Early Saturday morning, while covering the upcoming Nevada Democratic Party caucuses, co-host Mika Brzezinski claimed on MSNBC's Morning Joe show that a "print reporter" has "actual transcripts" of certain of Hillary Clinton's paid speeches to financial firms.
This naturally leads to the question of whether we'll ever actually see the words Mrs. Clinton spoke which typically "earned" her roughly $250,000 for a 40-minute talk — an amount which even a New York Times reporter has acknowledged seems "almost obscene."
In May of last year, according to the Washington Post, Mrs. Clinton, the current frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, admitted in election-related filings that they "earned in excess of $25 million for delivering 104 speeches since the beginning of 2014." A CNN story in May 2013 reported that Bill earned over $30 million for speeches given in 2011 and 2012 alone — two of Mrs. Clinton's four years as the Obama administration's Secretary of State.
As Daniel Gross at Fortune Magazine observed last week, "the Clintons’ particular business" has been "getting paid a multiple of the typical American family’s annual income for a 40-minute speech." He then contended that "It's hard to come across as a credible critic of Wall Street when your bed is feathered with six-figure speaking payments to investment banks and private equity firms."
What Mrs. Clinton could possibly have said that might be worth $250,000 has been a matter of intense curiosity, especially because Democratic opponent Bernie Sanders has given no such speeches, and pointedly made that observation when Mrs. Clinton issued an incredibly foolish "I'll show you mine if you show yours" challenge.
Given Mrs. Clinton's deliberate delaying tactics, clearly in hopes that the entire matter will somehow just blow over, what Brzezinski claimed, as seen in the following video, is quite startling (HT American Mirror):
Transcript (beginning at 0:29, following airing of Sanders' response to Mrs. Clinton's challenge; bolds are mine):
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: I mean, should she release the transcripts of her speeches?
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Yes. Yes.
SOME AUDIENCE MEMBERS: Yeah. Yes.
BRZEZINSKI: Is it important?
JOHN HEILEMANN: It was an incredibly easy question to answer the right way first time, which was, "Of course, yes, I will release my, I will release these speeches."
UNIDENTIFIED PANELIST: It's one of the old cases where the longer you don't do it, the more people wonder why you aren't doing it.
BRZEZINSKI: Like the emails now. Are you kidding me?
MARK HALPERIN: Here's the first rule. The first rule of Clintonworld is when something is famous for not being released, it will eventually have to be released.
BRZEZINSKI: Right. Well, actually, I think some reporters have their hands on them. So the question is how does she want them released? Does she want to release them and be forthcoming with the American people? (Audience laughs) —
HALPERIN: Late on a Friday night.
BRZEZINSKI: Or does she want reporters to get them first, and show that she wouldn't release them, but that somebody else got them?
SCARBOROUGH: I would expect Friday night, on Good Friday.
HEILEMANN: What is clear is that reporters are going around to people who heard these speeches —
BRZEZINSKI: No, actually —
HEILEMANN: — and having them characterized, which is actually worse. Because what's happening of course is you're getting people who heard the speeches saying, "Oh, she sounded like a managing director at Goldman Sachs. She sounded like part of our club."
BRZEZINSKI: I know a print reporter who has actual transcripts —
HEILEMANN: And they should release them. That would be a good story.
SCARBOROUGH: That would be a very good story.
BRZEZINSKI: — and they are working on them.
With all due respect (pun intended), if these documents are actual transcripts verified as accurate with meeting attendees, what's there to "work on"?
Whoever this "print reporter" is, we'd best hope that he or she doesn't work at the Los Angeles Times, or they'll likely never see the light of day — even though, as the Einsteins on the Morning Joe panel agreed, it would be a "good/very good story." (Ya think?)
In October 2008, Andrew McCarthy at National Review bitterly criticized the utter hypocrisy at the Times in refusing to release a videotape it acknowledged possessing of a 2003 conference Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama had attended:
... Why is the Los Angeles Times sitting on a videotape of the 2003 farewell bash in Chicago at which Barack Obama lavished praise on the guest of honor, Rashid Khalidi — former mouthpiece for master terrorist Yasser Arafat?
At the time Khalidi, a PLO adviser turned University of Chicago professor, was headed east to Columbia. There he would take over the University’s Middle East-studies program (which he has since maintained as a bubbling cauldron of anti-Semitism) and assume the professorship endowed in honor of Edward Sayyid, another notorious terror apologist.
The party featured encomiums by many of Khalidi’s allies, colleagues, and friends, including Barack Obama, then an Illinois state senator, and Bill Ayers, the terrorist turned education professor. It was sponsored by the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), which had been founded by Khalidi and his wife, Mona, formerly a top English translator for Arafat’s press agency.
Is there just a teeny-weenie chance that this was an evening of Israel-bashing Obama would find very difficult to explain? Could it be that the Times, a pillar of the Obamedia, is covering for its guy?
... the revelers included (domestic terrorist Bill) Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, Ayers’s wife and fellow Weatherman terrorist. These self-professed revolutionary Leftists are friendly with both Obama and Khalidi — indeed, researcher Stanley Kurtz has noted that Ayers and Khalidi were “best friends.” (And — small world! — it turns out that the Obamas are extremely close to the Khalidis, who have reportedly babysat the Obama children.)
McCarthy went on to note that the Times acknowledged that it had the videotape in an April 2008 story. It still has it. It still refuses to release it. It obviously was "covering for its guy," Barack Obama, and continues to do so to this day. If a Times reporter is the one who has the Hillary transcripts, there's an overwhelming likelihood that the public will never see them.
Here's a bad sign that the possible window into Hillary Clinton's moneygrubbing venture will remain closed: According to Mark Finkelstein at NewsBusters, whose tasks include having to endure Morning Joe on a daily basis, Brzezinski did not repeat her obviously newsworthy contention on this morning's show.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.