CNN's Toobin: I 'Regret' Covering 'Big Nothing' Clinton Emails; 'Very Likely' Cost Her Election

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CNN journalists are still expressing remorse over how they covered the 2016 election, particularly as it relates to Clinton scandals. Despite giving an overwhelming amount of negative coverage to Trump, CNN’s chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin complained Monday on New Day, that they shouldn’t have given any attention to the Clinton private email server, calling it a “big nothing” that cost Clinton the election.

The panel was rehashing 2016 because the State Department released a report last Friday claiming that there was no ”deliberate” effort by the former Secretary of State to break the law. Somehow that absolved Clinton of any wrongdoing, (to the CNN panel anyway.) New Day co-host Alisyn Camerota complained, “And so after all of the drama obviously throughout 2016 on a Friday, they come out and sort of discreetly and quietly announce that conclusion.”

CNN’s Abby Phillip griped that Clinton didn’t deserve the scrutiny: “Clearly the amount of hysteria around this subject was not warranted,” she claimed. Bringing up Clinton still being a fixture at Trump rallies, Phillip warned her fellow journalists to not give credence to “false controversies” Trump brings up about his political opponents:

“We have to be careful about how some of these false controversies get blown up for political purposes which is exactly what happened with the email,” she advised, clearly warning about Joe Biden and Ukraine. 

That’s when Toobin expressed remorse over for writing and talking about the Clinton email server to begin with, complaining it probably cost her the election (which is itself, a Clinton talking point!):

This is also a story about the new media, about how much time we spend on that and that's something that I have felt a great deal of personal responsibility for... I think I paid too much attention to them and I regret that and I think -- I hope a lesson is learned.

Toobin added that this story turned out to be “a big nothing” and “very likely” cost Clinton the election.

“I think I should have been talking about other issues not about the emails,” Toobin admitted.

Afterwards, CNN contributor and former press secretary for Bill Clinton, Joe Lockhart, snarked, "I think it is a media story and I'm sorry to have said that because I was going to attack him personally,”.

Toobin pitifully offered to be the whipping boy: “Feel free! It's okay.”

The panel went on to let the former Clinton press secretary continue trying to clear up the Hillary Clinton scandal, alleging that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were guilty of doing the same thing, (an apples to oranges comparison.)

CNN just can’t stop crying mea culpa for how they covered the Clinton private email server.

Last November, Toobin called the subject a “bogus story” that was “maddening” to him because the media “spent too much time on it.” Camerota gushed the media “felt some culpability” adding that was probably “cold comfort” for Hillary Clinton.

But is that even true? According to our research, the networks only spent ⅙ of their covering of Hillary Clinton, on the emails. Not to mention, the overwhelming positive coverage Clinton got from the media. In fact on a New Day program in 2015, the two co-hosts openly wished the story would go away:

There’s “nothing in here that reeks of illegality,” Berman ruled...“If there’s no smoking gun, when does the email issue go away?” his co-host Alisyn Camerota echoed.

 

New Day

10/21/19

8:09:45am-8:12:16am EST

ALISYN CAMEROTA: Let's talk about a new topic, Hillary Clinton's emails. And I'm not kidding. This is back because the State Department just concluded their widespread and comprehensive I think investigation into what happened with Hillary Clinton's e-mails and they concluded, I'm just paraphrasing, so correct me if i’m wrong, something to the effect of they were mishandled, they were inappropriately handled in terms of the classification system, but it wasn't intentional. And so after all of the drama obviously throughout 2016 on a Friday, they come out and sort of discreetly and quietly announce that conclusion.

ABBY PHILLIP: Yeah. And it's been interesting to see how this very same fact pattern you described is being interpreted dramatically differently on the right where many Republicans are saying, we the mishandled the emails. Clearly the amount of hysteria around this subject was not warranted. But even to this day, President Trump is still talking about Hillary Clinton's emails and the missing emails and whether or not there's a server and Ukraine and so on and so forth. So it's unlikely that the issue is going to die, but it just -- we have to be careful about how some of these false controversies get blown up for political purposes which is exactly what happened with the email.

JEFFREY TOOBIN: This is also a story about the new media, about how much time we spend on that and that's something that I have felt a great deal of personal responsibility for because I talked about the emails here at CNN, I wrote about it in The New Yoker and I think I paid too much attention to them and I regret that and I think -- I hope a lesson is learned. I mean this story turns out to be you paraphrase, I'm paraphrasing too, a big nothing, and we spent months on it, Hillary Clinton very likely lost the election because of it, and I think I should have been talking about other issues not about the emails.

LOCKHART: I think it is a media story and I'm sorry to have said that because I was going to attack him personally for it.

[laughter]

TOOBIN: Feel free. It's okay.

LOCKHART: I do think it is a moment for the media to see whether anything is learned, but the second thing is, we have what Hillary was accused of going on in real time with Jared Kushner and Ivanka's emails, with the president using an unsecured phone line to have classified conversations. This is happening now and no one seems to care.

 

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Liberals & Democrats Political Scandals CNN New Day Joe Lockhart Jeffrey Toobin Alisyn Camerota Abby Phillip Hillary Clinton
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