As we are in the midst of a presidential campaign, this by itself is not an issue. That it is the national media that is leading this charge is. One need focus on but the latest corners of the Clinton pantheon to come to light to see the full court press the press puts on when their girl needs them.
In an October 10 Boston Globe interview, Senator Clinton let her socialism slip a bit, saying "I have a million ideas. I can't do all of them. I happen to think in running a disciplined campaign - especially when it comes to fiscal responsibility, which is what I'm trying to do - everything I propose I have to pay for. You know, you go to my website, you'll see what I would use to pay for what I've proposed. So I've got a lot of ideas, I just obviously can't propose them all. I can't afford them all. The country can't afford them all." (Emphasis ours.)
The Republican National Committee, and later in a presidential debate Republican contender Rudy Giuliani, focused like a laser on this statement, specifically the first and last lines, and had a field day.
The Globe was appalled that anyone would use Hillary's words against her, and appeared embarrassed that they were the source for the slam. Not only did they reprint the text of the interview, they went so far as to pen an editorial defending Senator Clinton. They opined that her remark "has been so badly twisted by her opponents that we feel it necessary to reprint the interview transcript", asserted that "Clinton was saying she opposes big government spending, not the other way around" and concluded that "what Americans really can't afford are cheap political distortions."
Differences on the meaning of what the Senator said aside, this mop-up work should be the work of the Clinton campaign's political and PR divisions, not that of a supposedly impartial and neutral news entity. The examples of Democrat malfeasance with the words of Republicans are many; of media outlets rushing to cry foul and correct the record precious and few.
And then there is the ongoing MSM Clinton reclamation project that is the Norman Hsu saga.
Hsu had been long on the lam from the law and long on dollars for Hillary Clinton. He dodged sentencing on 1992 grand theft charges to which he pled no contest, but found time amidst all the subsequent running to raise and deliver $850,000 to Campaign Clinton's presidential effort.
Money the Senator returned the moment it became absolutely politically necessary, i.e. when his legal status finally became public. Which was much later in the game than were it a Republican up to nearly a million dollars in such ill-gotten booty; the media dragged their feet before reluctantly reporting the story only when it became so huge and well-known that they had no choice. ABC World News, for example, took three days to mention it, and despite Hsu's on going legal travails has not again reported on it or him since.
And, of course, precious and few have been the number of questions posed to Hillary by the media regarding her relationship with Hsu.
And Team Clinton has again retained the services of another scofflaw, former National Security Adviser and one-man Boxer Rebellion Sandy Berger. Berger pled guilty to making away in 2003 with National Archive documents on several occasions, hiding them amongst other places in his pants.
Berger is currently at least two years late on submitting to a lie detector test, a portion of his plea agreement. Underwhelming has been the MSM's efforts to ask Candidate Clinton about this delay, or why Berger is involved with the campaign at all.
In her last round of interviews on October 18, well after the Hsu and Berger stories had broken, only NBC's Matt Lauer asked her about Hsu, and no one inquired regarding Berger. CBS, ABC and CNN all had her on their air, and all passed on both subjects.
Place this in contrast with the comparable flood of reporting on GOP candidate Fred Thompson's donor and airplane provider, successful businessman Philip Martin.
Martin in 1979 pled guilty to selling 11 pounds of marijuana and was given probation, which he violated with a 1983 no contest plea to cocaine-trafficking and conspiracy charges stemming from his attempt to sell $30,000 worth of the drug. He was again given probation; he never served jail time, and has since remained clean.
The story broke this past Sunday afternoon, and less than a day later ABC, CBS and the Associated Press (including an appearance of the latter in the New York Times) had all already run their versions of the nearly quarter-century old issue. Pressed yesterday, a Thompson campaign spokesman said Thompson has only known Martin "since the mid-1990s", and that he "was unaware of the information until" it was reported on Sunday.
The point being, the MSM deemed it important to rush to ask Thompson about Martin, a man 24 years removed from his criminal wrongdoing, and very few if any similar queries have been put to Clinton about Hsu or Berger.
Two men not anciently but currently afoul of the law; and in Berger we have someone affecting not merely fundraising but potential Presidential national security policy.
As far as media Whitewashes go, this one of and for Hillary continues to be one of which Tom Sawyer would be most proud.
Seton Motley is Director of Communications for the Media Research Center; MRC President L. Brent Bozell, with MRC Director of Research Tim Graham, is the author of Whitewash: What the Media Won't Tell You About Hillary Clinton, But Conservatives Will, in stores November 13.