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NYT’s Peters: Media Matters ‘Exists’ to ‘Misdirect’ On Hillary Criticisms

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New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters criticized Media Matters and others in the Clinton “orbit” for “misdirecting” on any criticisms of Hillary Clinton on Thursday’s “NOW with Alex Wagner” on MSNBC.

Peters first discussed the Benghazi Select Committee’s announcement that its investigation may run into 2016. Peters argued that the announcement does undermine the non-partisanship of the committe and “undermines, actually Gowdy’s objectivity. Because, he all along was never seen as a — the same kind of partisan figure that, for example, Darrell Issa was. I think Gowdy brought a certain measure of dispassion to this process. But, they thought they were going to get ahead of this, and have Hillary come in and testify in private and everything, and the Clinton campaign has actually, very deftly, I think, spun this back around on the Benghazi Committee and said, ‘well, no, you just want to have her there in private because you don’t want the world to see your true partisan motives.’ So, I think that definitely, they are back on their heels now, and they’re, you know, if anybody ever thought this was going to be an objective investigation in the first place, I think certainly, Republicans are going to have a much harder time making that case now.” Green added, “the problem with Benghazi from kind of a Republican political standpoint is that it’s always been this Hail Mary to try and somehow make Clinton herself culpable for a terrible tragedy in Libya that she was several steps removed from, and they sort of kept at it because they haven’t really had a better political weapon.”

Later, after the story turned more towards the finances of the Clintons and their foundation, Peters stated, “the Clinton campaign has certainly already taken some steps to try to get ahead of public relations problems like that, for example, Hillary resigned from the board. I think they’re going to have to be more transparent about the speaking fees, because those questions are just going to keep on piling up. What I wonder is if the Clinton message machine ever decides to kind of — to re-calibrate and dial it back a little bit. Because right now, and this isn’t all coming from the Clinton camp itself, but it comes from that orbit around them, where you have these people, whose main goal is to misdirect and obfuscate every time there is the slightest bit of criticism about the Clinton’s leadership.”

Host Alex Wagner then said, “in their mind, they’re not — misinforming and obfuscating, they’re clarifying and telling the truth,” a statement that both Peters and Green disagreed with. Green declared, “I don’t think that’s true at all, Alex. They know what they’re doing.” Green said, “they are definitely misdirecting here. I mean, this is what Media Matters exists to do.”

Wagner then asked Green about “Clinton Cash” author Peter Schweizer, during her question, she did conceded Schweizer’s plans to investigate Jeb Bush “complicates the Clinton camp’s argument.”

Green argued, “Schweizer is a conservative, there’s no question about it. But he isn’t the kind of guy who goes out and kind of fabricates wild stories, and has heated fantasies about all the evil that the Clintons are doing, which has been kind of standard fare for books about the Clintons written by Republicans. He’s a serious guy. He’s written serious books about the Bushs, about the 2012 Stock Act — I’m sorry, about insider trading in Congress, that led to the 2012 Stock Act. I mean, he’s a very well regarded guy by most people who aren’t on the payroll of Media Matters for America, who aren’t Clinton partisans. And I think as this Times story showed today, the material he’s got in this book is serious based on real things that happened in the real world, and raised a lot of questions. And the fact that the Foundation is now going to re-file all their tax forms, I think emphasizes the fact that there really are questions here that need to be answered.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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