Washington Post political reporter Chris Cillizza has staunchly denied that the media have a bias in favor of Hillary Clinton. He might suggest his latest article proves his point. It’s headlined “Hillary Clinton’s email story continues to get harder and harder to believe.”
On Monday night, the Associated Press published a piece noting the release of an additional 165 pages of emails Hillary Clinton sent from her private email address while serving as Secretary of State, via the conservative legal eagles at Judicial Watch. They reveal Hillary carefully plotted her private server not for “convenience,” but to avoid transparency.
But Cillizza still has a problem with denying media bias: Who on television noticed this latest AP story and latest batch of emails? Not even Fox appears to have dug into this (at least in prime time). Let’s see what the pundits, anchors, and correspondents haven’t noticed yet:
The latest batch of emails suggest that Clinton's filter to decide between the personal and the professional was far from foolproof. That these emails never saw the light of day before Monday — or before a conservative legal advocacy group petitioned for their release — opens up the possibility that there are plenty more like them that Clinton chose to delete but shouldn't have. And it provides more fodder for the Republican argument that Clinton appointing herself as judge, jury and executioner for her emails was, at best, a very, very bad decision and, at worst, something more nefarious than just bad judgment.
Then there's this quote from a newly released March 2009 email between Clinton and her top aide Huma Abedin about the email setup: "I have just realized I have no idea how my papers are treated at State. Who manages both my personal and official files? ... I think we need to get on this asap to be sure we know and design the system we want."
Remember that Clinton said that her main/only reason for using a private email server while at State was "convenience." She didn't want to carry around multiple devices for email, she explained.
But this email to Abedin — which came at the start of her four-year term in office — suggests a bit more active agency than Clinton has previously let on. "I think we need to get on this asap to be sure we know and design the system we want," doesn't strike me as Clinton simply wanting convenience and following the instructions of her IT people on how to make that happen. It reads to me as though Clinton is both far more aware of the email setup and far more engaged in how it should look than she generally lets on publicly.
There's nothing in these emails that changes the basic political dynamic of the email controversy as Clinton seeks to win the White House this fall. Everything still depends on whether the Justice Department decides to indict Clinton or those close to her for purposely keeping information that the public had a right to know away from them. We've been waiting on the results of that FBI investigation for months now and, in truth, no one really knows when they will finally come.
But revelations like Monday's — a chunk of previously undisclosed emails that are clearly professional in nature — lend further doubt to the story Clinton had told about why she set up a private server and how she handled it after leaving office. For a candidate already struggling to convince voters she is honest and trustworthy enough to be president, stories like this one are deeply problematic.