Nets Paint Hillary Scandal as GOP Attack Line, Not Corruption

Appearing on Fox News’s Special Report on Monday, The Weekly Standard’s Steve Hayes blasted the media for trying to dismiss the Clinton Foundation scandal as just another Republican attack line against Hillary Clinton: “What amuses me as I follow other media outlets covering this is they continue to try to cast this as if it’s about Republicans. ‘Republicans are attacking Hillary Clinton on the Foundation e-mails. Republicans say – ’ This isn’t about Republicans, this is about Hillary Clinton having made repeated representations that have turned out to be false.”

Hayes demanded journalists acknowledge the Democratic nominee’s blatant dishonesty: “Clearly she was lying. I mean, people are going to try to dress this up and use all sorts of euphemisms for what she was doing to avoid saying that she was lying. Clearly she was lying there....And we’re seeing evidence that they were false in black and white. I don’t understand why it’s so hard for people to say that.”

The broadcast networks spent Tuesday and Wednesday confirming Hayes’s observation. The morning and evening newscasts on NBC, ABC, and CBS all followed the same script, repeatedly declaring the scandal to simply be the latest “line of attack” from Donald Trump:

On Monday’s Special Report, moments after Hayes hammered the press, radio talk show host Laura Ingraham wondered what happened to investigative journalism:

The question is, talking about the media...Why is it that Judicial Watch is doing all the FOIA requests? I mean, thank God for Judicial Watch. What would we do without Citizens United, Judicial Watch, that are actually doing the work, frankly, that places like 60 Minutes and all these vaunted, you know, investigative units....And isn't that what the media generally are supposed to do? They're supposed to be bringing issues to the attention of the American people that go to the basic issues of trust.

While network reporters relied on Judicial Watch to do their work for them, they made sure to label the group “conservative” whenever it was mentioned in the coverage.

Tell the Truth 2016

Here are excerpts of the August 22 analysis from Hayes and Ingraham:

6:41 PM ET

(...)

STEVE HAYES: Look, think about what Hillary Clinton said about this back in July, “There is absolutely no connection between anything that I did as Secretary of State and the Clinton foundation.” We saw what you just read. Clearly she was lying. I mean, people are going to try to dress this up and use all sorts of euphemisms for what she was doing to avoid saying that she was lying. Clearly she was lying there.

You have now, in addition to the evidence about Bahrain and the preference that they were given in terms of a meeting after going through the Clinton Foundation. You have other e-mails previously disclosed about jobs being offered to Clinton Foundation donors. You have the e-mail about – the e-mails regarding the person given a seat on the Intelligence Advisory Committee because of his involvement, or at least related to his involvement in the Clinton Foundation. There is a clear pattern here, and the pattern here is in black and white.

What amuses me as I follow other media outlets covering this is they continue to try to cast this as if it’s about Republicans. “Republicans are attacking Hillary Clinton on the Foundation e-mails. Republicans say – ” This isn’t about Republicans, this is about Hillary Clinton having made repeated representations that have turned out to be false. And we’re seeing evidence that they were false in black and white. I don’t understand why it’s so hard for people to say that.

(...)

6:45 PM

MARA LIASSON: You know, look, these things get attention, the problem is that they often are overshadowed by other things.

BRET BAIER: No, about the daily Trump story is what overshadows this.

LIASSON: Yes, that’s what overshadows it.

BAIER: But if you think about this day, think about all the things that came out today. What this would do to the average candidate running.

LIASSON: It would be a terrible thing. And she has had one big piece of luck this year in that she has an opponent who has bigger troubles than she does.

HAYES: The good news is that Hillary Clinton can clear this up when she gives her press conference tomorrow.

[LAUGHS]

BAIER: I think 200 and – what is it – some 60-plus days?  

LAURA INGRAHAM: The question is, talking about the media, they're focusing on it. Why is it that Judicial Watch is doing all the FOIA requests? I mean, thank God for Judicial Watch. What would we do without Citizens United, Judicial Watch, that are actually doing the work, frankly, that places like 60 Minutes and all these vaunted, you know, investigative units –

BAIER: Let alone Capitol Hill. Judicial Watch is getting much more than Capitol Hill.

INGRAHAM: Exactly. So, again, they're unearthing all this information. And isn't that what the media generally are supposed to do? They're supposed to be bringing issues to the attention of the American people that go to the basic issues of trust. What’s most important, if we can't trust our public officials then we can't trust that they're going to look out for us as first and foremost. And that is what we’re seeing in this Clinton Foundation scandal.

(...)

Tell the Truth 2016 NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Media Bias Debate Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats ABC CBS NBC Fox News Channel Special Report Weekly Standard Video Steve Hayes Hillary Clinton

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