Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a talk at the National Association of Black Journalists-National Association of Hispanic Journalists Convention Friday, during which she focused on expanding economic opportunity for African-Americans and Latinos across America.
But instead of focusing on this, the press went for the emails. Again.
The fight for economic opportunity for minorities is a pretty big deal, a part of the ongoing fight for civil rights, Clinton explained, “But I want to take just a few minutes to focus on a challenge that doesn’t get enough attention on the campaign trial, although I’ve been trying, and that is how do we expand economic opportunity for African-Americans and Latinos across America.”
“For me these aren’t just economic issues, they’re part of a long, continuing struggle for civil rights,” Clinton told the convention.
So this would make a pretty good story, especially at a time when we are grappling with a larger unemployment rate for minorities and the obvious need for criminal justice reform. The other great story option was done by Jason Easley here in these pages, about the Trump voters.
The press wasn’t pleased with her moderated, half presser. A fair point. It was great that Clinton did this presser and the press wants more, rightfully so.
But instead of talking about the solutions for issues facing real people – which Clinton laid out in detail and urged the audience to check against her opponent’s (here she flubbed and said husband and that also became a focus of stories for the press, who seem lost when it comes to covering an actual policy expert like Clinton), when Clinton took questions, the press went wild over Clinton’s emails. Again.
They parsed yet another statement that Clinton made, in which Clinton said that the FBI director said her answers truthful. Fact checkers then said he didn’t say that her answers to the public were truthful, which she claimed. This explanation took up a considerable portion of time, as specific words were parsed until Clinton ended up explaining that she said that because her answers to the FBI and to the public were the same.
Clinton also repeated that the Republican FBI Director Comey said there was no evidence of deliberate deletions of emails, which he did.
Then we had a long discussion yet again about classified documents that are not marked classified, specifically three emails… Again.
We got yet another apology by Clinton for doing what almost every Republican who has run for president in the last two elections has done with their emails in some way or another (private servers, destroyed computers, deleted email evidence, et cetera). Sarah Palin was doing government business on her Yahoo account that was easily hacked because she used information contained in her public biography as her password. What did we hear about that? Nothing except that it would be wrong to publish her hacked emails.
Sure, the press was/is overwhelmed with the many ways that Palin and now Trump were/are not competent, but trying so desperately to follow the House Republican efforts to jack the Clinton email narrative to be something sort of suggests that there is nothing else with which to condemn her.
And it’s odd that we never heard about other politicians who destroyed or took government equipment when they left office (Romney, Walker). Romney was the 2012 nominee, so why wasn’t this made into a year plus long narrative if it’s so important?
The press focused on why the public finds a trust issue with Clinton right after they asked her again about emails that have been more investigated than any other politician’s emails.
The bottom line is the FBI found no evidence that Clinton broke the law with private emails. This happened in May. It was extensively covered. It is now August.
This tired attempt to revive these ginned up, phony scandals in order to create the illusion of a horse race is not serving the public.
Clinton will find a way to keep getting her message out there and she will find a way to help the press understand that there are not two dangerous cartoon characters running for president, thus one campaign is a drama-fueled stumble from gaffe-to-gaffe, full of delusions and absolute lies and one is not. She will hopefully do more press conferences even though the press is stuck in reverse with her emails, simply because it’s the right thing to do.
It’s time for the press to let go of the failed attempt to make something of the phony email scandal and with it the false notion that there are two equal choices running for president. This obsession with Clinton’s emails has long ago jumped the shark and the hypocrisy of the press on this issue is troubling.
Ms. Jones is the Editor-in-Chief of PoliticusUSA and a Huffington Post contributor. She has covered President Barack Obama, 2016 Democratic candidate for president Hillary Clinton, VP Joe Biden, Senator Elizabeth Warren, First Lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including regular appearances on The Ann Walker Show With Scott Nevins for UBN Radio and KPTR 1450’s California Woman 411, The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, The Richard Dawkins Foundation and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in Latin and Psychology, including studying the psychology of organized crime, with graduate studies in the psychology of linguistics and Latin poetry.