Accuracy in Media

MSNBC’s Morning Joe panel, liberally tilted as usual, slammed Hillary Clinton Monday for repeatedly trying to justify her use of a private email server by comparing it to former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s occasional use of a private email account.

The segment opened with clips of Clinton mentioning Powell’s use of a private email account, and summed it up in one clip as, “Colin Powell and I are exactly on the same page.”

Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough said that there was no comparison between what Clinton did and what Powell did, and by injecting him into the conversation she is forcing him to answer back—which he did to People magazine—where he accused Clinton of trying to “pin the blame” for her email scandal on him:

“Her people have been trying to pin it on me. The truth is, she was using [the private email server] for a year before I sent her a memo telling her what I did.”

After some further discussion, Scarborough ran down a list of the differences between how Powell used email, as compared to Clinton, during their tenures as secretary of state:

  • He never used a private server
  • At the time he became secretary in 2001, the State Department didn’t have a comparable unclassified system
  • He used personal emails only for unclassified information
  • He used an office desktop for all classified communications

Even liberal columnist Mike Barnicle agreed with Scarborough’s assessment of the differences:

“The biggest distinction, the only distinction, the most important distinction is that … Powell never had his own personal server,” he said. “That is the biggest difference. I mean if you had sent Colin Powell an email on his personal email account when he was secretary of state, you’d get a personal email back, having nothing to do with classification, nothing. But, there was no personal email server.”

Co-host Mika Brzezinski, who plans to vote for Clinton despite her concerns about the email scandal, said that Powell took great care in his handling of his emails compared to Clinton.

Maybe Clinton thought that since Powell voted for Obama twice, he wouldn’t mind being her email scandal scapegoat, but she guessed wrong. Powell showed that he doesn’t want his reputation sullied by a secretary of state who willfully subverted the system for her own personal gain.

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  • William Bayer

    Sorry, but the final sentence of the video (by the guy from the WaPo) is wrong. Hackers don’t always leave evidence behind. This is something that this gentleman should know, since it’s recently been in the news related to the hack of the NSA.
    Unsophisticated hacking tools and methods open the door, collect information, and then run like burglars, leaving all kinds of evidence behind that someone’s been rummaging around.
    SOPHISTICATED hacking tools and methods (such as those used by government spy agencies) open the door, collect information, then carefully close the door behind them when they leave, being sure to wipe away all fingerprints.
    One wouldn’t expect traces of hacking to be found in Hillary’s email server it the hacking was done by government agencies. And the fact that Hillary went to the trouble of wiping the server certainly didn’t do anything to help preserve any evidence of hacking that might have been left behind.
    It was a good piece (at least by MSNBC standards), until the final sentence (as edited here).