by Brendan Beery
I have a strange brain. It’s always making connections between or among different fact patterns and episodes. On seeing a “round table discussion” about Hillary Clinton’s email non-story on MSNBC’s “Hardball” last night, I was reminded, of all things, of George W. Bush’s blustering proclamations, ultimatums, and insistence that Saddam Hussein turn over those weapons of mass destruction — you know, the ones he didn’t have.
Lest we forget what it’s like to watch little children play grown-up on an international stage with real armies and navies, check this out:
What brought this sorry episode to mind? Here is a link to Chris Matthews’ panel discussion last night. The chief offender, though not the only one, was the always-vapid Kathleen Parker, whose continuing employment with the Washington Post should be classed as one of the Wonders of the World. Matthews asked Parker what the “thing” was about the email story — what was at its core. Here’s what she said:
We don’t yet know conclusively what the thing is, [but] you peel the onion to see what there is, and when the FBI becomes involved and they’re investigating whether there were some, some, you know, some emails that might have done some damage, I mean, whether – I don’t think we know this yet – but I think that’s the thing. But separate from that is the question of how the Clintons, and they are dual actors, how they’re always, their default position is, don’t say anything, don’t tell anything. When they’re forced to, they’ll tell, okay there was this, well yes there was … well maybe there was this, and then comes the apology.
Matthews pressed Parker on that point, asking her what the Clintons were supposed to say about the Whitewater non-scandal. Parker replied, “They don’t say what is true.”
From there, the panel discussion descended into drivel about how the email story, whatever the truth about it might be (and why would journalists worry about that?), “plays into” the Hillary Clinton “trust issue” – how the important part of the story is not what actually happened, but rather “the symbolism of it.” Right – it’s all about the narrative and the meme.
So this is Hillary’s problem: if only she’d fess up about all the scandals she’s never been a part of, the media could finally move on and get past it. Like Saddam, Hillary just refuses to cooperate and show us what isn’t there. If only she’d confess that she was involved in an illegal land transaction in Arkansas that was legal, we could put that Whitewater business behind us. If only she’d confess to giving a stand-down order she never gave to ensure the death of an ambassador she didn’t want to die, we could move on from Benghazi.
The Clintons have been under more scrutiny than any public figures in history, and never – not once – has any journalist or pol hunter turned up anything scandalous about them that didn’t have to do with Bill Clinton’s sexual appetites, which, by the way, have nothing to do with the public trust.
What is Hillary to tell us about the email “scandal”? That she did receive emails that were never sent – emails marked “Top Secret” or “Eyes Only”? I guess that’s what Parker and others want. From now on, when Hillary is accused of wrongdoing, she should just produce all the evidence she has in her possession that doesn’t exist.
Ultimately, what do Saddam’s non-existent WMD’s and Hillary’s non-existent incriminating emails have in common? They are both symptoms of a lazy, degenerate “Fourth Estate.” Journalism isn’t about facts anymore, which is to say that journalism is dead.