Time for the U.S. Media to Apologize to Hillary Clinton

By Peter Daou and Tom Watson

Big news as reported by Ruby Cramer and Chris Geidner at BuzzFeed:

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.  

A more straightforward question has lingered since news of the email account broke in March: Was it a sound decision by Clinton to, without third-party oversight, determine the emails considered work-related, and therefore part of the federal record — and to then delete the rest? 

On both counts, the Justice Department lawyers argue in the affirmative. 

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.

This may not be the final word on the email story, but it is certainly a major inflection point.

After months of reprehensible, irresponsible, and grossly unfair coverage of Hillary Clinton’s historic presidential campaign, it is long past time for the corporate media and elite commentariat to apologize to Hillary and rethink their posture toward her and to apologize to their readers and viewers for misleading and manipulating them.

Hillary had the grace to apologize for her decision, now let's see the media and pundits show the same respect to her.

America has spent 226 years without a female president. Hillary is the first woman with a viable chance to right that wrong.

All we ask for is fair and responsible coverage of her quest.

Thus far, that has been too much to ask. The national media have rivaled the fetid swamps of anonymous Clinton-bashers in their virulent attacks and obsessive reporting. It has been a sad and sorry spectacle, a verbal gang-assault on a dignified, accomplished, influential and incredibly popular woman.

Not every journalist and pundit has participated, but far too many have. It is disgraceful and we’ve chronicled it every step of the way.

Now is the time for a reset. History will judge those who defended the status quo and bolstered the ugly gender barrier in U.S. politics.

As Katha Pollitt observes:

At this point in world history, it is embarrassing how backward the United States is. More than 70 women have been chosen to lead their nations, including in gender-conservative countries like Pakistan, Ireland, and the Philippines—and 22 nations have female leaders right now. What is the matter with us? Indeed, we score poorly on every measure of women in politics: not quite 20 percent in Congress (which places us 72nd internationally, between Kenya and Panama); 24 percent in state legislatures; only 17 mayors in the top 100 most populous cities; and only six governors out of 50.

This is a travesty that cannot stand a day longer. 2016 is a fight for justice, fairness and equality.

The media and commentariat have a duty to report on Hillary's campaign not to attack it, to tell the story not to fabricate it.

UPDATE: Two days after the Washington Times broke the story that Hillary was not in violation of the law in deciding to sort and delete her emails, no major news outlet is featuring it. Read our latest post: CENSORSHIP: U.S. Media Bury Major Development In Hillary Email Story.


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.