Hillary Clinton says there’s a “right-wing war on truth.” It’s right there in her book.
I find it disappointing that she takes such a one-sided view of the media. It reminds me of 1998, when she famously told the “Today” show that her husband was the victim of “a vast right-wing conspiracy.” (It was true that some conservatives were plotting to reveal his exploitation of Monica Lewinsky, but the allegations she was denying were absolutely true.)
In the book, “What Happened,” Clinton unloads on elements of the left-leaning media, especially the New York Times. She just doesn’t like the press, and hasn’t for a quarter century. So the attack on conservative media is essentially a liberal Democrat playing to her base—yet another glimpse of why she lost the election.
In fact, Clinton was treated fairly in her handful of appearances on Fox, and might have picked up some swing voters if she had done more interviews. What’s more, she barely granted interviews to CNN or MSNBC either, given her wariness of such encounters.
In the book, Clinton calls Fox “the most powerful and prominent platform for the right-wing war on truth,” but with almost no details. She knows full well that Bret Baier, Chris Wallace and the rest of the news division play it straight, but prefers to ignore the distinction between them and the conservative commentators she must detest. In an interview this week with her former Obama pals at “Pod Save America,” Clinton called Fox a “dedicated propaganda channel,” and lumped it together with Breitbart and “crazy Infowars.”
Hillary also writes that by 2016 “most liberals and conservatives got their news from distinctly different sources and no longer shared a common set of facts.” That is true—but she blames it on Fox “polarizing the audience,” as there is no polarization whatsoever at left-leaning outlets.
Has she read or watched lately as liberal pundits and organizations attack Donald Trump as a racist, sexist liar and question his mental stability? Or does she so embrace the demonization of the man who defeated her that none of this seems polarizing to her?
I’m sure the Fox-haters out there love this, but there are two sides to the polarization phenomenon.
Clinton also unloads on Matt Lauer for supposedly being tougher on her than Trump at NBC’s Commander-in-Chief Forum. That is way off the mark, though a number of mainstream outlets agreed with her. Lauer asked her a series of questions about the email scandal that she had trouble answering. Her explanation: “Many in the mainstream media bend over backwards to avoid criticism from the right about being soft on Democrats.” And he asked tough questions of Trump as well.
Her defensiveness comes through as she rips the Times for breaking, and sticking with, the email story. “The Times’s argument was that using personal email reinforced the narrative that I had a penchant for secrecy, but I’ve always found that charge odd.” Odd? Even most liberals would concede that point. Clinton says other outlets followed “a story that must be important, because the New York Times had put it on the front page.”
And while admitting she was “rusty” at the presser she held to deal with the allegations, she dismisses the whole thing as “silly”—this after she had finally admitted during the campaign that it was a mistake and repeatedly apologized.
Hillary Clinton got her share of unfair press during the campaign. Perhaps it is unfair to expect that she could offer a dispassionate analysis of her coverage. But if the “right-wing” media was such a problem, why does she remain so unhappy with the rest of the press?