Favorite

Clinton rules return 

As a professional matter, I've been halfway dreading Hillary Clinton's presidential candidacy. The 2016 Democratic nomination appears to be hers for the asking. Democrats enjoy a strong Electoral College advantage. And yet it's hard to imagine how she can overcome the unrelenting hostility of the Washington media clique.

Try to imagine the New York Times and Washington Post teaming up with Fox News impresario Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. on an "expose" of any other politician in Washington. Joe Conason wasn't exaggerating much when he called it the "Hitler-Stalin Pact" of contemporary journalism.

First, the two newspapers agreed to "exclusive" arrangements with one Peter Schweizer, a right-wing operative and author of "Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich." The book's publisher is HarperCollins, a NewsCorp subsidiary like Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, New York Post, etc.

Basically, we're in Ann Coulter country here. Schweizer's not a journalist, but a controversialist for right-wing "think tanks." A former consultant to Sarah Palin and ghostwriter for Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Glenn Beck, he makes his living vilifying Democrats. Media Matters has posted a long list of withdrawn or retracted stories under his byline.

Reporters evaluating an earlier Schweizer book the British Sunday Times found that "[f]acts that are checkable do not check out. Individuals credited for supplying information do not exist or cannot be tracked down. Requests to the author for help and clarification result in further confusion and contradiction."

The New York Times, in contrast, praised the fellow's "meticulous" reporting. All this in service of a front page "blockbuster" by Jo Becker and Mike McIntire insinuating that, as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton sold out the national interest, helping a Russian company to buy uranium mines in Wyoming from a Canadian corporation in exchange for a few million dollars in donations to the Clinton Foundation, the family's charitable enterprise.

That and a $500,000 speaking fee awarded by a Moscow bank to the Big Cheese, her husband the former president — a guy who's been averaging $7.5 million a year making speeches.

"Whether the donations played any role in the approval of the uranium deal is unknown" the Times concedes early on.

Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge. The insinuation couldn't be any clearer than if they'd hinted that Vladimir Putin was Hillary's lover.

The diligent reader must persevere almost to the bottom of the murkily-narrated 4,400-word story to learn that the uranium transaction had to be signed off on by all nine federal agencies comprising the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, that none apparently dissented, and that the State Department's man on the committee stated "Mrs. Clinton never intervened with me on any C.F.I.U.S. matter."

Oh, and the Wyoming mines aren't actually in operation, probably because the worldwide price of uranium has fallen following Japan's Fukishima disaster. The Russians would probably sell them back, cheap.

No matter, it's really all about what the Times calls "the special ethical challenges presented by the Clinton Foundation."

Besides Hillary and Putin, the story's other suspicious character is Canadian mining executive and philanthropist Frank Giustra. Besides pledging half his income to good works such as the Clinton Health Access Initiative — bringing cheap HIV/AIDS drugs to 9.9 million people in Third World countries — Giustra's other big sin was supposedly relying on Bill Clinton's help to negotiate a multinational buyout of uranium mines in Kazakhstan.

Giustra has called the Times account arrant nonsense. He even provided a flight manifest to a Forbes reporter to prove that contrary to the newspaper, he didn't take Bill Clinton with him to Kazakhstan at all. Moreover, as an extremely careful reader can determine, Giustra sold all of his Uranium One holdings in 2007 — two years before Hillary became Secretary of State — and so had nothing to gain from company's 2010 transaction with the Russians.

Or from his charitable donations.

Giustra's second suspect act was setting up something called the Canadian Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership. That too seems to have confused the scandal-hunting reporters and their supporters on the Washington Post editorial page. See, even if there's no evidence of a quid pro quo, the Post thundered, the Clinton Foundation had promised transparency while Hillary was in office.

"However, the Times said the contributions of some connected to the Uranium One deal were not disclosed. The newspaper unearthed them in Canadian tax records. This lapse is exactly the sleight-of-hand that creates suspicion .... What were the Clintons hiding?"

Basically, as it turns out, the fact that Canada is a sovereign country whose laws prohibit such disclosures.

Look, there's a reason articles like the Times' big expose are stultifyingly dull and require the skills of a contract lawyer to parse. Murky sentences and jumbled chronologies signify that the "Clinton rules" are back: all innuendo and guilt-by-association. All ominous rhetorical questions, but rarely straightforward answers.

Favorite

Speaking of Hillary Clinton

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Gene Lyons

  • Forget identity politics

    Amid the climate of disbelief and fear among Democrats following Donald Trump's election, a fascinating debate has broken out about what's called "identity politics" on the left, "political correctness" by the right.
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • Trump's first days

    Never mind that President-elect Trump and his keenest supporters have gone from boasting to whining in two short weeks.
    • Nov 23, 2016
  • Worth it

    My most recent one-to-one conversation with Hillary Clinton took place in October 1991, and I've been laughing at myself ever since.
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Killer's failure

    Has any murdering terrorist ever failed more dramatically than Dylann Storm Roof? Like any punk with a gun, he managed to slaughter nine blameless African-American Christians at an historic church in Charleston, S.C. Intending to start a race war, he succeeded only in shocking the moral conscience of the state and nation.
    • Jun 25, 2015
  • Obama takes long view

    Right now, it's beginning to look as if President Obama will end up deserving the Nobel Peace Prize he was so prematurely awarded in 2009.
    • Jul 23, 2015
  • Trump and political correctness

    So I see where candidate Donald Trump and former Gov. Sarah Palin are complaining about "political correctness," the supposedly liberal sin of being too polite to tell the unvarnished truth. Me too. I've always laughed at the follies of self-styled "radical" left-wing professors.
    • Sep 3, 2015

Most Shared

  • Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist resigns

    Bob Scoggin, 50, the Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist whose job it was to review the work of agencies, including DAH and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, for possible impacts on historic properties, resigned from the agency on Monday. Multiple sources say Scoggin, whom they describe as an "exemplary" employee who the week before had completed an archeological project on DAH property, was told he would be fired if he did not resign.
  • Labor department director inappropriately expensed out-of-state trips, audit finds

    Jones was "Minority Outreach Coordinator" for Hutchinson's 2014 gubernatorial campaign. The governor first named him as policy director before placing him over the labor department instead in Jan. 2015, soon after taking office.
  • Lawsuit filed against ADC officials, prison chaplain convicted of sexual assault at McPherson

    A former inmate who claims she was sexually assaulted over 70 times by former McPherson Womens' Unit chaplain Kenneth Dewitt has filed a federal lawsuit against Dewitt, several staff members at the prison, and officials with the Arkansas Department of Corrections, including former director Ray Hobbs.
  • Rapert compares Bill Clinton to Orval Faubus

    Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway)  was on "Capitol View" on KARK, Channel 4, this morning, and among other things that will likely inspire you to yell at your computer screen, he said he expects someone in the legislature to file a bill to do ... something about changing the name of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.

Latest in Gene Lyons

  • Forget identity politics

    Amid the climate of disbelief and fear among Democrats following Donald Trump's election, a fascinating debate has broken out about what's called "identity politics" on the left, "political correctness" by the right.
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • Trump's first days

    Never mind that President-elect Trump and his keenest supporters have gone from boasting to whining in two short weeks.
    • Nov 23, 2016
  • Worth it

    My most recent one-to-one conversation with Hillary Clinton took place in October 1991, and I've been laughing at myself ever since.
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Central Arkansas venues have a full week of commemorative events planned

Event Calendar

« »

December

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Worth it

    • Alas, Gene's memory ain't what it used to be. He wrote a column some time…

    • on December 5, 2016
  • Re: Forget identity politics

    • Hillarys 'Stronger Together' nonsense failed because she failed to make it a reality. As Gene…

    • on December 5, 2016
  • Re: Fake economics

    • Trump economic proposals: Rates for Married-Joint filers: Less than $75,000: 12% More than $75,000 but…

    • on December 5, 2016
 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation