Matt Lauer. Charlie Rose. Bill O’Reilly. Mark Halperin. Any one of those guys is just like the others in two important and intertwined ways, suggested Salon’s Amanda Marcotte on Wednesday: each is an alleged sexual harasser who has lost at least one high-profile media gig as a result, and each had a sexist fixation on Hillary Clinton’s “nothing-burger” e-mails.
Lauer “spent a full one-third” of his September 2016 interview with Clinton talking about e-mails, griped Marcotte, and “Rose went after Clinton on emails like a dog after a bone. O'Reilly seemed certain that all these emails would somehow prove Clinton was guilty of something. Halperin could barely wipe the drool off his face, so certain was he that emails would be the end of Clinton. [Glenn] Thrush [of the New York Times] spent years of his career making sure that the public believed that ‘Clinton emails’ was a scandal, despite the fact that all that work produced no actual information of value.”
All of them “seemed convinced that Clinton had a deep, dark secret,” but they were dirty projectors, since they “were likely harboring guilty secrets of their own. Their baseless campaign of persecution led, directly or otherwise, to the election of a man so full of deep, dark secrets that he's under federal investigation and still won't release his tax returns.”
Moreover, Marcotte argued, the media wouldn’t have been nearly as hard on a male politician whose e-mail-related behavior resembled Hillary’s:
It may not be obvious at first glance, but the email non-scandal was fueled by sexism, which was evident even before these sexual harassment accusations. At its heart, the whole story -- which often verged on conspiracy theory -- was rooted in misogynist myths about the inherently deceitful nature of women. This paranoia is why women are usually subject to more chaperoning and control than men. It's why religious conservatives have spent four decades in a rage because the Supreme Court found in Roe v. Wade that women have a right to privacy. In the 19th century, fear about what women might get up to if shielded from prying eyes led to widespread condemnation of letting women use the postal system.
This certainty that Clinton was somehow or other doing something nefarious with her emails was rooted in these ancient fears.