Media Get Curious About Hillary’s Story of Joining The Marines

Hillary Rodham Clinton
AP/Jacquelyn Martin

The Republican field has had, well, a field day bashing the media – and for good reason. The botched hits on Ben Carson’s biography, the attacks on the finances of Marco Rubio, the endless parade of whining about Donald Trump’s various statements – the media have been all over the Republican candidates from the outset.

The media have been all over Hillary Clinton, too, but more like Bill Clinton is all over the nearby intern. Caught lying about Benghazi? She had the best week ever. Laugh about a child rape victim or strangling Carly Fiorina? She’s the victim of Bernie Sanders’ sexism.

It’s sure nice to be a Democrat.

The campaign against media bias, however, seems to be bearing some results. After the Republicans nearly-unanimously (thanks for nothing, John “My Father Was a Mailman” Kasich) beat up the media for the CNBC debate, media members have reluctantly edged toward criticisms of Hillary.

A week ago, this author explicitly called out the media for failing to cover Hillary’s claims that she tried to join the Marines in 1975. On Thursday, CNN senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny followed up on that story. The story first cropped up in 1994, when Hillary said she visited a recruiting office in Arkansas, but was rejected because of her age and thick glasses. Hillary said, according to New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, that the Marines told her, “You’re too old, you can’t see and you’re a woman…Maybe the dogs would take you.” Hillary added, “It was not a very encouraging conversation. I decided maybe I’ll look for another way to serve my country.”

Dowd wondered openly whether Hillary’s story was true. Some of Hillary’s friends now say she did it in order to humiliate the Marines as sexist. Dowd wrote that Hillary “did not seem to fit in with the First Lady’s own persona,” since Hillary was a peacenik at Wellesley, and added that Hillary moved to Arkansas to be with Bill, not join the military. In 2008, Bill told a version of the story in which he said Hillary tried to join the Army.

In 2007, Hillary was asked about her Marines tale by Michael Crowley of The New Republic. Crowley wrote, “At this her eyes narrowed and she threw me a glare of mistrust. ‘I have very deep and quite broad relationships with people in the military,’ she said. As for the meaning of the recruiting visit, ‘I can’t tell you,’ she said with a dismissive wave. ‘You go look at that.’”

How transparent.

Hillary has claimed discrimination from other government agencies as well. She said earlier this year that when she was 13, she wrote a letter to NASA about being an astronaut, and they told her she was unqualified due to her X chromosomes. This would have been illegal. She has no copy of the letter.

Zeleny, asked about Hillary’s Marine story on CNN, said:

“We don’t have enough specifics actually to actually know if it’s true or not…She didn’t give any explanation. So, we asked her campaign for just a few more details on this. Because it seems so unusual that a Yale-educated lawyer who worked on the anti-war campaigns of McCarthy and McGovern, who had just moved to Arkansas, whose husband was about to become the Attorney General of the state would decide to want to join the Marines. But the campaign said they’re not going to add any more comment on this. So the questions are left to discuss here.”

Over at The Washington Post, Glenn Kessler took a break from fibbing about Marco Rubio long enough to give the story two Pinocchios:

“At first glance, this story doesn’t really add up, for the reasons that Dowd initially outlined. But as we noted The Post did locate friends who recalled she had tried to join the Marines, though the circumstances are fuzzy. Clinton suggests she simply decided to join the Marines, as part of way to serve the country. But it makes more sense that she approached the Marines as part of a deliberate effort to test the boundaries available to women.”

Of course, that didn’t stop Kessler from slapping at Ben Carson anyway, writing, “As Ben Carson can attest, memories can get hazy after 40 years (or even 21 years).”

But Kessler adds, “There are enough holes here that Clinton has an obligation to address the circumstances under which she approached the Marines, now that she had once again raised it in a campaign context.”

Will she answer such questions, or even be asked them? Probably not, if the media hold true to pattern. But so long as Republicans continue to scoff at the pro-Hillary media, every so often a beam of truth can shine through their smokescreen around the former Secretary of State.

Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News, Editor-in-Chief of, and The New York Times bestselling author, most recently, of the book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.