Accuracy in Media

Left-wing journalist Glenn Greenwald—who is no fan of Donald Trump—came down hard on liberal pundits who he believes are trying to delegitimize negative coverage of Hillary Clinton, in a lengthy piece for The Intercept.

What got Greenwald riled up was a recent column by New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, who  criticized the media for their coverage of Hillary Clinton and said that neither Clinton nor her husband Bill did anything improper.

Krugman said that Trump was being graded on a curve while the coverage of the Clinton Foundation was bizarre:

“Consider the big Associated Press report suggesting that Mrs. Clinton’s meetings with foundation donors while secretary of state indicate ‘her possible ethics challenges if elected president.’ Given the tone of the report, you might have expected to read about meetings with, say, brutal foreign dictators or corporate fat cats facing indictment, followed by questionable actions on their behalf.

But the prime example The A.P. actually offered was of Mrs. Clinton meeting with Muhammad Yunus, a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize who also happens to be a longtime personal friend. If that was the best the investigation could come up with, there was nothing there.”

What Krugman didn’t say was that 85 of the 154 visitors from the portion of the records released by the State Department were Clinton Foundation donors who gave at least $156 million to the foundation, raising the specter of pay-for-play during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.

Greenwald criticized Krugman and other liberal pundits for their blind loyalty to Clinton, and for being so dismissive of any negative coverage of the Democratic nominee:

“[A]ggressive investigative journalism against Trump is not enough for Democratic partisans whose voice is dominant in U.S. media discourse. They also want a cessation of any news coverage that reflects negatively on Hillary Clinton. Most, of course, won’t say this explicitly (though some do), but — as the wildly adored Krugman column from yesterday reflects — they will just reflexively dismiss any such coverage as illegitimate and invalid.

The absolute last metric journalists should use for determining what to cover is the reaction of pundits who, like Krugman and plenty of others, are singularly devoted to the election of one of the candidates. Of course Hillary Clinton’s die-hard loyalists in the media will dislike, and find invalid, any suggestion that she engaged in any sort of questionable conduct. Their self-assigned role is to defend her from all criticisms. They view themselves more as campaign operatives than journalists: Their principal, overriding goal is to ensure that Clinton wins the election. They will obviously hate anything — particularly negative reporting about her — that conflicts with that goal. They will jettison even their core stated beliefs — such as the view that big-money donations corrupt politicians — in order to fulfill that goal.

But it would be journalistic malpractice of the highest order if the billions of dollars received by the Clintons — both personally and though their various entities — were not rigorously scrutinized and exposed in detail by reporters. That’s exactly what they ought to be doing. The fact that quid pro quos cannot be definitively proven does not remotely negate the urgency of this journalism….Beyond quid quo pros, the Clintons’ constant, pioneering merger of massive private wealth and political power and influence is itself highly problematic. Nobody forced them to take millions of dollars from the Saudis and Goldman Sachs tycoons and corporations with vested interests in the State Department; having chosen to do so with great personal benefit, they are now confronting the consequences in how the public views such behavior.”

This article was published before the media went ballistic over fellow liberal Matt Lauer’s grilling of Clinton about her emails on Wednesday night, which only bolsters Greenwald’s argument on just how far they are willing to go to delegitimize anything that portrays Hillary in a negative light.

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