By Peter Daou and Tom Watson
On September 10th, the Washington Times broke a crucial positive development in the over-hyped Hillary Clinton email story:
The Obama administration told a federal court Wednesday that former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was within her legal rights to use of her own email account, to take messages with her when she left office and to be the one deciding which of those messages are government records that should be returned.
In the most complete legal defense of Mrs. Clinton, Justice Department lawyers insisted they not only have no obligation, but no power, to go back and demand the former top diplomat turn over any documents she hasn’t already given — and neither, they said, can the court order that.
In a court filing on Wednesday, the Justice Department argued on behalf of the State Department that there was “no question” Hillary Clinton had the authority to determine and delete personal email without supervision.
The administration attorneys’ argument amounts to one of the most definitive government statements that Clinton was not in violation of the law in deciding to sort and delete the emails herself.
Considering the frenzied and obsessive news commentary surrounding this issue, one would imagine that such a major development would receive significant media attention. One would be dead wrong.
As of this writing, two days after the story broke, there is no mention of it on the front pages of the New York Times, Washington Post, ABC News, CBS News, NBC News or CNN.
Nothing. Total blackout.
Philosophers and ethicists talk about sins of commission and sins of omission, causing harm by doing what shouldn't be done and causing harm by not doing what should be done.
The corporate media and commentariat are engaging in both sins with respect to Hillary, flooding the national conversation with Rove-funded negative frames then ignoring positive news. The desired effect is to turn the public against Hillary. Disturbingly, it has worked - thankfully, only to a degree.
It is psychologically impossible for the American public to be inundated with character-destroying stories, images, words, and opinions about a single individual without having some of that negativity eventually reflect back and tarnish the individual.
Proof of Hillary Clinton's astonishing strength is that not only is she effectively battling nearly two dozen declared and undeclared candidates, but she is doing it while being savaged by the gatekeepers and purveyors of our national debate.
No other public figure could survive, let alone thrive, under those circumstances. Perhaps the strongest rationale for a Hillary presidency is her indomitable character and her dignity under soul-crushing pressure.
As #HillaryMen, we repeat our call for a media reset and an apology to Hillary for the egregiously unfair coverage she has received since she entered the presidential race.
We are not arguing that the email story is over, but we are forcefully calling out the media and commentariat for brazen sins of omission and commission in their coverage of Hillary. If the Washington Times story had been bad for Hillary, it would be splashed across every front page.
The behavior of the media and pundits during this historic presidential election cycle is quickly becoming a national disgrace.
Peter Daou and Tom Watson founded #HillaryMen to provide actionable analysis of the 2016 campaign focusing on the gender barrier in U.S. politics. Peter is a former senior digital adviser to Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative. He is a veteran of two presidential campaigns (Kerry '04 and Clinton '08). Tom is an author and Columbia University lecturer who advises companies and non-profits on social activism.