In Interview, CBS Avoids Hillary’s E-Mails and Bill’s Sex Scandals

CBS This Morning co-hosts on Wednesday scored an interview with Hillary Clinton. Yet, Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell failed to ask any questions about Hillary’s e-mail controversy or Bill Clinton’s numerous sex scandals. Instead, King, who is a Democratic donor, worried, “Madam Secretary, the latest poll numbers have your supporters a little worried tonight. They show that Bernie Sanders is surging just seven points behind you now.” 

King fretted, “How concerned are you about that?” Rose offered this vague and general question: “But are there different points view between you and the President, about where the country is and where it's going?” 

In contrast, Today co-host Savannah Guthrie at least managed to bring up the sexual allegations against Bill Clinton. Well, sort of. Guthrie kept it vague, only highlighting the ex-President’s “past misbehavior.” 

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: You called Bill Clinton your not-so-secret weapon, but Donald Trump recently went on the attack, saying because you accused him of sexism you opened the door to allegations about President Clinton's past misbehavior. Was that a tactical mistake on your end? Did you open the door to those attacks?    

She followed up. Again, keeping it non-specific: 

GUTHRIE: But he's saying that you played the so-called woman card and that you called him, essentially, sexist and when you did that you opened the door to these attacks about Bill Clinton's past misconduct. 

Still, unlike CBS, Guthrie and NBC should be given credit for at least approaching the subject. She tried one last time, wondering, “In a word, does he [Trump] undercut the effectiveness of Bill Clinton as a surrogate for you?” 

NBC, CBS and ABC all had interviews with Clinton. None of them brought up the e-mails. Over on ABC, Good Morning America’s George Stephanopoulos interviewed the wife of his former boss. Stephanopoulos did not mention his $75,000 in donations to the Clinton Foundation. 

A transcript of the January 13 CBS This Morning segment is below: 

Tell the Truth 2016

8:04 a.m. Eastern

CHARLIE ROSE: With us from Washington, Democratic presidential candidate and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. Madam Secretary, good morning.

HILLARY CLINTON: Good morning to all of you. 

ROSE: The president made the case for his administration last night in the state of the union. Yet 65 percent of Americans think we are on the wrong track. Is there a disconnect between the president and the people?

CLINTON: You know, Charlie, I thought the president made a compelling case about the progress we have made, but the work that still lies ahead. And what I've been saying on the campaign is that we had a brutal body blow with the great recession. We are standing. We are not yet running. We have work to do. And I think this election is so consequential because there are two very different points of view between us and the Republicans and that is what people are going to have to choose between. 

ROSE: But are there different points view between you and the President, about where the country is and where it's going? 

CLINTON: I think that the president's views are ones that are rooted in a lot of reality. We have been adding new jobs. We are the strongest economy, once again, as we have historically been. We remain the leader in the world on so many important issues. But -- there is a big but -- and I think the president had a long laundry list of unfinished business that we need to be focused on. 

GAYLE KING: Madam Secretary, the latest poll numbers have your supporters a little worried tonight. They show that Bernie Sanders is surging just seven points behind you now. How concerned are you about that? 

CLINTON: I always expected that this would ab tight race. That is the experience that I've had certainly in politics. And I'm very happy about where my campaign is, what we are talking about, the reaction we are getting. It's going to be a campaign that goes right to the wire. I'm doing all that I can to reach out to as many people to convince them to caucus for me in Iowa and then to vote for me in the New Hampshire primary and then to go on from there to South Carolina and Nevada. 

KING: You're happy about your campaign. It seems so is Bernie Sanders. Here is what he had to say about how you're doing. 

BERNIE SANDERS: When you see that many attacks, and I'm sure more will be coming. It is an indication that the Clinton campaign is getting very very nervous. For many months they basically ignored us. Well guess what, they ain’t going—they’re are not ignoring us right now. That’s for sure. 

KING: Is this your nervous face, Hillary Clinton?

CLINTON: No. . I just have a different sense of the rhythm of the campaign. I spent my campaign, you know, talking about the issues that people talk to me about, answering questions about what I would do as president. You know, now we are in the sprint to the finish line. 

NORAH O’DONNELL: When you see the two new polls out this morning in Iowa and New Hampshire that suggests that Bernie Sanders is now ahead of you in those two key early states, Madam Secretary, what do you say when you see those numbers? 

CLINTON: I say what I say whenever I see any poll. It doesn't matter whether they have me ahead or not. I just couldn't don't pay that much attention to them. 

ROSE: One of the four questions the president suggested for the country had to do with those who have and those who have not. Vice president Biden said or suggested that you're a newcomer to the issue of income and equality. 

CLINTON: Well, you know, I have the greatest respect for him, but I think anyone who looks at my record, starting when I went to work as a young lawyer for the children's defense fund, working as a legal services lawyer, all the way up to my public service, knows that I have been fighting to even the odds for people all my life. 

ROSE: But more people are in poverty today than they were when the president assumed office. 

CLINTON: Well, Charlie, that was because of the Great Recession. I mean, look at what President Bush inherited from my husband. 23 million new jobs and incomes going up for everyone. More people lifted out of poverty than at any time in our nation's history, recent history. And they dismantled it. You know, they had huge tax cuts and wouldn't pay for the two wars the president waged and took their eyes off the mortgage and financial market. Yes, we fell into a great recession, the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. And it's been a challenge to dig us out of a ditch that the president had nothing to do with digging, and I'm very grateful that the auto industry was saved, that we have now recovered more than 13 million new jobs. But have we solved all of the problems that were caused by going back to trickle down failed economic policies? No, we still have work to do. But I'm confident we are on the right track and our economy is sure stronger than anybody else in the world right now. 

ROSE: That is why political campaigns should be about the future.

CLINTON: That’s right.

ROSE: Secretary Clinton, thank you.

CLINTON: Great to talk to the three of you. 

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the associate editor for the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org site.