It only took the State Department to withhold 22 of Hillary Clinton’s emails for the media to report “about how advanced this investigation is” admitted Joe Scarborough on Monday’s Morning Joe. “Is it safe to talk about it now?” Scarborough recalled, referring to a conversation he had with a network executive.
Scarborough bragged that on Friday morning, before the news broke, they knew something big was coming down the pipe in regards to the FBI investigation of Hillary’s emails. “I mean, a couple people held their breath when we talked about it the other day. Everybody in the government, everybody in the media, everybody that runs anything is talking about how advanced this investigation is and nobody's telling the American people about it.”
This revelation was very telling about how the news media operates. Journalists and reporters knew what was going on in the investigation and chose not to inform the public. They were waiting for it to become “safe” for them to report about it. But what does it mean for it to become “safe?” Does it mean the withholding of the emails is damning evidence? Is it safe when Bernie Sanders started acknowledging the scandal could mean something? Could it mean the story was too big for the Clinton’s to keep it suppressed?
“When Bernie Sanders is hearing from some of the top leaders in the Obama administration that this is further along than expected, he doesn't want to be caught saying “it's not a big deal” and having the FBI suggest it is.” Scarborough suggested. Mike Barnicle agreed saying “There's just too much buzz around it from all different levels of government, media and everything all that to ignore it and Bernie has no longer ignored it.”
Regardless of the definition of “safe”, it is ridiculous that the media waits for a scandal to meet some phantom criterion of "buzz" before it gets reported to the people. They all refuse to touch it, then use the silence to keep it hidden?
The FBI investigation has been going on for months and the media kept repeating Hillary’s claim that no classified information was in her emails. After the emails were withheld the media started admitting that investigators have been redacting (blacking out) sensitive information in her emails for months. They also started reporting that there was an email from Hillary with instructions on how to remove classified markings from messages in order to send it through unsecured channels.
All of this flies in the face of Hillary’s claims. It should have been a red flag for a journalist. Journalists are supposed go out, investigate, and report what they find to the people to keep them informed. It’s one thing to wait for more information, but when information comes out that contradicts the official being investigated it’s the media’s duty to report it. This mission breaks down when they only report what has been deemed “safe” to discuss.
February 1, 2016
6:11:21 – 6:13:47
JOE SCARBOROUGH: You know Mark Halperin, you and I were talking on Friday morning about how there was a lot more to come out—
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: But it seemed like a long way away.
SCARBOROUGH: -- everything we heard in the administration, from top people in the administration, all across the administration, in different agencies. And then that afternoon pretty startling news coming out.
MARK HALPERIN: More problems with her emails. More questions about how it was handled. Look, the legal calendar, we don't know what it is, we know the political calendar, Bernie Sanders announced yesterday he's raised $20 million, he's forced secretary Clinton to agree to more debates into the spring. So, Bernie Sanders even if he loses here tonight can go forward with lots of money, with debates on the schedule and see are there developments in the legal front that allow him to start to win even after tonight if he doesn't win here.
SCARBOROUGH: By the way that is -- this is one of the things this show tries to do that other shows don’t do. I mean, a couple people held their breath when we talked about it the other day. Everybody in the government, everybody in the media, everybody that runs anything is talking about how advanced this investigation is and nobody's telling the American people about it. So I had an executive at another network ask, “when-- is it safe to talk about it now?” So, we talked about it. Then that afternoon of course, explosive revelations came out and there are more.
JOHN HEILEMANN: I’ll tell you the most-- to me the most interesting thing about that is, that in the last 48 hours when Bernie Sanders has been asked about the Hillary Clinton e-mail thing, having famously in the debate a few months ago said “don't worry about it, no one wants to hear about your e-mails,”--Asked about it a couple of days ago he said “oh, I don't think it's irrelevant.”
There's a process playing out here. Bernie Sanders edging towards retracting his “nobody cares about your damn e-mails” thing. You can easily imagine not Sanders attacking her personally on this but him starting to now say “hey look, this is something we have to think about and bring into a discussion in a more active way.”
SCARBOROUGH: Mike Barnicle, when Bernie Sanders is hearing from some of the top leaders in the Obama administration that this is further along than expected, he doesn't want to be caught saying “it's not a big deal” and having the FBI suggest it is.
MIKE BARNICLE: There's just too much buzz around it from all different levels of government, media and everything all that to ignore it and Bernie has no longer ignored it. The other thing about Bernie Sanders, a stunning number, the $20 million is stunning, but from over 700,000 individual contributors.
SCARBOROUGH: Isn’t that unbelievable?
BARNICLE: That is stunning!