Bill Clinton

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  • Fox Takes Clinton Out Of Context In Effort To Distract From Trump’s Hope For Housing Crisis

    ››› ››› TYLER CHERRY

    Fox & Friends deceptively edited a 2007 video of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to claim that Clinton blamed homeowners for the housing market crash and that she is “flip flopping now” to blame Wall Street. But the speech transcript shows that Clinton indeed blamed Wall Street and a host of other financial actors, saying Wall Street “helped create the foreclosure crisis” and bears “responsibility” for the crash. Fox also downplayed Donald Trump’s expressed hope for a financial crisis in 2006, instead blaming former President Bill Clinton for a market crash and historic recession that occurred during the waning days of the Bush administration.

  • Former NY Times Executive Editor Tells Politico: David Brock Is Right, The Times Gives Hillary Clinton Unfair Scrutiny

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    According to Politico's Glenn Thrush, Jill Abramson, the former New York Times executive editor, said in a recent interview that she agreed with Media Matters founder David Brock that the Times has given an unfair "level of scrutiny" to Hillary Clinton.

    Over the past year, the Times has repeatedly bungled reporting on Hillary Clinton's use of email, falsely claiming in a July report that Clinton was under criminal investigation, a story for which they issued numerous corrections. The Times' public editor Margaret Sullivan criticized the paper for publishing a "sensational" story with "major journalistic problems." In response to that report and several other issues with the paper's journalism David Brock called on the Times to commission a review of its reporting on Clinton.

    Politico's Glenn Thrush reported March 21 that Abramson, in an interview, said she "agree[d]" with Brock that the Times gave the Clintons "an unfair 'level of scrutiny,'" saying Hillary Clinton "'does get more scrutiny" than other candidates - especially male candidates.'" From Politico:

    A couple of years back, a friend of Hillary Clinton's told me the candidate-to-be was "disappointed" that the first woman to edit the New York Times -- veteran investigative reporter Jill Abramson -- wasn't more sympathetic to her plight as a feminist pioneer in politics.

    In fact, both the candidate and her more volatile spouse went a lot further, venting to people around them that they saw the country's most powerful paper as a kind of special prosecutor in a blue plastic bag, whose top editors were bent on scouring them with an alacrity not directed at other politicians ("They are out to get us," the former president told a friend more recently).

    No way, says Abramson, whose personal association with the Clintons goes back nearly 40 years. (Little-known fact: the woman who led coverage of the Clintons at the Times for a decade -- as Washington bureau chief, and then as executive editor -- briefly worked as a consultant on one of Bill Clinton's campaigns in Arkansas.) But Abramson lingers on the larger point of media fairness to Hillary Clinton, and gingerly concedes something few editors would ever admit. 

    "She does get more scrutiny" than other candidates - especially male candidates, Abramson told me during a 50-minute interview for POLITICO's "Off Message" podcast last week. When I asked her if Clinton's arch-defender David Brock had a point when he lashed the Times for giving the Clintons an unfair "level of scrutiny," she interrupted - to agree. 

    "Yeah, I do," said Abramson - who was ousted in 2014 after reportedly complaining that her compensation package was inferior to that of her male predecessor, Bill Keller. 

    "[W]e, for some reason, expect total purity from a woman candidate," added Abramson, who rose to the top job in 2011. "I did not feel, during my regime, that we were giving her way more scrutiny than anyone else." But, she said, "Where I think Hillary Clinton faces, you know, certainly more of a burden is that the controversies she's been in are immediately labeled, you know, Travel-gate or Email-gate... if you actually asked people what about any of these controversies bothers them, they don't know anything specific about any of them." 


    And Abramson isn't overly impressed by the one Clinton storyline getting the most attention: the lingering probe into the former secretary of state's "homebrew" email server during her Foggy Bottom tenure. Like Whitewater, the scandal was uncovered by a New York Times reporter; like Whitewater, it is regarded as a deus ex machina by Republicans facing political gloom; and like Whitewater, it will likely turn out to be more froth than flood, in Abramson's view. "I won't say nothing - but very little," she said, referring to the sum significance of Clinton's scandals. 

    When I asked if the Times email stories (executed after her departure, in 2015) were "a big deal," Abramson - who has taken pains not to criticize her former paper or its current editors - paused. 

    "It depends on, you know, what your definition of "big deal" is, but I'm not going to play Bill Clinton for you here," she said, referring to the former president's infamous what-is-is monologue during his Monica Lewinsky deposition. "The issue, to me, that's at the crux is that everything that we know that was classified was classified after the fact, after the emails were sent. And so, why is that a big deal? And the fact that she had this private email is something that, you know, I've read widely, a lot of people in the government - Colin Powell, let's face it, got much bigger speaking fees than Hillary did."

  • Breitbart Blames Bill And Hillary Clinton For Every Organization With The Word Clinton In It

    Breitbart H1-B Attack Blames Clinton Family For Schools, Pharmacies, Catering Organizations

    Blog ››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN

    A Breitbart News report misread results from a database to inaccurately claim that Clinton-affiliated organizations requested up to 87 H-1B visas from 2011-2014 in an attempt to criticize Clinton -- a strange line of attack, given that the visa category is uncontroversial and receives bipartisan support. Breitbart News has a history of providing unreliable information to readers, including such journalistic missteps as identifying the wrong person in its reports and incorrectly reading sources.

    A March 10 Breitbart News piece by Neil Munro claimed that "Clinton family charities have outsourced many U.S. white-collar jobs to foreign college graduates" by requesting H1-B visas, which allow organizations to recruit and employ highly skilled and specialized foreign professionals in specific occupations. The report cited the website, where Munro claimed a search of Clinton-affiliated organizations "requested up to 87 H-1B workers".

    However, a search of "Clinton" on the website finds that the 87 number is completely false. Breitbart included organizations that are not affiliated with the Clintons, such as Clinton City Schools and the Mercy Medical Center - Clinton:

    Excluding the organizations not connected to the Clintons, the actual number of visa requests from Clinton-connected organizations is 56, or a drop of 36 percent from the misleading number Breitbart reported. Moreover, Breitbart admits the precise number of requests may even be lower, as the total may include duplicate requests.

    Breitbart's attack rings especially hollow as  H-1B visas have enjoyed support from both Democrats and Republicans. In fact, increasing the number of H-1B visas was part of the 2013 comprehensive immigration reform bill that easily passed the U.S. Senate with bipartisan support, as well as another bipartisan-sponsored bill in 2015 that sought to increase the number of visas. Many other international organizations -- including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the American Red Cross, Human Rights Watch, Koch Industries and the Heritage Foundation -- have also used the H-1B visa program.

    Breitbart News has a history of unreliability. In January, it claimed Washington Free Beacon founder Michael Goldfarb had criticized Donald Trump in a BBC piece, which clearly referred to a different Goldfarb. In 2014, it attacked President Obama's nominee for attorney general by going after the wrong Loretta Lynch. In 2013, it alleged then-Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel received funding from a group called Friends of Hamas -- an organization that never actually existed. Munro, who authored the Clinton H-1B visa piece, also has history of flawed reporting, claiming in 2012 that President Obama was the lead attorney in a class action discrimination lawsuit regarding home loans that helped trigger the 2008 economic collapse. In fact, Obama had little involvement in the case, and the case was not a contributor to the economic meltdown.

  • Conservative Media Run With Misleading Report That Bill Clinton Slammed Obama

    ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    Right-wing media repeatedly cited a misleading Tennessee newspaper report that took former President Bill Clinton out of context to claim that he criticized President Obama during a campaign speech for not doing enough to effect change in the country. In fact, full video of Clinton's remarks reveals that he repeatedly praised Obama's accomplishments and explicitly criticized those who claim that Obama didn't accomplish enough.

  • Conventional Wisdom And Bill Clinton

    The Beltway Narrative Shifts, And Suddenly Clinton Is Old And Out Of Touch

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Bill ClintonYou can watch the Beltway media's narrative shift before your eyes, as reporters get bored with the story they've been telling and move on to something counterintuitive and new. Journalists want to tell stories, not just report facts, and the stories they choose to tell based on cherry-picked examples are often bad for progressives.

    Old conventional wisdom: Bill Clinton is the greatest politician of his generation, with a unique ability to inspire audiences in his speeches.

    New conventional wisdom: Bill Clinton is old, tired, and should hang it up.

    Patrick Healy kicked off the change with a 1,400-word January 28 New York Times trend piece that cited a Clinton speech Healy attended in Iowa the previous night, a speech his colleague attended in Las Vegas last week, and the opinions of a handful of observers as evidence that "the old magic seems to be missing." (Other journalists who saw those same speeches came away with dramatically different interpretations of Clinton's performance; Healy wrote a similar piece last March.)

    Now Mark Halperin, a key bellwether for Beltway insider journalists, has picked up the narrative. During today's edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, he called Healy's story "pretty accurate." Halperin said that he had seen Clinton at an event yesterday and that while the former president's "best moments are great," he was "not his best," with "a little bit of a rambling quality to his presentation." "I thought he was better in New Hampshire when I saw him last week," Halperin added.

    Indeed. After that January 20 speech in New Hampshire, Halperin said on Morning Joe that Clinton had been "as good as I've seen him in years in driving a message." He also issued a stream of tweets describing the event as a "#ClintonClassic."

    Just before the speech he attended yesterday, Halperin was calling Clinton "The Master."

    Somehow, one speech and one Times article later, the narrative has shifted dramatically.

  • NY Times Versus The Rest Of The Press On Bill Clinton's Campaign Appearances

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    For the second time in 10 months, New York Times reporter Patrick Healy has issued a breathless piece describing former President Bill Clinton as old and out of touch on the stump. This one is based largely on Clinton's purported performance in two speeches, only one of which Healy actually attended.

    After observing Clinton on the campaign trail, Healy has decided that "the old magic seems missing." That might be news to the rest of the press corps, who have been highlighting the "forceful" speeches he has given in "classic Clinton fashion."

    Healy builds an entire 1,400-word January 28 trend piece about Clinton's "subdued" style and the former president's supposed inability to rally his audience around a speech Healy attended in Iowa the previous night, a speech his colleague attended in Las Vegas last week, and the opinions of a handful of observers. The reporter concludes that "the Clinton of lore, the once-in-a generation political natural who fought back to win his party's nomination in 1992 and came through in clutch moments with great speeches over the years, has yet to appear."

    But other reporters covering the same events appear to have come away with a dramatically different view of Clinton's presence on campaign trail.

    Healy claims that during a January 21 speech in Las Vegas, Clinton "looked smaller and his voice seemed weaker than in past campaigns" and left his audience "seeming more politely attentive than inspired." (Healy was in Iowa at the time of that speech; according to the piece, his colleague Adam Nagourney "contributed reporting from Las Vegas.") But other reporters covering that speech described him as "composed," rallying a crowd of "cheering supporters." Journalists have also described the Iowa event Healy referenced as one in which Clinton "made a forceful pitch" then "lingered on the rope line" to meet supporters.

    Healy previously authored a similar Times piece from March 2015 that described Clinton's "frail frame" that "looks older than his 68 years" and buttresses GOP claims that "the Clintons are America's baby boomer past." That piece had to be corrected; it had claimed that Clinton was "chauffeured," when Clinton is actually driven by a United States Secret Service agent.