In 1998, as the media caught onto the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Hillary Clinton appeared on The Today Show with Matt Lauer to defend her wayward husband. She blamed the Drudge Report and the rest of her political enemies for her husband’s travails:
I do believe that this is a battle. I mean, look at the very people who are involved in this — they have popped up in other settings. This is — the great story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president.
Now, as Peter Schweizer’s book, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, hits the market, Hillary is utilizing the same defense while in New Hampshire. Asked specifically about the charges that the Clinton Foundation took cash while she was Secretary of State, and that administration policy magically changed in favor of those who gave the cash:
We’re back into the political system and therefore I’ll be subjected to all kinds of distraction and attacks and I’m ready for that. I know that that comes unfortunately with the territory. It is I think worth noting that the Republicans seem to be talking only about me. I don’t know what they’d talk about if I weren’t in the race.
The vast right-wing conspiracy to get Hillary Clinton has apparently evolved to include a huge bevy of formerly left-wing and left-center sources who see Schweizer’s book as a legitimate derailing force for Hillary’s campaign.
For example, Cameron Barr, national editor of The Washington Post, said that “Mr. Schweizer’s background and his point of view are relevant factors, but not disqualifying ones. What interests us more are his facts and whether they can be the basis for further reporting by our own staff that would be compelling to our readers.” Clearly, Barr has been co-opted by the nefarious Koch Brothers.
Then there’s Margaret Hartman of New York Magazine, that notorious right-wing outlet, who wrote, “The claims might not be as entertaining as Hillary hurling yet another object at Bill, but if there’s any fact to them, we’re going to hear about it.” Hartman also noted, “the Times says [Schweizer’s] tone is neutral and the book is meticulously researched.”
Over at The Atlantic, David Graham defended Clinton over the allegations he had not yet read, stating that super PACs would be poorly positioned to make Americans aware of Hillary’s corruption. But even Graham had to add, “a forthcoming book by Peter Schweizer has excited the political world with allegations of quid pro quos, in which foreign governments gave to the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton, then serving as secretary of state, did them favors—essentially alleging bribery in foreign affairs.” His anti-Clinton agenda couldn’t be more obvious, of course.
And there’s Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post, who has never been mistaken for a Republican activist. The media critic wrote of Schweizer’s book:
OF COURSE we should be examining the claims made in Schweizer’s book. Come on! The most foundational principle of covering a presidential campaign (or anything, really) is trying your damnedest to give people the fullest possible picture of the candidates running to represent them. The more information you have at your disposal then, the better….We are information-gatherers at heart. Our job as reporters and editors and, more broadly as an organization, is to vet all of the information that comes at us to see what should be reported, what shouldn’t and what needs to be followed-up on. How then can we (or any media organization) justify turning aside everything in Schweizer’s book without a glance.
The good news for Hillary: some members of her beloved media will still come to her rescue. Dylan Byers at Politico is out to defend the fair maiden Hillary at all costs:
The New York Times, The Washington Post and Fox News have made exclusive agreements with a conservative author for early access to his opposition research on Hillary Clinton, a move that has confounded members of the Clinton campaign and some reporters, the On Media blog has confirmed.
As Cillizza razzed, “So, it’s not just the Clinton campaign that’s unhappy with the deal made by the Times, Post and Fox News. It’s ‘some reporters’ too.”
At the International Business Times, columnist Howard Koplowitz went even further, vetting Schweizer rather than the claims in Schweizer’s book with a piece titled, “Who is Peter Schweizer, ‘Clinton Cash’ Author? 5 Things to Know About Hillary Clinton Book Writer.” Why, it’s almost as if Koplowitz cares more about smearing Schweizer than about actually reporting factual claims about a presidential candidate. As though he were part of a vast left-wing conspiracy, or something.
And, of course, Salon.com, which publishes pieces about the value of incest, came to Clinton’s defense as well, calling Schweizer’s book a “sketchy Hillary ‘expose.’” The author of the piece, Heather Digby Parton, admits that the topic is well worth looking into and admits further that if the claims of the book are true, Hillary ought to be grilled on them. Then Parton spends the next several paragraphs explaining that no matter what the book says, it must be chock full of lies because Schweizer has written for Breitbart News.
Bad news for Hillary: the VRWC seems to have grown beyond its normal bounds. Or maybe, just maybe, Schweizer’s claims have legs, and even Hillary’s normal allies have been forced to acknowledge that unpleasant fact.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the new book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.