As the allegations from Peter Schweizer’s blockbuster new book Clinton Cash spread through the media, Clinton flacks are spinning the charges as “old news” — but many in the media aren’t playing along with the official line.
Clinton operatives are trying to tear down the book before its release. Top Clinton operative John Podesta came out of the gate early to denounce the book with a Monday interview on The Charlie Rose Show.
But not everyone is toeing the Clinton line. In its first article introducing readers to the soon-to-be-released Clinton Cash, The New York Times took a serious tone on the allegations contained in the book. As former Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs pointed out, while the paper of record wasn’t glowing about Schweizer, “it certainly wasn’t disparaging of the author,” Gibbs said.
The Huffington Post also hastened to point out that Schweizer’s book isn’t a work to be easily dismissed. They found the author’s history to be notable and not one of a simple right-wing partisan: “Schweizer’s material has been solid enough to earn him partnerships with mainstream news outlets.”
Long-time journalist Carl Bernstein also disparaged the Clinton camp for its base assumptions about the public. Clinton and her team, Bernstein said, “don’t trust the ability of readers, viewers, voters to process the best obtainable version of the truth.”
The left-wing website Think Progress is also not laughing book away.
Like many on the left, Think Progress feels that some of the charges that the Clintons have taken donations from some pretty bad actors is not something to so easily dismiss.
Think Progress particularly lighted on Schweizer’s revelations about Clinton’s largess from “shady donors” like the Lundin Group, “a mining, oil and gas company that was investigated for war crimes in Sudan and has reportedly reaped massive profits in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo.”
Lundin committed $100 million to the Clinton Foundation shortly after Hillary announced her presidential candidacy in 2007. Schweizer points to a 2006 law co-sponsored by Clinton and Obama, which gave the secretary of state powers to hold destabilizing forces in the DRC accountable, and notes that Clinton declined to employ those powers after Lundin’s donation.
“Another murky practice discussed in the book was the State Department’s use of the special government employee (SGE) rule,” Think Progress wrote, “which allowed some staffers to simultaneously work for the State Department and non-government organizations, including the Clinton Foundation.”
It’s looking like if Team Clinton thinks that the media will simply dismiss Peter Schweizer’s Clinton Cash as instructed, they might be disappointed.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter: @warnerthuston. Email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.