The co-hosts at CBS This Morning on Thursday interviewed a New York Times correspondent on the Wikileaks document release, yet somehow avoided mentioning that this same journalist offered to let the Clinton campaign have “veto” power over what he published. In a Wiki-released e-mail, the Times’s Mark Leibovich said this to Clinton aide Jennifer Palmieri on questions to the candidate: “i wanted the option to use all -- and you could veto what you didn't want. That's why i selected the 5 or 6 I sent to you.” [Punctuation from original e-mail.]
Yet, this major topic didn’t come up on Thursday. Instead, co-host Gayle King said of a recent Leibovich profile of Clinton: “Your article points out that she is sort of tired of selfies as many famous people are. Do you think she is just over it?” Not exactly the most important topic.
It’s not as though the subject of Wikileaks didn’t come up in the segment:
GAYLE KING: Wikileaks is promising more releases up until Election Day. But what you've heard so far, is there anything that has been very damaging to her? It's not getting a lot of attention, but has there been anything you think, "Okay, this is trouble?"
An image from the actual e-mail:
If Wikileaks is "not getting a lot of attention,” perhaps it has something to do with Democrats colluding with Clinton and giving her “veto” power.
In another section, Palmieri explains what she will allow the journalist to use and what she won't:
From last two questions, fine to use everything from the paragraph starting "and to get serious for just a minute..." till the end of the interview as on the record - with the exception of this passage which I ask you leave out: "and gay rights has moved much faster than women's rights or civil rights, which is an interesting phenomenon somebody in the future will unpack." Let me know if that is not clear. Working from an iPhone on the plane so am not able to access the transcript to cut and paste.
She closed by telling the journalist, “Pleasure doing business!”
A transcript is below:
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7:10:01 to 7:13:41
3 minutes and 40 seconds
CHARLIE ROSE: Mark Leibovich is chief national correspondent for the New York Times magazine and a CBS News political contributor. He interviewed Hillary Clinton for this Sunday's magazine. He says the campaign is taking a risk by being cautious. Good morning.
MARK LEIBOVICH: Hi, Charlie. Good to be with you.
ROSE: Before we get to Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump. What are the implications of all this?
LEIBOVICH: Well, it's a drumbeat, a sort of competing drumbeats. You had Wikileaks, you know, going that the Trump campaign seems to be drumming up pretty seriously and then you have this, which seems to be this drip, drip, drip, drip. It's a problem, obviously, for the Trump campaign and he seems to be in a very, you know, “take them all on” fix.
ROSE: Drill down?
LEIBOVICH: Drill down. Yeah, absolutely. And we will see where it goes.
ROSE: And what do we see in terms from the e-mails of Hillary Clinton's cautiousness and is that a surprise?
LEIBOVICH: Not a surprise at all. But what I think is fascinating by the e-mails, you really see the sort of political maneuvering, the calculation and kind of over-scriptedness, frankly, that we see in the candidate. So, I think what is so effective about seeing these e-mails if you're Donald Trump and using them is that it underscores that Hillary Clinton is a politician. You know, “We don't need more politicians. She has been part of the problem, I'm not a politician. Therefore, look at this. This is someone who says one thing in private and does another thing in public.”
GAYLE KING: Your article points out that she is sort of tired of selfies as many famous people are. Do you think she is just over it?
LEIBOVICH: Well, what is interesting in our discussion, she actually pointed to the phenomenon of selfies as, sort of, a larger sociological issue. She used to talk about how these seven, eight second conversations she would have on rope lines are voters was very important. She could get people's stories. She could have an exchange. Everything now in public is geared towards getting a selfie and she thought that was —
KING: No connection?
LEIBOVICH: No connection.
KING: No connection whatsoever.
LEIBOVICH: It’s just image. No connection.
NORAH O’DONNELL: You write in the piece in a sense that her daring voters to study her positions, to listen to her answers and not look to her for entertainment or emotional support is risky.
LEIBOVICH: It's risky in this day and age which is so stimuli-based, which is so emotional. And Donald Trump, you know, has propelled himself in a big way just by dominating the oxygen of this election. At the same time, sort of cut the glare against Hillary Clinton in a way she is probably somewhat comfortable with. Yeah. There’s a risk to be boring in this day and age. There’s a risk to be familiar and predictable and calculated as we see the Wikileaks e-mails and I think that is itself a risk.
ROSE: And that is what her husband is so good at?
LEIBOVICH: Her husband?
ROSE: So good at the emotional aspect.
LEIBOVICH: He was, absolutely. Now, he’s obviously, he is not the candidate and he is part of the campaign, but peripherally. But, yes. No. Her husband was just a great retail politician and had a great emotional connection and great story teller.
KING: Wikileaks is promising more releases up until Election Day. But what you’ve heard so far, is there anything that has been very damaging to her? It’s not getting a lot of attention, but has there been anything you think, “Okay, this is trouble?”
LEIBOVICH: I think the cumulative effect. I think the drumbeat of it is, in fact, damaging. I think the public/private thing reinforces the worst images people have of her. I think as long as that continues in these e-mails bolster that is problematic for her.
ROSE: Do we know about how Wikileaks is planning to release these things? What kind of plan they have and what they have?
LEIBOVICH: Unclear. I think if you looked at the precedent of the last few days, it looks like there will be a slow, steady, almost daily batch that is dropped into the media’s — onto the internet and people can digest it day-to-day and sounds like the Trump campaign is very, very happy to use it and Mr. Trump is very, very happy to emphasize it.
KING: And Trump campaign says they are coming after the New York Times. Y'all worried over there?
LEIBOVICH: Um, you know, I haven't been over there yet this morning. I just drafted the letter last night. You can talk to my colleagues who are going to be here later. But, yeah, look, this isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last.
ROSE: Thanks, Mark.