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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