Accuracy in Media

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MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell admitted on Monday that the media have underestimated the impact of the Hillary Clinton email scandal. She said that none of the intelligence officials she spoke with at a recent security conference could explain why Clinton would use a  private email server unless it was to thwart inquiries.

Mitchell was responding to a question from Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski about Clinton’s email issues:

Brzezinski:  Is it possible, Andrea, that the media analysts and others have underestimated the impact of this e-mail situation on Hillary Clinton’s campaign?

Mitchell:  I think so. Look, you have two inspectors general, and they are referring this to the Justice Department… What they are suggesting is that there were classified—four out of the forty randomly selected emails had classified information and it was not information that was later ungraded to be classified, it was information that was classified as “secret”…

This gets very confusing, and it can be confused further by statements on all sides. That said, the original sin, if you will, is having a private email system.

I was at a security conference speaking to intelligence officials on all sides and the attorney general, we’ll talk about that later. But nobody can give an explanation for why a cabinet secretary would have a private email system other than to thwart inquiries, FOIAs [Freedom of Information Act requests] and someone who spent 20 years fighting off many investigations, many of which were unwarranted and led nowhere and so you understand the defensive crouch that a lot of Clinton people were in. But it still doesn’t explain why going from the Senate to a cabinet-level position that there was a private email system.

The New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan has called the paper’s reporting “messy,” but said that doesn’t mean the story should be ignored:

None of this should be used to deny the importance of The Times’s reporting on the subject of Mrs. Clinton’s email practices at the State Department, a story Mr. Schmidt broke in March. Although her partisans want the focus shifted to these errors, the fact remains that her secret email system hamstrung possible inquiries into her conduct while secretary of state both by the news media and the public under the Freedom of Information Act and by Congress. And her awarding to herself the first cull of those emails will make suspicion about what they contained a permanent part of the current campaign.

Yes Hillary, even the liberal media want answers.





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