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March 05, 2015

Politico Publishes Hillary Clinton's Opposition Research on Republicans Without Attributing It To Anyone; Politico's Glenn Thrush Calls Hillary's "Possibly Illegal" Flouting of the Law "A Teensy Bit Badass"

A great Washington Examiner article from T. Becket Adams. First, I would like to share with you why I even know of this article:

Was it "twaddle"? Well the night this story broke, I watched on Twitter, mouth agape, as Glenn Thrush paraded out a series of unlikely defenses of Hillary, including the assertion that Hillary didn't understand "computery" things and this was therefore entirely the fault of her aides.

Naturally, he had to arrogantly insult anyone who didn't enthusiastically take this hard-to-believe line:

But that didn't fly, so he went from claiming her to be an ignorant and confused old lady to claiming she was "badass" for willfully breaking the law.

But he insists that to characterize his alternating apologetics and even praise of Hillary for the scandal as "defending" her is "willfully ignorant twaddle."

I have asked him what other possible descriptor could apply to his Stalwart Service on behalf of The Queen. He has not responded.

But Adams' article is worth linking for another reason: Therein is contained a list of Talking Points, first reported by National Review, propagated by pro-Hillary forces (I would guess either David Brock's MMFA or Hillary Clinton's campaign itself, though the two are difficult to distinguish from each other at this point).

The talking points contain a swill of derogatory and misleading claims about Republicans' use of private emails. And wouldn't you know it, those claims show up in the #ReadyForHillary blogsite @Politico today, without any attribution to Team Hillary.

Note this is a form of bias. Voters do not like "attacks," nor the dark arts of opposition research. And note that the media always reports derogatory information about Democrats by saying, "Republicans attack Hillary on Emails," or the like.

That is to say, the GOP's authorship of -- or even their mere acknowledgement of -- derogatory information about a Democrat is always blasted in the headline, strongly hinting that, if there's any wrongdoing here, it's on the part of those uncouth Republicans, who are forever "attacking" people and releasing nasty talking points about Democrats.

But when Team Hillary releases a bunch of attacks on Republican front-runners, does anyone in the media forthrightly note the actual authorship of this attack? Did @Politico headline this story, "Hillary's forces counter-attack GOP with white-paper slam"?

NO, they did not, as they never do. As always, they hide the actual moving party -- here, Team Hillary -- and pretend that the information just came out of the ether, or that the Reporterette herself dug all this stuff up.*

This is a form of Immaculate Denigration. The GOP's dirty little fingers are always highlighted when the #ReadyForHillary media reports, reluctantly, on what they've dug up on Democrats, but when the media regurgitates Democratic talking points about Republicans, the media deliberately and willfully conceals from the reader the source of the claims in question.

You will not be surprised at the various network consultants and, in Kasie Hunt's case, actual alleged non-partisan "reporters" who are pushing this line:

The line from pro-Clinton groups — that there are comparisons between Bush's use of a personal account along with his government account and Clinton's exclusively conducting State business from an unauthorized and likely unsecured personal account — has since been repeated by a reporters and pundits.

"Romney used [a personal] email for Mass state biz in office," CNN contributor Sally Kohn said, adding that former Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, even "deletes all emails after [seven] days."

"Jeb Bush used his personal account to conduct state, political & personal business. His team released state business emails to the public," MSNBC's Kasie Hunt reported. "Jeb Bush owns the server that hosts his personal email, his spokeswoman says."

"But this is different. Jeb isn't a Clinton. Why would we cover his private email server the same as hers?" CNN contributor and Democratic strategist Paula Begala said.

I did not see Kasie Hunt's live reports, but I have read her Twitter feed. If she acknowledged that her reportage on GOP email use came from an email tip from an interested party, I certainly did not see it.

Now, watch how she reports damaging information about Clinton -- she lets the viewer know right away this arrived "in my mail," that is, was farmed to her by opposition:

Why does Ms. Hunt refuse to make the same kind of minor disclosures with regard to the derogatory information received from Hillary? **

* The writer of the Politico piece flagged below makes one partial admission along these lines: that the derogatory information about Jeb Bush specifically was "circulated" by David Brock's American Bridge.

[Jeb Bush] quickly received a comeuppance: Democratic opposition research shop American Bridge circulated a story Wednesday suggesting that, like Clinton, Bush also operated his own email server to give him a greater ability to keep some of his emails private.

But what about the rest of it, about Scott Walker and Rick Perry and on and on?

You know whose story Politico links to there? Kasie Hunt's, who does not in her article reveal where she got her information.

So David Brock is circulating Kasie Hunt's article, and Friends of Hillary are putting these talking points out there, but Kasie Hunt fails to say something like "Pro-Hillary groups are putting out the word that Jeb Bush..."

** Note: I actually cannot read that Romney piece she links, so I don't know what it says, nor what Hunt means when she says "Hillary's practices don't stand up." I assume she means that Hillary's secrecy fails by the standards already established by Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself), and that this Romney piece shows that the media once cared about such things.

That is my belief, though, again, she doesn't really elaborate enough for me to be completely sure.

And that's why I say that when a piece is sent to her from (assumedly) Republican hands, she notes that it "showed up in my email" (that is, was turfed to me by opposition researchers), and yet when she publishes all of Team Hillary's opposition research, the illusion is perpetrated that this was just some stuff Kasie Hunt dug up all by her lonesome.

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