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.