George Will ignored Hillary Clinton's substantial accomplishments as secretary of state, senator, and first lady in order to suggest that her support from Democrats is due solely to "identity politics."
In his latest Washington Post column, Will describes the Democratic Party as "adrift in identity politics, cling[ing], as shipwrecked sailors do to floating debris, to this odd feminist heroine," and writes that Clinton's "performance in governance has been defined by three failures." Will goes on to cherry-pick instances from Clinton's career, ignoring her achievements in the White House, Senate, and at State to portray her as a failure.
In citing Clinton's time as first lady, he omits, for example, Clinton's role in the passage of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), which expanded health insurance for children in lower-income households. Will also ignores her pivotal role in the Adoption and Safe Families Act, which eased processes allowing the removal of children from abusive situations.
Clinton also helped to create the Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women and used her platform to raise the issue of abuse against women internationally, telling the United Nations' Fourth World Conference on Women in China that, "It is time for us to say here in Beijing, and for the world to hear, that it is no longer acceptable to discuss women's rights as separate from human rights."
Will says Clinton's tenure in the Senate was "an uneventful prelude to her 2008 presidential quest," failing to note that she sponsored or co-sponsored 54 bills that eventually became law. These including writing a section of the No Child Left Behind law addressing recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers; co-authoring a law compelling drug companies to conduct pediatric safety tests on products prescribed for children; working with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on language in a defense authorization bill giving members of the military access to the Tricare health system even when they aren't deployed; and sponsoring a bill which would mandate more efficient distribution of flu vaccines.
Going on to describe her appointment as Secretary State as a "consolation prize," Will downplays Clinton's accomplishments during her years in the position. These include opening up Myanmar as the first secretary of state to make an official visit there since 1955, negotiating a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas with the help of Egypt in 2012, and tightening international sanctions on Iran to their highest level ever with nearly a dozen countries significantly reducing their purchases of Iranian oil in 2012.
Will concludes by ominously noting, "Another Clinton presidency probably would include a reprise of the couple's well-known patterns of behavior." But readers won't get a clear picture of those "patterns" by reading Will's dishonest column.
The press has almost entirely ignored the revelation that after the "richest man in Wisconsin" made secret donations benefitting Republican Governor Scott Walker, his company received special tax credits for that same donor's company.
By contrast, the media have frequently invoked donations to the Clinton Foundation in their coverage of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, baselessly suggesting that those donations create conflicts of interest.
Yahoo News reported March 23 that John Menard Jr., the billionaire owner of a chain of hardware stores in the Midwest, donated over $1.5 million to the Wisconsin Club for Growth, which "pledged to keep its donors secret." Walker helped generate large, undisclosed donations for the group, according to records unveiled as part of a criminal investigation into whether the interactions of such groups with Walker's campaign committee violated state campaign finance laws. The Club defended Walker in the 2012 recall election, where he prevailed.
Since then, Menard's company "has been awarded up to $1.8 million in special tax credits from a state economic development corporation that Walker chairs, according to state records." Walker appointees also scaled back enforcement actions by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, "a top Menard priority."
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow gave a detailed account of the story on her March 24 broadcast:
Yet the pay-to-play allegations swirling around Walker, a possible Republican presidential candidate, have been widely ignored by others in the media.
The story hasn't been covered on the three major broadcast networks, CNN, or Fox News, according to a search of Nexis and Media Matters' video archives. The Rachel Maddow Show appears to be MSNBC's only mention of the story. Besides a reprint of an Associated Press article noting a denial of wrongdoing from the Walker administration, the New York Times hasn't covered the story. And the only references from The Washington Post are in a post on the progressive Plum Line blog and the same AP story the Times reprinted.
By contrast, the media has repeatedly raised the specter of "ethical concerns" over donations to the Clinton Foundation by foreign governments and individuals, among others. They have persisted with this coverage despite the clear indications from Hillary Clinton's record as secretary of state that the donations did not influence her politically and the reality that the donations went to a global charity, not a fund benefiting her election.
Larry Klayman, a conspiracy theorist and WND columnist who has been at the margins of the conservative movement for decades, is behind a dubious lawsuit accusing Hillary Clinton of racketeering. Klayman is utterly lacking in credibility, having filed numerous far-fetched lawsuits targeting the Clintons over the years. He has also repeatedly suggested the Clintons "orchestrated the murders of several of their associates in the 1990s."
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly said on the March 18 edition of The O'Reilly Factor that President Obama "had nothing to do" with the killing of Osama bin Laden, but in the days following the raid, O'Reilly repeatedly gave Obama credit for ordering the attack.
Eric Bolling, co-host of Fox News' The Five, accused Hillary Clinton of "blusters" and "lying" for saying in her press conference that she was unable to securely access multiple email accounts on one mobile phone, opting instead to use her own email server instead of using two phones. But at the time, it was reportedly not possible to have two accounts on a secure BlackBerry like the one Clinton carreid.
UPDATE: Rep. Gowdy has reportedly canceled his appearance at the fundraiser. In a statement to Mediaite, Gowdy's spokesperson said, "The Chairman was unaware that organizers of this event intended to feature or even mention Benghazi."
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) will be headlining a fundraising event for the Virginia Republican Party apparently centered on the topic of the Benghazi, which would contradict his repeated pledges not to raise money off of the 2012 attacks. Will the media outlets he deceived take note of his reversal?
Bill O'Reilly has repeatedly alluded over the past week to the growing firestorm of critics blasting his habit of stretching the truth -- but he has stopped directly addressing their accusations against them, instead shifting tactics to simply attacking critical outlets of bias, inaccuracy, or low ratings without bothering to disprove the allegations or defend himself.
The conservative Washington Times has dropped Dr. Ben Carson from its roster of columnists after he announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee. The paper had continued to publish Carson's column even after Fox News cut ties with him when he made several moves towards running for the Republican presidential nomination.
On Tuesday morning, Carson announced the formation of an exploratory committee to run for president. This committee would allow Carson to begin fundraising for an eventual presidential campaign, should he decide to move forward.
In a statement to Media Matters, Washington Times opinion editor David Keene said, "We have pulled tomorrow's column by Dr. Ben Carson at his request in light of his just announced decision to form a Presidential Exploratory Committee. Dr. Carson's contributions to the Washington Times have proved invaluable to our readers." Keene also noted that Carson "is a friend and will always be considered a part of the Washington Times family."
Carson has been making more and more explicit overtures towards a presidential campaign in recent months. Fox News cut ties with him after he released a biographical campaign documentary titled "A Breath of Fresh Air: A New Prescription for America."
Despite the campaign video and public statements noting he was considering a presidential run, for several months the Washington Times continued to publish his columns and published the digital magazine he founded, American Currentsee.
Carson enjoys his current prominent role in the conservative movement in large part thanks to Fox and other conservative media outlets that repeatedly featured and hosted him after a speech to the National Prayer Breakfast where he attacked President Obama and the Affordable Care Act.
A former New York Times editor is accusing Bill O'Reilly of misrepresenting his reporting to defend himself.
Under fire for allegedly exaggerating his experiences covering the 1982 Falklands War, Bill O'Reilly cited a New York Times article to supposedly corroborate his version of events. But the author of that article points out that O'Reilly "cut out an important phrase" in his retelling.
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly has "recounted dramatic stories about his own war reporting that don't withstand scrutiny," including claiming that he covered the Falklands Islands warzone from which American reporters were banned, according to a Mother Jones report.