corruption, probably, right?

A couple of days ago I responded to a comment about the ‘rampant corruption’ of the Clinton Foundation. Basically I said “What corruption? Show me the corruption. Show me anything like actual evidence that there’s corruption.” Because, you know, there wasn’t any corruption.

Today I got this in my email:

If theres no corruption how come the new york Times is writing about the corruption.

I’m not sure why this person refused to capitalize New York but did capitalize Times, but let’s just ignore that. There was a link to this article by Eric Lichtblau: Emails Raise New Questions About Clinton Foundation Ties to State Dept. That sounds pretty bad, doesn’t it. I mean, questions are being raised! Questions! So I read the article, on account of I wanted to find out what those ominous questions were and why they were raised. You might want to read the article your ownself, just to reassure yourself that I am NOT MAKING THIS UP.

Are you ready for this: Okay, here we go. A guy named Douglas J. Band, who’d worked as an adviser to President Bill Clinton and was still working for him as part of the Clinton Foundation, sent an email to Huma Abedin asking for diplomatic passports for himself and two other aides to Bill Clinton. They’d all held diplomatic passports during their earlier tenure at the White House. Abedin responded that the issue would be ‘figured out’. This is how Eric Lichtblau characterized the exchange:

Mr. Band did not explain in the email exchange why he and the others needed the diplomatic passports, and Ms. Abedin did not ask.

A mystery! Surely if everything was above-board, Band would have explained exactly why he and his buddies needed those passports, right? And if Abedin wasn’t complicit in this conspiracy, she’d have asked why they needed those passports, right? So obviously something untoward, possibly sinister, and certainly majorly corrupt is taking place here, right? Right?

Nope.

Band and the other two wanted those diplomatic passports because ordinary citizens can’t get into North Korea without them. Wait…what? North Korea? Why would these people want to go to North Korea? Obviously something untoward, possibly sinister, and certainly majorly corrupt is taking place here, right? Right?

Still nope.

Bill Clinton was on his way to North Korea to secure the release of two American journalists — Euna Lee and Laura Ling — who’d been falsely imprisoned as spies. The two women had been held for more than five months, and had just been sentenced by a North Korean court to serve twelve years at hard labor. Band and the others wanted to go along on the diplomatic rescue mission. Which is why they asked for the diplomatic passports. And since the State Department knew this rescue mission was going to take place, Band didn’t need to explain why they wanted the passports, and Huma Abedin didn’t need to ask them why the passports were needed.

clinton-gore-ling-lee

And guess what? Because nobody at the State Department could see any necessary reason for Band and the other two aides to accompany the former president, their request for diplomatic passports was denied. Which is why they’re not included in the photograph of two newly free journalists smiling and crying.

Got that? These guys asked for diplomatic passports in order to enter North Korea to help imprisoned journalists — and were denied. And how does the new york Times characterize this humanitarian request?

Emails Raise New Questions About Clinton Foundation Ties to State Dept.

New questions, my pale pink ass. There are NO questions at all to be raised about the Clinton Foundation or its ties to the State Department.

Here are some questions that should be raised: 1) Who the hell is Eric Lichtbrau? 2) How the hell is he employed as a journalist? And 3) What the fuck is wrong with the new york Times?

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12 thoughts on “corruption, probably, right?

    • I have a lot of respect for journalism and for journalists who do their jobs. This guy may be a terrific writer, I don’t know — but the only newsworthy aspect of his piece was that there was nothing to report. And the headline was misleading at best.

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  1. Isn’t it true that different people write the headlines for articles than the author him/herself? (I don’t know this as a fact, I’ve never worked as a journalist) if that’s the case, I can imagine that Eric wrote the “non-article” as an assignment in good faith coming to the conclusion that nothing was untoward, etc… But the headline writing department added the sinister-sounding headline to attract eyeballs (eyeballs that, nine out of ten times, won’t read the article and will just post it on their FB feed).

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    • It’s certainly possible the reporter wrote a piece saying there wasn’t anything with reporting in the new emails, and an editor rewrote it to make it dramatic. Regardless, it was shoddy journalism.

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  2. I actually know Eric, he’s a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and having said that I have no idea why this article lacks such obvious context. Band didn’t even get the passports and if anyone could possibly be corrupt in the foundation it would be him, yet this nada.

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    • This seems to be a pattern for that once fine newspaper. Maybe it’s an editorial issue. All I know is their coverage of Clinton has been slipshod. There are, I think, legitimate issues with her and her campaign, but way too much time is didn’t on this sort of bullshit.

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    • I believe that the article did include the context that it was a rescue mission and the passports were not given. The controversy should be directed at the characterization and summary of the article-not the article itself.

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      • I disagree; there are problems with the article itself. The lede, for example, claims the emails are: “raising new questions about whether people tied to the Clinton Foundation received special access at the department.” That’s just incorrect — there are NO new questions raised. Not only that, the old questions are revealed to have been nonsense.

        The article also states: “Mr. Band sought to put a billionaire donor in touch with the department’s former ambassador to Lebanon.” Did that actually take place? No. But including the suggestion that somebody sought to make a connection casts the incident in a shady light. It’s just bad journalism.

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