During the past few days, several news outlets -- including the New York Times and CNN -- reported that during Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, the Democratic candidate “overruled” a sexual misconduct charge made by one of her senior advisers. Most national media outlets skipped over that Clinton-embarrassing scoop.
The topic first saw light in an article in last Friday’s edition of the New York Times entitled “Hillary Clinton Chose to Shield a Top Adviser Accused of Harassment in 2008,” in which reporters Maggie Haberman and Amy Chozick accused the Democratic candidate of protecting a staff member who was charged with “repeatedly sexually harassing a young subordinate” and was “kept on the campaign at [her] request.”
During the original conflict, campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle had “approached Mrs. Clinton and urged that Mr. [Burns] Strider, who was married at the time, be fired,” but Hillary Clinton said she "did not want to" do that. Instead, he “was docked several weeks of pay and ordered to undergo counseling, and the young woman was moved to a new job.”
Clinton’s faith adviser at the time, Strider was “a founder of the American Values Network and sent the candidate Scripture readings every morning for months during the campaign.”
Haberman and Chozick also noted:
Those familiar with the accounts said that, over the years, a number of advisers urged Mrs. Clinton to sever ties with Strider.
The complaint against Strider was made by a 30-year-old woman who shared an office with him.
The woman involved “was requested to have no more interactions with Strider, and she was moved to a different job within the campaign.”
“Doyle was fired shortly after that in a staff shake-up in response to Clinton’s third-place finish in the 2008 Iowa caucuses,” the reporters noted, and “Strider never attended the mandated counseling.”
Most national outlets weren't very interested in the Strider story, let along the angle that she overruled her campaign manager. NPR offered nothing in its Nexis transcripts. USA Today and the Los Angeles Times printed nothing.
Other went brief. The Saturday edition of ABC's World News Tonight gave it 37 seconds, and Monday's Good Morning America gave it one minute and 12 seconds. CBS offered briefs on Friday night and Saturday morning. The PBS Newshour offered 35 words on Friday. MSNBC's primetime shows only had 74 words from Chris Hayes on Friday's All In. None of those talked about Solis Doyle's advice. NBC was the only broadcast network to mention that detail. The Washington Post blogged Strider, but never put the story in its news pages.
On Monday morning, Solis Doyle spoke to CNN’s Brianna Keilar and explained how “the incident was brought to my attention” and that she “thoroughly looked into the matter.”
The former Clinton adviser said she concluded there was a clear case of sexual harassment here, and she recommended that Clinton fire him," but she was “overruled.”
Keilar asked: “She overruled you personally?” Solis Doyle responded: “I was overruled, yes.’
“It wasn't an easy call," the guest continued. "Firing a high-profile person on the campaign would have certainly made news and caused a distraction."
Solis Doyle then explained:
The incident was brought to my attention, and um, you know, I did my due diligence.
I interviewed all the parties involved. I looked at the evidence. I looked at some emails that he had sent. I had looked at other documents and came to the conclusion that there was sexual harassment involved, that the young woman was very credible.
Only CNN and Fox News talked about this on Monday.