Amid the media furor about the Hillary Clinton emails, there have been a few voices of sanity. One of those voices belongs to Media Matters founder David Brock, who has not been afraid to say what he thinks is going on.
David Brock appeared on CNN on March 4, 2015, and spoke to Erin Burnett about the controversy. Also on the segment was Sean Spicer, the Chief Strategist and Communications Director for the Republican National Committee. Spicer starts off by making the ridiculous comment that Clinton’s email system was “clearly set up to evade the kind of monitoring and security systems that are in place in the government.” He offers no evidence to support that claim.
Brock responds that Clinton has handled everything correctly, and says that “all of the emails were preserved.” In response to that, Burnett asks him, “How do we know that?” This is a persistent theme already in this controversy. No matter how many emails Clinton releases, Republicans are going to claim that she hasn’t released all of them; that somewhere there is an email lurking that will provide the smoking gun about Benghazi. Never mind that none of the multiple investigations that have been conducted so far has turned up the slightest hint of wrongdoing on the part of Clinton. That mysterious email is there somewhere. It has to be!
While explaining his reasons for believing that Clinton has not done anything wrong, Brock mentions something that has been largely ignored by the media: the vast majority of Clinton’s email has been in the State Department’s servers for years, because they were sent to people with State Department addresses.
Spicer responds that Brock “has no clue what he is talking about.” He then says that if Brock does know, then he has violated the law, by coordinating with Clinton to violate ethics rules. Brock replies, “It’s always nice to hear from the Republican National Committee, because they should know. This is a Republican operation from top to bottom.”
Brock contrasts media coverage of Clinton email to that of Jeb Bush, and Scott Walker.
The mainstream media has had far more to say about the Clinton email scandal than similar issues faced by Republicans. Brock brings that into the conversation. He mentions Jeb Bush’s email, and says that Bush “cherry picked” the email he was going to release. Burnett, who not long before had asked Brock how he knew that Clinton had released all of her email, turns the question around, and this time asks him, “How do we know if that was cherry picking, or not?” This is how things work in the so-called liberal media. Clinton has the burden of proof to show that she has released all of her email, while Brock has the burden of proof to show that Jeb Bush cherry picked his email release.
Then there is the matter of current GOP golden boy, Scott Walker. Brock mentions the secret email system that allowed Walker’s staff to do political work while on county time, when he was Milwaukee County executive.
The conversation returns to the question of how do we know that Clinton released all of the pertinent email. Brock points out that the law says that the head of the agency gets to determine what is pertinent. “So, the fox gets to guard the henhouse,” Spicer sneers.
“If you’re going to say ‘that doesn’t work,’ then you’re going to hold Hillary Clinton to a double standard. It works for every other head of every government agency,” Brock says.
Spicer comes back to his original talking point. After again telling Brock that he doesn’t know that Clinton has completely followed the law, Spicer repeats his unsubstantiated statement that Clinton set up her own email server to evade government security.
The longer you listen to Sean Spicer talk, the easier it is to believe that David Brock is correct; that this whole controversy has been drummed up by the Republican party, that is scared to death of a Hillary Clinton candidacy. This controversy about Clinton’s email provides Republicans with a two pronged line of attack. First, it allows them to portray her as somehow “lawless,” or above the law. Second, it allows for yet another inquiry into one of Republicans’ favorite topics: Benghazi. For a Republican party that oversaw the deaths of over 4,000 Americans, and countless Iraqis, in a needless war, there’s obviously nothing more important than hanging the deaths of four American diplomats around the neck of a Democrat.
Here’s the conversation, from “Erin Burnett OutFront,” via Media Matters:
Image via Frank Plitt/Wikimedia Commons