It’s understandable that Clinton’s camp is unhappy that the book’s claims are getting aired before everyone’s seen the book—right now they’re left to push back against sweeping notions of wrongdoing, instead of specific evidence. And the Clintons know better than most that high-profile investigations can leave the impression of corruption even when none was there (as well as turn up unrelated ugly truths). But the book’s early hype can be traced back to Paul—who began making oblique references to the book’s allegations on Fox News the same day he formally entered the race two weeks ago—not the media outlets that Brock is attacking.
If Clinton’s camp is so sure that the book is a nothingburger, then it should welcome mainstream outlets that are willing to do the legwork to verify or debunk accusations that her GOP challengers are already parroting on the stump. [emphasis added]
Even if Schweizer’s work turns out to be nothing more than the equivalent of opposition research, that won’t mean it’s unworthy of attention. But it will require independent verification and further digging—which is exactly what outlets like the Times and the Washington Post are hoping to provide.
How the Clinton Foundation operates and how transparent Hillary Clinton is willing to be with the American public are legitimate questions that reporters should ask. Clinton may not be excited about that prospect—but her recent email scandal and hard-to-believe explanation are a reminder that too often she has a tendency not to adequately answer tough but necessary questions like these. The frustrating reality, though, is that as long as her critics can score cheap points with their base by begging unvetted questions, Clinton will be able to do the same with hers without having to answer ones that need to be taken seriously.
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