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New York Times Stealth-Edits Clinton Email Story at Her Command

On Thursday evening, the New York Times broke a bombshell story that could spell doom for Hillary Clinton’s already-faltering campaign.  The headline read, “Criminal Inquiry Sought in Hillary Clinton’s Use of Email.”

The article began as follows: “Two inspectors general have asked the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation into whether Hillary Rodham Clinton mishandled sensitive government information on a private email account she used as secretary of state, senior government officials said Thursday.”

But suddenly, without notice to readers or attribution, the headline was changed to, “Criminal Inquiry Is Sought in Clinton Email Account.

It’s so very, very, very good to be Democrat royalty.  You never get asked tough questions about issues that make your big supporters squirm, like Planned Parenthood’s baby parts-harvesting operation.  You’re completely insulated from everything other members of your Party do and say, while every Republican is instantly joined at the hip with the most controversial members of theirs.  Your court media will leap into action at the snap of your fingers, suppressing or blunting stories and headlines that are incredibly damaging to your campaign.

The opening paragraph of the story was stealth-edited to an even more absurd degree, to distance Clinton herself from the story.  It now reads as if she was a bystander to the potentially illegal activity: “Two inspectors general have asked the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation into whether sensitive government information was mishandled in connection with the personal email account Hillary Rodham Clinton used as secretary of state, senior government officials said Thursday.” [emphasis added]

The Times even altered the URL of the web page to cover its tracks, evidently having learned that one of the favorite tactics of media watchdogs is to check the URL – which usually defaults to the initial headline – against what the story currently says.

As of Friday morning, there was nothing in the article to indicate it had been changed, or why.  This isn’t a correction or an update – it’s chicanery.

And there’s no mystery about why, as reporter Michael Schmidt explained to Politico: “It was a response to complaints we received from the Clinton camp that we thought were reasonable, and we made them.”

As for the story itself, interested readers might want to check it out before Hillary Clinton demands more stealth edits from her good friends in the editorial room.  At the moment, it explains that the unnamed inspectors general sent a memo to Patrick F. Kennedy, under secretary of state for management, saying that hundreds of the emails sent through Clinton’s secret, possibly illegal mail server were “potentially classified.”

Clinton has always maintained no formally classified information was sent through the insecure server, although a great deal of unquestionably sensitive material was.  Students of the email scandal have wondered how anyone could effectively serve as Secretary of State without sending or receiving any classified information, although Hillary Clinton’s disastrous performance in the office might actually make her claims of never handling secret documents more plausible.

One of the details that needs clearing up is whether material pumped through Clinton’s basement server was classified at the time.  At least two dozen of the emails she decided to hand over to Congress, rather than pronouncing them “personal” and defying subpoenas to destroy them, were redacted because they have been retroactively classified by the State Department.  It would have been nice to have a Secretary of State who knew better than to send information so sensitive it would be retroactively classified through a hacker-vulnerable mail account she wasn’t supposed to be using in the first place, but here we are.

However, the Times adds: “In a second memo to Mr. Kennedy, sent on July 17, the inspectors general said that at least one email made public by the State Department contained classified information. The inspectors general did not identify the email or reveal its substance.”

The article goes on to discuss the State Department’s generally slipshod handling of sensitive material and its foot-dragging response to Freedom of Information Act requests and congressional subpoenas it has been ignoring, in some cases for years.

Amusingly, the Times reports that “some State Department officials said they believe that many senior officials did not initially take the [House Select Committee on Benghazi] seriously, which slowed document production and created an appearance of stonewalling.”

A branch of Barack Obama’s corrupt, hyper-partisan Administration didn’t think it had to bother with a lawful investigation conducted by the Republican House majority?  Who could have seen that coming?

On the subject of corruption, don’t hold your breath waiting for Obama’s Justice Department to investigate Hillary Clinton’s email abuses.  They’re too busy launching investigations into the people who would dare expose Planned Parenthood’s possible violation of the law to harvest baby organs for sale, in pursuit of the cash needed to buy expensive sports cars.  This story isn’t likely to go any further than the inspectors general making their recommendation, which is enormously embarrassing for Clinton, and will get people talking about a subject she’s been hoping her loyal friends, financial supporters, and former employees in the press could bury while she lays low during the Trump Moment.

It’s a measure of just how embarrassing it is that she was able to pick up the phone, or maybe fire off an email from one of those portable devices she claims she hates carrying, and get the story stealth-edited in a matter of minutes.

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