Tag Archives: Clinton

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The Errors of the New York Times In Executive Editor Dean Baquet’s Own Words

The resounding message of  South by Southwest’s (SXSW) New York Times Panel was that the journalism landscape is changing rapidly: it’s more crucial than ever that journalists be an unrelenting force against executive abuse of power, but confidence in longstanding news organizations is declining alarmingly fast.

On the first Sunday of the conference, media columnist Jim Rutenberg interviewed Executive Editor Dean Baquet on the main stage. Their answers lamented that the days of print journalism have been gone for a while, but focused on how that change doesn’t necessarily spell a dismal future. Baquet noted that Times digital subscriptions had drastically increased over the course of the 2016 presidential election––a clear signal that casual readers understood the heightened importance of media watchdogs as the election drew to a close. Information is still desired, albeit in different ways.

The real substance of the panel, though, was when Baquet focused on his own error and the error of his many reporters in predicting the presidential election’s outcome and doing due diligence in their coverage. When an audience member asked the timely question of how the media failed to predict these election outcomes, Baquet was humble and clear: the “New York bubble” certainly contributed to it––a secular, cosmopolitan outlook that sometimes undervalues the degree to which religiosity runs rampant in the rest of America––as well as a misreading of the amount of anger in the American electorate (and how that anger would be expressed at the polls).

He talked about how access to news and journalism jobs has exploded in the past few years, and about how plentiful jobs for good journalists are “the best thing for journalism.” But this explosion of access makes it so plenty of articles are circulated––many of which spread misinformation, skewed and irresponsible accounts, or blatant lies.

In a sense, Trump was “clarifying for the mission” of the New York Times. Baquet explained, “We owned the world through the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s,” but after that, traditional news outlets lost their sense of place. While covering Trump, the Times were the first to break stories on the candidate’s treatment of women, his tax returns (and lack of public release), and his debt. As things progressed, it became increasingly clear that the press needed to remain a force that holds those in power accountable.

That’s hard to do as public skepticism rises and those in the administration levy accusations at newspapers of record. It’s a challenge Baquet is going to have to deal with––and quickly. But I think fake news is an overblown worry given that the vast majority of intelligent consumers don’t have a problem discerning what’s real from what’s fake or horribly biased. The real issue has to do with liberal bias: Baquet talked about their “Clinton Win Predictor” as indicative of a blind spot––something that inaccurately computed Clinton’s electoral odds and, by extension, the anger of much of voting America.

I wish that he’d talked about the Clinton win predictor as symptomatic of liberal bias and evaluated the intellectual diversity of his newsroom. For the right and center, there’s a common belief that the news is dominated by people and companies with left-wing tilts. There are certainly sources like National Review and Reason, but the majority of the most reputable organizations––New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, Los Angeles Times––have a slight left bias. This is bad, but dishonesty about it is even worse.

Baquet needed to recognize the degree to which many of his reporters––and those in the journalism industry on the whole––lean left, making it difficult to accurately interpret how right-leaning audiences will think and act. In post-election analysis, many reporters have fixated on how difficult it is to predict how white working class Americans in the heartland will vote. The real issue, though, is that minimal effort is made by most left-leaning journalists to understand the fundamental values that guide conservative mindsets as compared to the fundamental values that guide liberal mindsets. As Arthur Brooks writes, “Many Americans feel caught between two dispiriting political choices: ineffective compassion on one hand and heartless pragmatism on the other.”

This is one of the most crucial American divides and one that informs the way we think, act, speak, and vote. Until this mentality is better understood by journalists, we’re going to have a difficult time accurately predicting the preferences of Americans. Let’s hope this issue begins to get as much airtime as fake news.

Liz Wolfe is Young Voices’ managing editor.

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Hillary Clinton, Europe, And The New Era Of Kings

Today, presumptive presidential nominee Hillary Clinton breathes a little easier. Two weeks ago, her husband met Attorney General Loretta Lynch on a tarmac in Phoenix. While Republicans have cried foul, and Lynch herself has acknowledged the rendezvous to be in poor judgment, it is hard to shake the icky feeling that someone’s been suborned.

Let’s credit Bill and Loretta, though, and say this isn’t a House of Cards-style intrigue. Fine. But most people aren’t let off so easy. Consider the zealots who work at the Department of Justice and the low threshold they set for prosecution. Federal prosecutors believe that tossing a red grouper off of the side of a boat is destruction of evidence, and they’re willing to defend that lunacy all the way to the Supreme Court. It’s reasonable to believe, then, that anyone besides the Baroness of Clintonia would be indicted for risking state secrets.

When people of pedigree and power receive superior treatment under a separate law structure, this is a feature of aristocracy. When the privileged few receiving this treatment are running the country, this looks more like monarchy.

Neo-monarchism favors the few over the many, federal power over local control, bureaucrats over business owners. It puts control in the hands of elites, and exempts them from the law. And when those new monarchs choose the law they do desire, which is invariably a law that the citizens reject, neo-monarchism demands complete enforcement so that free choice is eliminated. Continue Reading

Hillary

FBI Announcement is a Slap in the Face to the Rule of Law

We can’t get away with what Hillary can. Tuesday, Director James Comey announced that the Federal Bureau of Investigation would not recommend a suit against Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton for having an email server used for both private emails and State Department communications. Despite the illegality of her actions, Clinton was only mildly embarrassed by her behavior, but her campaign remains strong and will not face consequences for her transgressions.

Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server was reported by the New York Times in early 2015. Not only was Mrs. Clinton operating a private server, but many say that people within State and the White House knew about it.

House Republicans are thoroughly displeased with the FBI’s decision, so much so that Director Comey was called to testify to Congress on Thursday about the investigation.

There are many problems with Hillary’s behavior, aside from lack of transparency and threats to national security. The issue lies in why Hillary Clinton is treated as above the law. Director Comey said in his statement, “[t]o be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.” Comey and the FBI have concluded that Hillary Clinton had broken a number of laws and protocol, but will not be charged for her crimes.

Other people throughout the government and military send and receive sensitive information on government servers on a daily basis. Other Secretaries of State and government officials have never been alleged to have over 100 emails containing classified information on a private server in their home. Military personnel who also handle classified and secret information spoke to Independent Journal on how they would be revoked of their security clearance, blacklisted, or fired if they did the same thing as Hillary Clinton.

The only explanation for Hillary getting off with a slap on the wrist is that there truly is a class of political elite, and then the rest of America. This is a sad example of the double-standard that exists within American government today between the government and the people. The political elite are being explicitly exempt from the consequences that any other citizen would face for the same crime.

Gone are the days of politicians and officials being subject to the same rule of law as the rest of the country.

#DemDebate

Dem debate exposes their out of touch priorities

Here are a few brief thoughts on Sunday’s Democratic presidential primary debate.

Priorities

What came up in the first hour and 15 minutes of the Democratic debate? Gun control, healthcare and even heroin. No mention of the Islamic State, terrorism or homeland security. Those issues came up almost immediately in Thursday’s Republican presidential primary debate.

Concern over terrorism spiked after the Paris attacks in November, and has since dropped only slightly. It will clearly be a major campaign issue in the 2016 elections. Combined, 17 percent of Americans think either terrorism, the Islamic State, national security or foreign policy are the most important issues facing the country, according to Gallup polling. Only four percent say healthcare, one percent say drugs, and seven percent say gun control.

Read the rest on the Washington Examiner here.

Clinton

Hillary ran for hawk-in-chief last night

Americans might have thought they were listening to John McCain or Lindsey Graham during last night’s Democratic debate.

Because Hillary Clinton unquestionably sounded like she was running for hawk-in-chief. On nearly every foreign policy question, Clinton’s answers seemed interchangeable with the most neoconservative-friendly candidates running in the Republican primary.

Hillary made a point of emphatically defending the war in Libya, which has left the country an embattled, smoldering ruin. She said that “President Obama made the right decision at the time.”

Just like Marco Rubio said in 2011.

Defending the complete fiasco that has become Libya post-intervention, Clinton argued:

“The Libyan people had a free election the first time since 1951. And you know what, they voted for moderates, they voted with the hope of democracy. Because of the Arab Spring, because of a lot of other things, there was turmoil to be followed.”

“Rosy” would be putting Hillary’s version of these events mildly.

Read the rest on Rare here.