Ahh, Emailgate AKA eGhazi...I was starting to think that fiasco was all just a strange late-winter dream. After all, dreams may seem real at the time but fade quickly with open eyes in the bright morning sunlight. (As a side note, sunlight is not literally the best disinfectant, though that's still an excellent metaphor.)
But I digress.
Last night, the New York Times, and specifically our old friend Michael S. Schmidt, once again blew it with another faulty, innuendo-filled smear job on the Clinton emails.
And you've got to hand it to Politico...they were totally on this before the sun even came up this morning:
The New York Times made small but significant changes to an exclusive report about a potential criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton's State Department email account late Thursday night, but provided no notification of or explanation for of the changes.
The paper initially reported that two inspectors general have asked the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation "into whether Hillary Rodham Clinton mishandled sensitive government information on a private email account she used as secretary of state."
That clause, which cast Clinton as the target of the potential criminal probe, was later changed: the inspectors general now were asking for an inquiry "into whether sensitive government information was mishandled in connection with the personal email account Hillary Rodham Clinton used as secretary of state."
The Times also changed the headline of the story, from "Criminal Inquiry Sought in Hillary Clinton’s Use of Email" to "Criminal Inquiry Is Sought in Clinton Email Account," reflecting a similar recasting of Clinton's possible role. The article's URL was also changed to reflect the new headline.
As of early Friday morning, the Times article contained no update, notification, clarification or correction regarding the changes made to the article.This is some truly awful journalism from the New York Times. Perhaps Schmidt was hoping for a reaction similar to one that his first piece on Emailgate received, but this was not to be for a couple of reasons.
Most importantly, there is now an expert campaign response team that pushed back on this immediately and forced the Times to make changes to the piece a mere hour or so after it first appeared. No such instant coordinated campaign response occurred in early March because there was no campaign yet, and it was basically up to Media Matters for America, Lanny Davis and a few blogs to clean up the mess.
But now we see quick, calm responses like this from a Clinton spokesman:
Another difference between now and March is that the New York Times' incompetent scandalmongering was exposed four months ago and no one is surprised that it hasn't stopped. For instance, the front page writers at Daily Kos had very little to say about Emailgate when it first appeared, but their vigilance in pieces from last night and this morning on the latest Times flop has been gratifying to see.The following is a statement regarding the NYT story that posted overnight: pic.twitter.com/kzXwQYpxaB— Nick Merrill (@NickMerrill) July 24, 2015
In March, my series on Emailgate was crossposted at Daily Kos and several of the posts were shared widely on social media. I have no idea what kind of effect they actually had, but I am certainly happy to have been a part of the pushback against this phony "scandal".
And rest assured that when the next one comes along...I'll be there.
On that note, for your repeated amusement or in case you missed them the first time, here is the complete Hillary HQ Emailgate series from March. Let us never forget how bad it was...and that we have to fight back on this stuff right up to the day that Hillary Rodham Clinton is elected President of the United States.
- The New York Times Blows It With Misleading Hit Job on Clinton Emails
- NYT Follows Up: Blockbuster Clinton Email Story Isn't Really Much of Anything
- New York Times Reporter Admits on Twitter: It's About Benghazi
- NYT Public Editor: Clinton Email Story Wasn't Up to Scratch
- Busted: NYT Parsed Language in Clinton Email Story to Falsely Insinuate Violation of the Law
- New York Times Once Again Raises Concerns About Misleading Journalism
- Hahaha: NYT Busts Jeb Bush For Violating Florida Email Law
- Emailgate: It's Dead, Jim
- The New York Times Obsession With Email is Getting Sad