Press Mostly Accepts Hillary Clinton's Bogus Speech Transcript 'Challenge' As Legitimate

Hillary Clinton is still sticking to her "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" strategy as the reason she won't release transcripts of her paid speeches to big banks and Wall Street firms.

She can do this because outfits like the Associated Press are covering for her. The only recognition of Mrs. Clinton's problem, beyond a strategically segregated story (more on that later), is buried deep in unbylined timeline coverage of the presidential campaign. In an entry which goes way back to 9:10 p.m. last night buried deep in the timeline, the AP tells us that "Clinton is also reiterating her pledge to release transcripts of paid speeches to Wall Street banks only if every other presidential candidate does the same." What no one seems to have noticed is that in responding to her "challenge," declared socialist Bernie Sanders, her lone Democratic Party opponent, explained why it is so phony — not just for him, but for the other remaining serious candidates of both parties.

Let's go back to the initial response from Team Sanders on February 19:

Sanders Accepts Clinton’s Challenge on Wall Street Speeches

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign on Friday urged Hillary Clinton to keep her word and release the transcripts of speeches she gave to Wall Street firms “when everybody else does.”

“Sen. Sanders accepts Clinton’s challenge. He will release all of the transcripts of all of his Wall Street speeches. That’s easy. The fact is, there weren’t any. Bernie gave no speeches to Wall Street firms. He wasn’t paid anything while Secretary Clinton made millions, including $675,000 for three paid speeches to Goldman Sachs,” said Sanders’ spokesman Michael Briggs.

“So now we hope Secretary Clinton keeps her word and releases the transcripts of her speeches. We hope she agrees that the American people deserve to know what she told Wall Street behind closed doors,” Briggs added.

As seen in the opening portions of the video found at this Sunday NewsBusters post, the crew at MSNBC broke out in laughter when co-host Mike Brzezinski read "there weren't any" during a special Saturday morning Morning Joe broadcast.

Sanders himself added a very important supplemental point yesterday:

The former secretary of state has been criticized for her paid speeches, including three for Goldman Sachs that earned her $675,000. During a town hall in Nevada last week, she said she would release transcripts of the speeches “when everybody else does the same.”

Clinton echoed that promise again during CNN's town hall on Tuesday, saying she'd release the speeches “if everybody does it, and that includes the Republicans."

Bernie Sanders weighed in on the transcripts during his appearance on the town hall, which came before Clinton’s. “I have not had a paid speech; it’s against the law to give paid speeches [if you're a sitting senator]. I have given some speeches. The money was donated,” Sanders told moderator Chris Cuomo. “But what Secretary Clinton said, I will do it if other people will do it. I am happy to release all of my pages to Wall Street. Here it is, Chris — there ain’t none. I don’t do that. I don’t get speakers fees from Goldman Sachs.”

Sanders, point about U.S. law prohibiting paid speeches if you are a sitting U.S. senator means that, in his words, "there ain't none" for Marco Rubio since he became a senator on January 3, 2011, and "there ain't none" for Ted Cruz since January 9, 2013, when his Senate term began. All of Mrs. Clinton's controversial speeches occurred after she left office as Secretary of State on February 1, 2013.

As to Donald Trump, ABC News, in mid-2014, had to go back almost a decade to find evidence of what the current GOP presidential frontrunner was paid — and, though it may contain its own separate forms of controversy once vetter, it's clear that he wasn't speaking to bankers or Wall Street firms:

Donald Trump - $1.5M

Topping the list by a longshot is billionaire birther and infamous reality-TV host Donald Trump. “The Donald earned a staggering $1.5 million per speech at The Learning Annex’s ‘real estate wealth expos’ in 2006 and 2007,” according to Forbes. “Trump appeared at 17 seminars and collected this fee for each one.”

Though there are more recent videos in circulation which claims that Trump was still making $1.5 million per speech, it's not clear if any of them have taken place in recent years, whether the claimed fee is correct, and who his audiences, again if any, have been. The results returned in a Google Historical Newspapers search on "Donald Trump speech" (not in quotes) were all from stories at least a dozen years old.

Thus, unless, someone has other evidence I couldn't find, to again use Sanders' language, as far as paid speeches to Wall Street firms and big banks made by Trump, it appears that "there ain't none."

Additionally, far-left "fact-check" site Politifact admitted a month ago that as far as campaign contributions from Goldman Sachs are concerned, Sanders and Trump are "not on the list." Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Jeb Bush, who has suspended his campaign, are.

Ohio Governor John Kasich, the current fourth-place contender for the GOP nomination, has, like Rubio, also been in office since January 2011, and has not, as far as can be determined, been paid to give speeches anywhere since then. Buckeye State left-wing obsessives would likely have detected any such ill-advised attempts to cash in while in office.

Thus, Mrs. Clinton's "challenge" is nothing but a set of hollow words. From all appearances, no other significant rival for the presidency on either side of the aisle has given 40-minutes speeches to Wall Street firms and big banks and "earned" roughly $250,000 per speech for doing so.

The Associated Press did carve out a story for a guy in Kansas who was so upset at Mrs. Clinton's stonewalling that he started up two one-page web sites.

iwilllookintoit.com notes how long it has been since Mrs. Clinton allegedly promised to release her transcripts after Sanders released his (of which there are none):

ClintonTranscriptsChall1

The apparently more recently created whenevereverybodyelsedoes.com continuously notes how long it has been for "the Republicans":

ClintonTranscriptsChall2

However, as described above, for "the Republicans," as is the case for Sanders, with the barely possible exception of Trump, "There ain't none."

The AP's Julie Bykowicz, in that completely separate story (naturally), reports that the original site was so popular that it crashed once the Sanders campaign learned of it and tweeted a link.

Bykowicz further noted that the sleuths at AP learned of the site owner's identity when it was down because of what was in "The site's temporary error message Friday morning."

Oh, how wonderful it would be if the AP devoted some of its investigatory resources into finding and then publishing Mrs. Clinton's speech transcripts, which MSNBC's Brzezinski claimed a "print reporter" currently possesses in the aforementioned MSNBC Saturday broadcast.

As for Mrs. Clinton, her latest tactic is to go into "woe is me" mode:

Clinton: 'Why is there one standard for me and not for everybody else?

Hillary Clinton pushed back on questions over the transcripts of her paid speeches during a televised Democratic town hall Tuesday, asking, “Why is there one standard for me and not for everybody else?”

Yeah, she really said that — and of course, the AP hasn't reported it, proving that there is a special standard for her, i.e., almost nothing negative is noticed, let alone reported widely, let alone investigated.

If a Republican candidate made such a pitiful, pathetic statement, the press would be attacking him or her relentlessly.

But this is Hillary Clinton, who, despite her insufferable whining, seemingly has a lifetime pass.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.