Michael Tomasky of the Daily Beast is prone to wild overstatement. For example, after the last elections, he counseled the Democrats to just avoid the "reactionary, prejudice-infested" Southern states after Sen. Mary Landrieu lost: “Practically the whole region has rejected nearly everything that’s good about this country and has become just one big nuclear waste site of choleric, and extremely racialized, resentment....Forget about the whole fetid place. Write it off.”
That same wild overstatement came in this new Daily Beast headline: “The Clintons Still Aren’t Corrupt.” The website pulled out this wisecrack for a text box: “I know the fact that she walks freely among us suggests to many people that she and Bill are so brilliantly devious that they always knew exactly how to get away with it.” He was enraged the press would focus on the new Peter Schweizer book Clinton Cash:
And so we have a lot of credulous hand-waving about this new book. Conservative sharpen their knives, liberals sweat bullets that it’s all over. But very few people stop to think: Clinton has been in our faces for 20-plus years. Where is any evidence of real corruption? I don’t mean stuff you may not have liked or that kinda looked funny. I mean actual, Rhode-Island-style, steal-a-hot-stove corruption.
Don’t say Whitewater. She endured millions of dollars’ worth of investigations by a prosecutor (Ken Starr) who quite obviously wanted to nail her to the wall, and he came up with nothing. I still remember, by the way, the hopped-up political atmosphere after Bill Safire wrote a column calling her a “congenital liar” and predicted that she was going to be indicted any day now. It was not unlike the mood this week, as we anticipate The New York Times and The Washington Post’s reducing themselves into effectively collaborating with Fox News to trumpet Peter Schweizer’s book, Clinton Cash. But Safire was wrong, as he in fact so often was about so many things, and Starr never got her.
Cattle futures, billing records—it’s all the same. Thousands of people, people who hate her and want to see her thrown in jail, have been over and over and over these things. I know the fact that she walks freely among us suggests to many people that she and Bill are so brilliantly devious that they always knew exactly how to get away with it. But just maybe Occam’s Razor applies here, and she’s never done anything illegal.
Tomasky is obediently employing the Clinton tactic of lowering the scandal bar to a lack of indictment equals moral probity. He’s also suggesting that a lack of indictment somehow proves Hillary was never a “congenital liar.” This is the woman who denied they was any evidence of her husband's sex with Monica Lewinsky and shamed the media into covering the real sexual offender: the “vast right-wing conspiracy.”
Now the mere fact that newspapers have agreed to look into the Schweizer book causes Tomasky to lump them in with Fox News in the old VRWC. The tactics never change.
The Clintons want everyone to forget about rulings that suggest they don’t get an A on ethics. President Clinton was not only impeached by the House of Representatives. He was cited with contempt of court by a federal judge for lying under oath in the Paula Jones case and then disbarred in the state of Arkansas. He settled out of court with Paula Jones on sexual harassment for $850,000. (Ask a Catholic bishop if the settlement never imputes guilt.)
All of these facts are razored out of the narrative by partisans like Tomasky.
It might be easy to forget that just five years ago, the Daily Caller exposed Tomasky's JournoList e-mail on the Jeremiah Wright story, pleading to “kill ABC” for talking about Rev. Jeremiah Wright: “Listen folks-- in my opinion, we all have to do what we can to kill ABC and this idiocy in whatever venues we have. This isn’t about defending Obama. This is about how the [mainstream media] kills any chance of discourse that actually serves the people.”