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Alexandrea Boguhn

Author ››› Alexandrea Boguhn
  • The New York Times Reverses Course On Clinton's Emails After Public Editor Admits Fault In Reporting


    The New York Times has begun to quietly reverse course on reports about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private email use, after Times public editor Margaret Sullivan admitted that the publication's initial misleading insinuation that Clinton violated the law was "not without fault." The new, more accurate reporting underscores the publication's initial sloppiness and rush to judgment.

  • New York Times Pushes Evidence-Free Suggestion That Clinton Lied About Classified Emails

    Blog ››› ››› ALEXANDREA BOGUHN

    The New York Times published another speculative, counter-factual article in its campaign to scandalize Hillary Clinton's email use, this time insinuating  that the former secretary of state is lying about having never sent classified emails during her tenure.

    Clinton made clear that she "did not email any classified material to anyone on my email," during a Tuesday press conference made necessary by a manufactured scandal created by earlier shoddy reporting from the Times.

    Providing no evidence to contradict Clinton, the Times turned to "some security experts and former government officials" whom they claimed "were skeptical." According to the Times, "Anyone who has tried to pry information from the federal government may have been surprised on Tuesday by Hillary Rodham Clinton's assertion that in all her emails in four years as secretary of state she never strayed into the classified realm."

    The Times actually undercut its own reporting, burying the fact that Clinton issued a statement making clear that "Classified information was viewed in hard copy by the secretary while in the office.

    That statement further explained: "A separate, closed system was used by the Department for the sole purpose of handling classified communications which was designed to prevent such information from being transmitted anywhere other than within that system, including to outside email accounts."

    The Times' reliance on baseless speculation to insinuate wrongdoing adheres to the framework it established when first reporting on Clinton's use of a personal email account.

    The New York Times was already forced to walk back their sloppy reporting on Clinton's emails -- after which the publication's public editor admitted conceded the story "was not without fault" and "should have been clearer about precisely what regulations might have been violated." Despite the initial report's suggestion that Clinton violated federal record keeping rules, the Times' key source later clarified that she in fact did not "violate" the law. Others in the media have consequently retracted their own baseless claims made in the rush to scandalize Clinton's emails after Times' report.

  • The New York Times Turns To GOP Talking Points To Call Into Question Hillary Clinton's Record As An Advocate For Women And Gender Equality

    Blog ››› ››› ALEXANDREA BOGUHN


    The New York Times adopted partisan smears to cast Hillary Clinton as "vulnerable" on the subject of gender, relying mainly on Republican criticisms to undermine her career of advancing women's rights by scandalizing the acceptance of donations to the Clinton Foundation charity from foreign governments which discriminate based on gender. But the Times' own report undermines the suggestion that Clinton's record on women's advocacy has been questionable, and donations have not stopped Clinton from speaking out against countries violating women's rights.

    In a March 8 article, The New York Times cast Clinton as "vulnerable on the subject" of gender, citing mainly Republican criticisms to highlight "her family foundation's acceptance of millions of dollars in donations from Middle Eastern countries known for violence against women and for denying them many basic freedoms," to evidence their characterization of the former secretary of state. Despite noting that "advancing women has been" Clinton's "central life's work," the Times nevertheless cited attacks from last month's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the Republican National Committee (RNC), a former White House ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush, and a Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) supporter to highlight the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation's acceptance of donations from foreign countries, "which the State Department has faulted over their records on sex discrimination and other human-rights issues." The report alleged that these donations "present[] a difficult appearance problem for a candidate running in part as the embodiment of women's aspirations to equality," turning to Republicans to back the claim:

    Republicans quickly zeroed in on the apparent contradiction. Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard chief, told a crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference last month that Mrs. Clinton "tweets about women's rights in this country and takes money from governments that deny women the most basic human rights."

    And on Wednesday, the Republican National Committee released a biting video showing President Obama calling political donations from foreign sources "a threat to our democracy" -- and Mrs. Clinton smiling next to several Middle East leaders.


    "It's a perfect example of the conflict of interest here," said Richard W. Painter, a White House ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush.

    However, the Times' own report undermined their suggestions about Clinton's questionable track record on women's rights. As the paper noted, "At the State Department, Mrs. Clinton emphasized how empowering women and girls could also enhance economies, national security and the overall progress of a country." Throughout her career, Hillary Clinton has continuously worked as champion of women's rights and leadership.

    And previous donations to the foundation have not stopped Clinton from vocally criticizing countries on gender discrimination. During her time as secretary of state, Clinton criticized Saudi Arabia, among other Arab leaders, for discriminating against women -- despite the countries' previous donations to Clinton Foundation.

  • Gender Equality Is Still A Worldwide Issue -- Except At Fox News

    Blog ››› ››› ALEXANDREA BOGUHN

    Bolling equal pay

    A new report from the United Nations found that no country has reached gender equality in the workforce, and that "without targeted action" the gender pay gap won't be closed for 70 years -- but at Fox News, gender pay inequality is still no more than a "meme" or a "myth."

    Ahead of International Women's Day on March 8, the United Nations' International Labour Organization (ILO) released their report on women in the workplace, finding that internationally "women continue to experience widespread discrimination and inequality" at work. According to the ILO's findings, no country has reached gender equality and "Globally, women earn approximately 77 per cent of what men earn, with the gap widening for higher-earning women." The ILO's report concluded that "without targeted action, at the current rate, pay equity between women and men will not be achieved before 2086."

    Fox News has consistently glossed over the importance of issues like the gender pay gap, deeming them no more than a "myth" or a "meme." Over the years, Fox figures have crusaded against equal pay, either outright denying the existence of a pay gap or  attempting to justify its existence, even going so far as to claim that the gender wage gap helped women remain employed during the recession.  Fox hosts have actively campaigned against legislation meant to address the pay gap, claiming it could "actually hurt women."

    Despite Fox's dismissive approach to the issue, pay inequality remains a problem both internationally and in the United States. According to a 2014 survey by the World Economic Forum, the United States ranked 65th in wage inequality of the 142 countries examined by the organization. 

  • The New York Times Doubles Down In Defense Of Sloppy Reporting On Clinton Emails

    Blog ››› ››› ALEXANDREA BOGUHN

    The New York Times dug in its heels to defend its inadequate reporting that insinuated that Hillary Clinton broke the law by maintaining a non-government email account as secretary of state, rejecting a call from David Brock, founder and chairman of Media Matters, to issue a correction.

    In its response refusing to publicly correct the serious shortcomings in its initial reporting, the Times actually underscored how its initial report was not properly vetted prior to publication.

    Brock issued a public letter to the Times on Tuesday requesting a "prominent correction as soon as possible"  after reporter Michael Schmidt published an article suggesting Clinton violated federal law by using a non-government email address while serving as secretary of state. Brock wrote:

    The Schmidt article failed to meet the highest journalistic standards that readers expect of The New York Times. Since it was published, the Times has been leaning on other reporters to vet the story after the fact. Our hope is that after reviewing the situation, the Times will do the right thing and correct this sloppy, innuendo-laden report in a prominent place.

    In an email to Media Matters, Times representative said they "stand by the story" and directed Media Matters to a 2009 rule from the National Archives and Records Administration that they claim was violated by Clinton's use of a non-government email. The Times representative did not explain why that information was not included in its initial report, an after-the-fact claim that only further illustrates that the initial reporting was so sloppy.

    And, as The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, Clinton has provided 55,000 pages of her emails to the State Department, in compliance with the 2009 regulatory change and a 2014 law that was passed after Clinton had left the administration.

    Nor does the Times response address the fact that Jason Baron, the former head of litigation at the National Archives and Records Association and the key source quoted by The New York Times, has said that Secretary Clinton did not "violate" the law.

    No authoritative legal expert has identified any violation of the law with her use of personal email. In contrast, The National Law Journal reported that "lawyers say it's unlikely she did anything illegal." 

  • The New York Times' Deceptive Suggestion That Hillary Clinton May Have Violated Federal Records Law

    It Was Only After Clinton Left The State Department That The Law Concerning Private Emails Was Changed


    The New York Times accused Hillary Clinton of potentially violating federal law pertaining to the preservation of e-mail records while acting as Secretary of State, but requirements to maintain such records did not exist during her tenure.

  • Fox News Cherry-Picks From Obama's Town Hall To Suggest He's Illegally Enforcing Immigration Policy

    Blog ››› ››› ALEXANDREA BOGUHN

    Fox News cherry-picked from President Obama's statements at a town hall event to falsely suggest Obama is illegally enforcing his immigration directives in violation of a court order temporarily blocking the directives from going into effect -- but the Obama administration has already suspended implementation of the executive action to comply with the ruling.

    On February 25, Obama spoke "directly to the Latino community" at an MSNBC town hall. Speaking with Telemundo and MSNBC host José Díaz-Balart, the president discussed the implications of the recent halt on his immigration actions put in place by a federal judge in Texas, a ruling that is currently being appealed by the Department of Justice.

    During the February 26 edition of Fox & Friends, Fox News anchor Heather Nauert played an out-of-context clip of the president's remarks at the town hall, suggesting he was illegally enforcing the immigration actions at issue in the Texas case. Nauert claimed that Obama was "warning" Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents who did not follow his executive action and aired a clip of Obama saying:

    OBAMA: The bottom line is, is that, if somebody's working for ICE and there's a policy and they don't follow the policy, there're going to be consequences to it.

    After airing the clip of Obama's remarks, Nauert alleged that "there's just one problem" with Obama saying ICE agents would have to follow his directives -- "a federal judge has issued a ruling halting the executive immigration order in its tracks": 

    Later in the program, host Steve Doocy again played the cropped clip of Obama's remarks and claimed that the president was "essentially threatening ICE agents." Doocy added that Obama's policy was to "let everybody stay, but the laws say, if you're in the country illegally, you should be deported":

    But the full context of Obama's statements show the president was speaking broadly about ICE agents following policies that are in place, making clear that a federal judge has currently blocked his most recent executive order. In the portion of the town hall directly prior to the remarks Fox aired, Obama told Díaz-Balart that while the administration appeals the Texas ruling, agents are expected to prioritize deportations properly and consistently with existing directives provided by the Department of Homeland Security and the administration (emphasis added):

    DIAZ-BALART (Reading question from social media): How do you guarantee that an immigrant who is in the middle of legalizing his status, that he or she is not going to be deported by ICE? Mr. President, my husband was deported during the process, and this, she says, happened just last week.

    OBAMA: You know, I would have to know the details of exactly what happened. But what I can tell you is that, until we pass a law through Congress, the executive actions that we've taken are not going to be permanent. They're temporary. We are now implementing a new prioritization. There are going to be some jurisdictions, and there may be individual ICE officials, or border patrol, who aren't paying attention to our new directives. But they're going to be answerable to the head of the Department of Homeland Security, because he's been very clear about what our priorities should be. And I've been very clear about what our priorities should be.

    And the -- I don't know what the particular circumstances here are. But what I can tell you is, people who have signed up, for example, under my executive action in DACA, there are seven, 800,000 people who have signed up. They haven't had problems. It's worked. So we know how to make this work. Right now we've got a judge who's blocking it from working. And in the interim, until we can actually process all these applications, then what we're going to do is do what we can in terms of making sure that we're prioritizing it properly.

    But the challenge is still going to be that not only do we have to win this legal fight, which we are appealing very aggressively, but ultimately we're still going to have to pass a law through Congress. The bottom line is, Jose, that I'm using all of the legal power vested in me in order to solve this problem. And, you know, one of the things about living in a democracy is that we have separation of powers, we have Congress, we have the judicial branch. And, you know, right now, we've got some disagreements with some members of Congress, and some members of the judiciary in terms of what should be done. But what I'm confident about is ultimately this is going to get done. And the reason it's going to get done is it's the right thing to do. And it is who we are as a people.

    DIAZ-BALART: But what are the consequences? Because, how do you -- how do you ensure that ICE agents or border patrol won't be deporting people like this? I mean, what are the consequences?

    OBAMA: Look, the bottom line is that if somebody's working for ICE and there's a policy, and they don't follow the policy, there are going to be consequences to it. So I can't speak to a specific problem. What I can talk about is what's true in the government generally. In the U.S. military when you get an order, you're expected to follow it. It doesn't mean that everybody follows the order. If they don't, they've got a problem. And the same is going to be true with respect to the policies that we're putting forward.

    The Obama administration has already delayed the implementation of their executive action on immigration in response to the court's ruling on the matter. As The New York Times explained, "administration officials ... postponed President Obama's sweeping executive actions on immigration indefinitely, saying they had no choice but to comply" with the judge's order to halt the policy.

  • National Journal Turns Exclusively To The GOP For Talking Points Over DHS Shutdown

    Blog ››› ››› ALEXANDREA BOGUHN

    In a piece exploring the political spin surrounding the fight over funding the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), National Journal turned exclusively to House Republicans for commentary -- even while noting that Republicans are strategically lecturing journalists for political gain.

    On February 27, DHS will shut down if Congress fails to pass a spending bill that will fund the department. The bill has been stuck in the Senate after House Republicans attached a measure to defund President Obama's executive actions on immigration to the legislation and Democrats subsequently refused to pass it.

    In a February 16 article, National Journal presented the talking points of Republicans defending their use of the spending bill to block Obama's actions on immigration. Explaining "how to spin a government shutdown," the article outlined the GOP's claims that forcing a shutdown of DHS would be blamed on Democrats, that the shutdown "won't be that bad," and that it will end up blowing over. But the perspective given on the shutdown was roundly one-sided -- of the sources quoted in article, all were Republicans.

    What's more, National Journal quoted top Republicans confessing a need to manipulate media coverage to their advantage:

    More and more, Republican members are beginning to sound like journalism professors, instructing reporters in person on several occasions over the last week on how to report out the story. Sen. Ted Cruz, for example, put his editor cap on for a moment during a press conference on Thursday.


    "I would suggest to our friends in the Fourth Estate," Cruz said, "that every one of those Democrats when they walk off the Senate floor, you should be asking them: 'If DHS funding is so important, why are you filibustering funding for DHS?' ... I would suggest to each of you in the Fourth Estate another question that would be entirely appropriate to ask them: 'Were you telling the truth or were you lying when you said you opposed the president's unconstitutional executive amnesty? Because if you were telling the truth, why then are you filibustering?' "

    Indeed, National Journal seemed to fall prey to a reporting style that privileged the GOP -- setting up the entire piece about the shutdown by equating the severity of the acts from either side of the aisle, "pox on both houses" style of reporting:

    Congress has packed its bags and gone home for the week, leaving lawmakers with just five legislative days to find a way to keep the Homeland Security Department open. Senate Democrats remain intractable in their filibuster of legislation to fund the department, just as House Republicans refuse to bring up a clean bill, leaving open the real possibility that Congress will allow part of the federal government to shut down for the second time in two years.