All this is, I think, a mistaken narrative.

One of the perils of journalism is the human brain’s penchant for sorting information into narratives. Even false narratives can take on a life of their own because there is always information arriving that can confirm a narrative.

Thus once we in the news media had declared Gerald Ford a klutz (he was actually a graceful athlete), there were always new television clips of him stumbling. Similarly, we unfairly turned Jimmy Carter into a hapless joke, and I fear that the “Crooked Hillary” narrative will drag on much more than the facts warrant.

This is a narrative that goes way back and that this newspaper helped establish: My late friend and Times colleague William Safire in 1996 dubbed Clinton “a congenital liar.” But I think this narrative goes way too far.