Accuracy in Media

Former Democratic presidential candidate and Hillary Clinton supporter Howard Dean said on Wednesday that the press is not “legitimate,” and therefore their questions aren’t either.

Dean appeared on MSNBC Live with Chris Jansing to defend Clinton for not having held a press conference since December 5, 2015—a period of 263 days.

Jansing asked Dean what he thought of the Clinton strategy:

Dean: I think she’s doing just the right thing. She has no reason to trust the press corps, and the so-called email scandal is one of the reasons. Look what AP did today. They completely screwed up their story. They had 100 appointments, or 85 or whatever it was that she made, out of 1,800 appointments and tried to make a big deal out of it. That is what the press is going to do. Having a press conference, in my view, is not the solution to this. You just get more of the same.

Jansing: Answering legitimate questions from legitimate press is more of the same?

Dean: The trouble is the questions aren’t legitimate, and the press isn’t legitimate.

Look at what AP did today. It was a disaster. They were called out by Vox, which is another [left-wing] press organ. So, I mean, that’s the problem. The press is gotten to be where it’s all about the lowest common denominator. Donald Trump wouldn’t be the nominee of the Republican Party if the press corps actually did their job. But they focus on sensationalism, they don’t treat people in an even-handed way, and that is why, in my view, Hillary Clinton should not do press conferences. Perfectly fine to talk to reporters, and she has talked to reporters a lot and she will some more. But the press conference becomes a feeding frenzy, it becomes a one-upmanship and who can get the best story.

The Clinton campaign has fought back heavily against the AP story, saying that their analysis only covered a small portion of her meetings—while conveniently neglecting to mention that the story said that 85 of the 154 people from private interests who met or had private phone conversations scheduled with then-Secretary of State Clinton during her first two years in office had donated $156 million to the Clinton Foundation.

The AP defended its analysis on Wednesday evening:

 AP has sought for years a complete set of Clinton’s detailed schedules covering her time in office, which she could have voluntarily released but did not. The AP sued the State Department in federal court to obtain the schedules it has received so far.

In other words, they would gladly review more of Clinton’s meetings if the State Department would supply the requested schedules.

Dean knows that the reason for Clinton not holding a press conference for nearly nine months has nothing to do with the press corps’ legitimacy. It is that Hillary is incapable of answering tough questions in an uncontrolled situation, and it would seriously damage her chances of winning the election if she tried.

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