Accuracy in Media

media matters

Left-wing media watchdog group, Media Matters, criticized The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza this week for being “obsessed” with Hillary Clinton’s wealth.

According to Media Matters. Cillizza, who writes the popular “The Fix” column, has written about Clinton’s wealth at least 13 times in the last two months. They say that it is part of a larger pattern at the Post to portray Clinton as struggling to explain her family’s wealth:

In the past two months, Washington Post political reporter Chris Cillizza has used his platform at The Fix to obsess over the question of whether Hillary Clinton has sufficiently explained her family’s wealth, dismissing Clinton’s comments on income inequality while offering conflicting advice on how she should answer the question in a way that satisfies Chris Cillizza and The Washington Post.

While I’m one of the last people on earth who is likely to come to the defense of someone at the Post, in this case I think Cillizza has done a creditable job of looking into this issue, which most of the mainstream media have ignored.

This wasn’t a case of some right-wing attack either. Hillary opened the door in her interview with Diane Sawyer when she said that they were “dead broke” when they left the White House, and struggled to pay the mortgage on their houses and for Chelsea’s education. That stumble, which she later called “inartful,” was followed up shortly thereafter with a comment that she and Bill weren’t “truly rich,” even though they had earned well over $160 million since leaving the White House, mostly from speaking fees.

If that wasn’t enough, she then tried to defuse the controversy about her large college speaking fees by saying that she donates most of the money to charity. The only problem with that is that her favorite charity is the family foundation.

There is nothing wrong with being wealthy. The Clintons have taken advantage of what has been given to them, and prospered. But so have many Republican presidential candidates, in recent years, who were skewered in the media for their wealth. Why shouldn’t Hillary be subject to the same level of scrutiny?

What seems to bother Media Matters most is that Cillizza’s reporting has helped expose Hillary’s flaws, and could possibly prove damaging to her widely expected run for president in 2016.

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  • bob570

    I understand the Post, they’ve bought into the Myth about Democrats representing the poor. But then where did the Clintons, and Obama, get their Billion dollar campaign war chests?

  • Steven Barrett

    “Inartful,”? There was nothing “inartful” about Mrs. Clinton’s explanation about their post White House months. She was simply hoping the more analytically minded trolls in the world of Beltway wonkery and the major press outlets would’ve let that gem slide by, after all, doesn’t everybody remember how much debt they were in to the legal profession? (Notice she didn’t elaborate on that reason they were in debt. But she would’ve have a handy excuse, “the vast right wing conspiracy” machine, etc.) Of course, all that legal representation they needed to pay for had nothing to do with keeping both of their fannies out of the pokey. Ah, yes, that was all past history, right? They were “exonerated” by the Senate; right? “Exoneration” came in the form of Senator Trent Lott saying he wanted no more part of the Clinton messes and for the trial to end with a whimper. I won’t repeat his real un-senatorial phrase. It’s Sunday a.m., after all.

    Her “inartful” remark only proves how further distant she’s become from the folks she wants to legally convert into subjects. Being a sharp lawyer, she’ll make sure she’s President first before signing an executive order to make sure that happens. The former Senator from NY who became the first FLOTUS to win an election to the Senate while her husband was still in the Oval Office must’ve really thought we’d be so dumb as to overlook her guaranteed six-year … six-figure salary, not to mention whatever her husband, then rising higher in the post-term polls, was bound to command in book signing and royalties respectively. Oh, and how could I have forgotten her pre-publication fiscal rewards. My my, now I’m discovering the early stages of political senility creeping into my once more nimble n’ younger mind. I forgot all about Mr. Clinton’s Federal and Arkansas pensions. Y’know, just figuring up what it took then to keep up with the Clinton’s then, could tax any mind in its early 60s. There’s been so much of it all that the bulk of this soap-opera-ish infatuation the establishment liberal media has saturated our news with since they “left” the White House in 2000, that one day when asked about other “power couples” of historical fame, there’s been so much Clintonism to absorb that it simply pushed Justinian and Theodora, Ferdinand and Isabella and Nicholas and Alexandra right out of my mind. ‘Tis a shame, for they were all more accomplished and/or interesting to begin with. At least they never tried to seem even apologetic about their [real] capacities to obtain great wealth; even if they needed to in a pinch. Compared to the Romanovs, (or the Bourbons attempting to flee France) the Clintons were hardly feeling a flea bite, much less a pinch.

    That won’t be the case as they attempt to take back the White House as if it were their’s by some form of right. Even the Bush’s weren’t so arrogant; and certainly not even the Adamses, who in a smaller country and closer-knit governing elite (“founding fathers” and post-founders) were all too happy to find other pursuits upon leaving office.

    Folks, if you think this media created firestorm over what Mrs. Clinton meant or should have meant to say, or wish she had been more “artful” in what she meant to say . . . wait’ll you see what the entire family, Bubba, Madam Secretary and Chelsea have to say about how much money they’re raking in nowadays, where it’s coming from and where it’s going to. To say “past is prelude” when it comes to the Clinton Family Saga does a great disservice to Yogi Berra. It’ll be a lot more than just dejavu all over again. That’s all it’ll be from now until Mrs. Clinton has to watch Bernie Sanders become the Democratic Nominee. But will she dare rip into him along the way for being a “carpetbagger” former independent “socialist” up from New York City?

    For any other candidate, I’d say “fuggetaboutit.” It’s hard as hell to label a guy “carpetbagger” when he lived in the state he’s representing on Capitol Hill for at least a decade if not more beforehand, be it as a “socialist,” Democrat or Republican. His chances nowadays notwithstanding, nobody can say Bernie Sanders let his state, ideology or partisan capital letter come before his duty to serve the entire country. As a [conservative] Democrat, I wish the hell I could say that about more of the leadership in my party today.