The Press Buries Hillary Clinton’s Sins: Kimberley A. Strassel, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 16, 2016 — If average voters turned on the TV for five minutes this week, chances are they know that Donald Trump made lewd remarks a decade ago and now stands accused of groping women.
The New York Times Abandoned its Integrity Just to Bash Donald Trump: Michael Goodwin, New York Post, Oct. 11, 2016 — There is apparently nothing wrong with America that can’t be blamed on Donald Trump.
The New York Times’ Obsession With Settlements Means It Misses Other News: Ira Stoll, Algemeiner, Oct. 6, 2016 — One of the ways the New York Times shows its bias against Israel is with decisions on the placement of stories.
Is Obama Preparing a Parting Shot at Israel?: Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, Oct. 27, 2016— Last week, the U.N.’s premier cultural agency, UNESCO, approved a resolution viciously condemning Israel (referred to as “the Occupying Power”) for various alleged trespasses and violations of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Why Readers See The Times as Liberal: Liz Spayd, New York Times, July 23, 2016
The Ongoing NYT Propaganda Campaign: Prof. Phyllis Chesler, Arutz Sheva, Sept. 22, 2016
The Real Reason Reporters Don’t Give to Pols: It Would Give Away Their Agenda: Jonah Goldberg, New York Post, October 21, 2016
Checkmating Obama: Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 27, 2016
Kimberley A. Strassel
Wall Street Journal, Oct. 16, 2016
If average voters turned on the TV for five minutes this week, chances are they know that Donald Trump made lewd remarks a decade ago and now stands accused of groping women. But even if average voters had the TV on 24/7, they still probably haven’t heard the news about Hillary Clinton: That the nation now has proof of pretty much everything she has been accused of.
It comes from hacked emails dumped by WikiLeaks, documents released under the Freedom of Information Act, and accounts from FBI insiders. The media has almost uniformly ignored the flurry of bombshells, preferring to devote its front pages to the Trump story. So let’s review what amounts to a devastating case against a Clinton presidency.
Start with a June 2015 email to Clinton staffers from Erika Rottenberg, the former general counsel of LinkedIn. Ms. Rottenberg wrote that none of the attorneys in her circle of friends “can understand how it was viewed as ok/secure/appropriate to use a private server for secure documents AND why further Hillary took it upon herself to review them and delete documents.” She added: “It smacks of acting above the law and it smacks of the type of thing I’ve either gotten discovery sanctions for, fired people for, etc.”…
A few months later, in a September 2015 email, a Clinton confidante fretted that Mrs. Clinton was too bullheaded to acknowledge she’d done wrong. “Everyone wants her to apologize,” wrote Neera Tanden, president of the liberal Center for American Progress. “And she should. Apologies are like her Achilles’ heel.” Clinton staffers debated how to evade a congressional subpoena of Mrs. Clinton’s emails—three weeks before a technician deleted them. The campaign later employed a focus group to see if it could fool Americans into thinking the email scandal was part of the Benghazi investigation (they are separate) and lay it all off as a Republican plot. A senior FBI official involved with the Clinton investigation told Fox News this week that the “vast majority” of career agents and prosecutors working the case “felt she should be prosecuted” and that giving her a pass was “a top-down decision.”
The Obama administration—the federal government, supported by tax dollars—was working as an extension of the Clinton campaign. The State Department coordinated with her staff in responding to the email scandal, and the Justice Department kept her team informed about developments in the court case. Worse, Mrs. Clinton’s State Department, as documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show, took special care of donors to the Clinton Foundation. In a series of 2010 emails, a senior aide to Mrs. Clinton asked a foundation official to let her know which groups offering assistance with the Haitian earthquake relief were “FOB” (Friends of Bill) or “WJC VIPs” (William Jefferson Clinton VIPs). Those who made the cut appear to have been teed up for contracts. Those who weren’t? Routed to a standard government website.
The leaks show that the foundation was indeed the nexus of influence and money. The head of the Clinton Health Access Initiative, Ira Magaziner, suggested in a 2011 email that Bill Clinton call Sheikh Mohammed of Saudi Arabia to thank him for offering the use of a plane. In response, a top Clinton Foundation official wrote: “Unless Sheikh Mo has sent us a $6 million check, this sounds crazy to do.”
The entire progressive apparatus—the Clinton campaign and boosters at the Center for American Progress—appears to view voters as stupid and tiresome, segregated into groups that must either be cajoled into support or demeaned into silence. We read that Republicans are attracted to Catholicism’s “severely backwards gender relations” and only join the faith to “sound sophisticated”; that Democratic leaders such as Bill Richardson are “needy Latinos”; that Bernie Sanders supporters are “self-righteous”; that the only people who watch Miss America “are from the confederacy”; and that New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is “a terrorist.”
The leaks also show that the press is in Mrs. Clinton’s pocket. Donna Brazile, a former Clinton staffer and a TV pundit, sent the exact wording of a coming CNN town hall question to the campaign in advance of the event. Other media allowed the Clinton camp to veto which quotes they used from interviews, worked to maximize her press events and offered campaign advice.
Mrs. Clinton has been exposed to have no core, to be someone who constantly changes her position to maximize political gain. Leaked speeches prove that she has two positions (public and private) on banks; two positions on the wealthy; two positions on borders; two positions on energy. Her team had endless discussions about what positions she should adopt to appease “the Red Army”—i.e. “the base of the Democratic Party.” Voters might not know any of this, because while both presidential candidates have plenty to answer for, the press has focused solely on taking out Mr. Trump. And the press is doing a diligent job of it.
New York Post, Oct. 11, 2016
There is apparently nothing wrong with America that can’t be blamed on Donald Trump. He is single-handedly destroying the Republican Party, trashing presidential debates and spoiling the reputation of locker-room talk. And — breaking news alert! — Trump is even changing journalism. His habit of saying things that nobody ever said before is forcing reporters to unleash their partisan views instead of just giving the facts.
Some of these charges may be true, but the one about Trump changing journalism is demonstrably false. All the more so because it comes from the editor of the New York Times, who happens to be the actual guilty party. Dean Baquet, the Gray Lady’s boss for two years, recently claimed that Trump’s campaign had forced the paper into a new way of covering politics. “I think that he’s challenged our language,” Baquet told an interviewer. “He will have changed journalism, he really will have.”
The claim is presented as one of those chin-stroking insights about a new paradigm that liberals spot around every corner. In fact, it is just another example of the Times getting it all wrong. Trump didn’t change the Times — Baquet did. He’s the one who authorized reporters to abandon the paper’s standards when covering Trump and express their personal political opinions. Or, as Baquet said in the interview with Nieman Lab’s Ken Doctor, the struggle for fairness is over. “I think that Trump has ended that struggle,” Baquet boasted. “I think we now say stuff. We fact-check him. We write it more powerfully that it’s false.”
Fact-checking, of course, is often in the eye of the beholder, and quickly morphs into opinion when there is no restraint or neutral standard. The result is the paper’s relentless, daily assault on Trump, to the advantage of Hillary Clinton. Opinions, all uniformly anti-Trump, now ooze from the paper’s every pore, with headlines on front-page “news” articles indistinguishable from daily denunciations on the editorial and op-ed pages. This is not a mere continuation of the old liberal bias that infected the Times, the Washington Post and the broadcast networks for years. This is a malignant strain of conformity that strips away any pretense of fairness in favor of strident partisanship.
The signal that the Times abandoned its traditional church-state separation of news and opinion came in an article by the paper’s media reporter two months ago. In his August piece, Jim Rutenberg declared that most reporters saw Trump “as an abnormal and potentially dangerous candidate,” and concluded they had a duty to be “true to the facts, in a way that will stand up to history’s judgment.” Baquet, in the interview, cited the Rutenberg piece, saying it “nailed” his thinking. He also said he started “down this track” years ago, during the dispute over weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and made it clear he believed then-President George W. Bush and then-Secretary of State Colin Powell lied to take America to war. The Trump treatment, he said, was a logical extension: “I think he gave us courage, if you will. I think he made us — forced us, because he does it so often, to get comfortable with saying something is false.” Baquet offered another example that got him to this point. He accused Republicans of lying in their “swift-boat” charges against Democratic nominee John Kerry in the 2004 campaign.
It is not incidental that his examples all involve allegedly dishonest Republicans, and none involves dishonest Democrats. Nothing better explains why the Times fails to give Clinton the same scrutiny it gives Trump. More than 60 percent of voters regard her as fundamentally dishonest, but Baquet sees only Republicans as liars. Simply put, his political bias precludes fair journalism. And once standards are gone, they are gone forever, meaning anyone wanting to work at the Times will face a political litmus test. Baquet’s defense of slanted coverage is reflected in the trove of emails WikiLeaks released from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
Times reporters and columnists repeatedly show up in partisan ways. Washington correspondent John Harwood sends Podesta his private approval of Hillary Clinton appearances, as if he’s on the team. Columnist Nicholas Kristof, in advance of an interview with Bill Clinton, emails his questions, which Podesta’s team passes around to staffers to shape Clinton’s answers.
A Washington reporter gives Hillary Clinton veto power over quotations he can use from an interview. Another reporter is praised as someone who has “never disappointed” in delivering stories the campaign wants “teed up” for public consumption. As the editor, Baquet should be outraged that his staff secretly compromised the paper’s integrity. But as the editor who eliminated the Times’ standards, he’s getting the biased paper he wanted.
Algemeiner, Oct. 6, 2016
One of the ways the New York Times shows its bias against Israel is with decisions on the placement of stories. The latest example comes with the newspaper’s decision to print a news article, above the fold on page one, about a flap between the Obama administration and the Israeli government over a West Bank settlement.
I’d argue that this doesn’t really amount to “news” much at all. American governments have been critical of West Bank settlements for decades. Israeli governments, meanwhile, have for decades supported allowing Israeli Jews to live in the West Bank. Jews have a long historical and religious connection there. Jewish settlements provide a security buffer in the Jordan valley. They provide affordable housing and a security buffer around the Israeli capital at Jerusalem. And the existing Jewish population in the settlements needs room to grow.
Yet the Times editors place the “United States Criticizes Israel Over West Bank Settlement Plan” headline at the top of page one, judging it to be bigger news than a bunch of other stories in the day’s paper that did not make it onto the front page at all — including the approach of Hurricane Matthew, the end of cash tolls at New York City bridges and tunnels, the selection of a new secretary-general of the United Nations and the announcement of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
The Times is so obsessed with the settlement issue that it follows up the front-page story with another long one online — it will probably make the print newspaper sometime in the next few days — headlined, “West Bank Settlers Prepare for Clash, With Israeli Government.” That article is about the prospect that the Israeli government will force the evacuation of 40 families from Amona. Unfortunately for Times readers who are counting on the newspaper to deliver an accurate portrayal of the world, the newspaper’s focus on the settlement issue comes at the expense of excellence when it comes to other issues that are probably more significant.
For example, the White House made a stunning insult to Israel and to world Jewry by issuing a “corrected” press release deleting the word “Israel” from its description of the location of the Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem, the site of President Obama’s remarks at the funeral of Shimon Peres. The Times handled this not with a full-length news article, much less a front-page, above-the-fold one, but instead with a single paragraph all the way at the end of an article about the funeral. The fact that the Obama White House can’t even acknowledge that Shimon Peres was buried in Israel says so much. As Elliott Abrams wrote on his blog at the Council on Foreign Relations web site, the site “lies in Western Jerusalem, near Yad Vashem and Jerusalem Forest…only those who seek to destroy Israel think this place will ever be anything but a part of the Jewish State.”
As for the Washington Free Beacon’s scoop that there are three written agreements between the US and Iran’s intelligence ministry that are being kept secret from the public in a secure reading room on Capitol Hill — well, nothing about that in the Times, either. But in terms of the prospects for peace in the Middle East and for the security of Israel and America, that’s a much bigger and more important deal than any nonsense the Times is peddling about West Bank settlements.
Washington Post, Oct. 27, 2016
Last week, the U.N.’s premier cultural agency, UNESCO, approved a resolution viciously condemning Israel (referred to as “the Occupying Power”) for various alleged trespasses and violations of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Except that the resolution never uses that term for Judaism’s holiest shrine. It refers to and treats it as an exclusively Muslim site, a deliberate attempt to eradicate its connection — let alone its centrality — to the Jewish people and Jewish history.
This Orwellian absurdity, part of a larger effort to deny the Jewish connection to their ancestral homeland, is an insult not just to Judaism but to Christianity. It makes a mockery of the Gospels, which chronicle the story of a Galilean Jew whose life and ministry unfolded throughout the Holy Land, most especially in Jerusalem and the Temple. If this is nothing but a Muslim site, what happens to the very foundation of Christianity, which occurred 600 years before Islam even came into being?
This UNESCO resolution is merely the surreal extreme of the worldwide campaign to delegitimize Israel. It features the BDS movement (Boycott, Divest and Sanction), now growing on Western university campuses and in some mainline Protestant churches. And it extends even into some precincts of the Democratic Party.
Bernie Sanders tried to introduce into the Democratic Party platform a plank more unfavorable to Israel. He failed, but when a couple of Hillary Clinton campaign consultants questioned (in emails revealed by WikiLeaks) why she should be mentioning Israel in her speeches, campaign manager Robby Mook concurred, “We shouldn’t have Israel at public events. Especially dem activists.” For whom the very mention of Israel is toxic.
And what to make of the White House’s correction to a news release about last month’s funeral of Shimon Peres? The original release identified the location as “Mount Herzl, Jerusalem, Israel.” The correction crossed out the country identifier — “Israel.” Well, where else is Jerusalem? Sri Lanka? Moreover, Mount Herzl isn’t even in disputed East Jerusalem. It’s in West Jerusalem, within the boundaries of pre-1967 Israel. If that’s not Israel, what is?
But such cowardly gestures are mere pinpricks compared to the damage Israel faces in the final days of the Obama presidency. As John Hannah of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies recently wrote (in Foreign Policy), there have been indications for months that President Obama might go to the U.N. and unveil his own final status parameters of a two-state solution. These would then be enshrined in a new Security Council resolution that could officially recognize a Palestinian state on the territory Israel came into possession of during the 1967 Six-Day War. There is a reason such a move has been resisted by eight previous U.S. administrations: It overthrows the central premise of Middle East peacemaking — land for peace. Under which the Palestinians get their state after negotiations in which the parties agree on recognized boundaries, exchange mutual recognition and declare a permanent end to the conflict.
Land for peace would be replaced by land for nothing. Endorsing in advance a Palestinian state and what would essentially be a full Israeli withdrawal removes the Palestinian incentive to negotiate and strips Israel of territorial bargaining chips of the kind it used, for example, to achieve peace with Egypt. The result would be not just perpetual war but incalculable damage to Israel. And irreversible, too, because the resolution would be protected from alteration by the Russian and/or Chinese veto.
As for the damage, consider but one example: the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, destroyed and ethnically cleansed of Jews by its Arab conquerors in the war of 1948-1949. It was rebuilt by Israel after 1967. It would now be open to the absurd judicial charge that the Jewish state’s possession of the Jewish Quarter constitutes a criminal occupation of another country. Israel would be hauled endlessly into courts (both national and international) to face sanctions, boycotts (now under color of law) and arrest of its leaders. All this for violating a U.N. mandate to which no Israeli government, left or right, could possibly accede.
Before the election, Obama dare not attempt this final legacy item, to go along with the Iran deal and the Castro conciliation, for fear of damaging Clinton. His last opportunity comes after Election Day. The one person who might deter him, points out Hannah, is Clinton herself, by committing Obama to do nothing before he leaves office that would tie her hands should she become president.
Clinton’s supporters who care about Israel and about peace need to urge her to do that now. It will soon be too late. Soon Obama will be free to deliver a devastating parting shot to Israel and to the prime minister he detests.
CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!
Why Readers See The Times as Liberal: Liz Spayd, New York Times, July 23, 2016—I HAVE been here less than a month, but already I’ve discovered something that surely must be bad for business if your business is running The New York Times.
The Ongoing NYT Propaganda Campaign: Prof. Phyllis Chesler, Arutz Sheva, Sept. 22, 2016—I’m sure that reading the New York Times is shortening my life—and yet I continue to do so. I no longer monitor it as I once did.
The Real Reason Reporters Don’t Give to Pols: It Would Give Away Their Agenda: Jonah Goldberg, New York Post, October 21, 2016 —‘Let me say for the billionth time: Reporters don’t root for a side. Period.” This declarative tweet came from The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza on Oct. 16. The next day, Cillizza posted on Twitter, “Well, this is super depressing. NO idea why any journalist would donate $ to politicians.
Checkmating Obama: Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 27, 2016—In one of the immortal lines of Godfather 2, mafia boss Michael Corleone discusses the fate of his brother, who betrayed him, with his enforcer. “I don’t want anything to happen to him while my mother is alive,” Corleone said.