Only a tabloid would be sleazy enough to actually ask the presumptive Democratic nominee why she doesn’t feel constrained by the same rules of basic accountability that everyone else in the government has to follow. And only a tabloid would stoop to waiting around in a public place where they knew she’d be, like Reagan National Airport, instead of shooting her PR guy an e-mail about this and receiving the obligatory check-the-box “no comment” in reply. Thankfully, the rest of American media is above these sorts of things.
In fact, if you ask Democrats in Congress, the only real story here is how … transparent Hillary has been.
The top Democrat on the House Select Committee on Benghazi is praising former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for announcing that she wants messages from her personal email accounts to be made public.
“As far as I am aware, no other Cabinet secretary in history has ever called for the release of his or her emails — in their entirety and throughout his or her tenure,” Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said in a statement on Thursday. “I commend Secretary Clinton’s decision.”
Praising Hillary for transparency after she went off the grid with her correspondence at State and then hedged for two years on whether to turn over records is, as Charles Cooke says, like praising Ted Bundy for being a good citizen because he eventually showed cops where the bodies were. Here’s what Clintonian transparency means in practice, in Andy McCarthy’s formulation:
In a lawfully functioning governmental recordkeeping framework, the government, applying the law, tells government officials what they may withhold from disclosure.
In the Clinton recordkeeping framework, Mrs. Clinton, applying her preferences, tells the government what the government may have access to for purposes of disclosure.
It’s easy for her to duck ambush questions from TMZ because she can always claim, rightly or wrongly, that they’re not a respectable outfit. (The cameraman here asks her whether her e-mail practices were the product of a, er, “generalization gap,” which would be silly even if he had used the right word. Someone with her own private e-mail server isn’t suffering from any sort of tech gap with younger adults. On the contrary.) At one point this morning, Politico actually referred to the clip below as, no joke, “stalking”:
If CNN were waiting to ambush her, it would be different. She could still choose not to respond, but it’s one thing to pull the “this is beneath my dignity” shtick when it’s TMZ asking you and another when it’s Anderson Cooper.
Well, no worries. I’m sure they’ll ask her a question once she and her new team have settled on an alternative to her disintegrating spin. As long as the dream of Elizabeth Warren 2016 survives, so will the media’s interest in holding Hillary’s feet to the fire, if not so close that they actually get burned. Oh, by the way: She’s set to give a speech later this month on, believe it or not, excellence in journalism. No questions allowed, of course.