has designated as a “wingnut” any Republican who opposes abortion. Usually, CNN would counter Hillary’s spin-meister—they are always female, have you noticed?—with some ugly, fat, fire-breathing conservative male talk show host or a similarly repulsive Republican operative. (Why not their own cyber-specialists, like Bob Baer, who had already explained on CNN why what Hillary did was “wrong” and illegal?) So the choice of Avlon for what the news media calls “balance” was intriguing. Was this a set-up, having two Democrats debate the import of Clinton’s e-mail evasions, with the biased host, Carol Costello, doing her usual smirks, sneers and grimaces to signal to the audience that this is all “nonsense?”
No! Costello stared uncharacteristically mute and stony-faced into the camera as Rosen spun like a top. Avlon popped his eyes, shook his head, raised his eyebrows and generally did a great Carol Costello impression while Rosen tried to spread the Clinton Corruption Virus over cable.
Rosen essentially repeated many of the same deceits and rationalizations that fellow paid Clinton liar Karen Finney chanted on CNN in March, and others from the campaign’s “nonsense” memo. Rosen also featured the Finney grin, which is apparently taught to all Clinton surrogates: this is all so funny, such a joke--can you imagine these Hillary-haters making all this fuss over a few e-mails? She also featured the recent additions to the talking points: this is all Fox News’ fault, it’s just politics, voters want to hear about Hillary’s ideas, not details of her e-mail handling, and there is no proof that Hillary did anything wrong. “There’s a difference between a mistake and breaking the law,” Rosen said (that’s close; I don’t have the transcript yet.)
This is such a dishonest and confusing a statement that it is like a mind bomb: if you accept it, your IQ goes down 20 points:
- What “mistake”? Every single e-mail Clinton handled over her private server was a mistake, and there were thousands of them. It was a mistake to presume, if Clinton did presume, that communications with the Secretary of State weren’t classified material, or top secret, every time she received or sent them. If she used her cell phone, and she did, that was a mistake every single time.This wasn’t one mistake, if that’s what you call it, it was thousands of mistakes over years.
- This is Bill definition of “mistake”—all his secret trysts with Monica, an inappropriate relationship with much lower subordinate, the cover up, the lies under oath, the fact that the President of the U.S. isn’t supposed to act like a slimeball— were just one mistake, and anyone can make one mistake!
- Hillary’s handling of the e-mail, including wiping her server and destroying e-mails she claimed were private without letting State make that call, was completely calculated and intentional. It became “a mistake” only when they were discovered and exposed. Just like Monica.
- In law, “mistake” (but not ignorance) is a defense. But the law will presume the Secretary of State knows the laws affecting her own activities and Department, because she has a duty to know them, and to follow them. She cannot claim “mistake.” It will be presumed, correctly in this case, that if she violated protocol, she did so intentionally.
- Clinton’s lies weren’t mistakes, any more than Rosen’s bought and paid for spin (aka lies) are a mistake. Lies may not be illegal, but lying is wrong. Hilary? Chris? Hillary? Do you understand that lies are wrong?
Through all of this pathetic tap-dancing by Rosen, Avlon’s face was doing a break dance of shock and wonder. (And Carol looked like her head was set on Easter Island). Finally he broke in, saying that it was absurd to call this a partisan issue when Democrats and the Obama FBI were also critical of Clinton’s e-mail fiasco. Calling this a witch hunt isn’t accurate or fair, he said. “I didn’t say witch hunt!” protested Rosen.
Well, yes, in the sense that a political campaign that scripts all of its mouthpieces is like The Borg, Hilary, you did. Remember that statement from Jennifer Palmieri, aka, Hillary’s Gang, of which you are a true blue member? The inquiry into Clinton’s e-mails is referred to as “a partisan witch-hunt.”
Then Carol, whose face was starting to hurt, I guess, cut them off, because discussing the character and trustworthiness of the frontrunner for President of the United States had to yield for the vital story of how Jared, the fat guy who got sort of thin eating at Subway, was caught with child porn on his computer. (I’m sure it was a mistake.) In what trivia-obsessed universe is that national news? But again, I digress.
What’s going on here? Has Carol turned on Hillary, and is expressing this by—acting neutral for a change? Was she told to let Rosen sink or swim without her support? Is the Clinton campaign betting that just denying and denying and blaming Fox will work if they just do it until everyone gets bored or corrupt?
Thus endeth our Hillary Clinton Ethics Lesson For the Day.