The Daily Banter

Clinton’s Email and the Slow Death of Both Accurate Journalism and Critical Reading

Written by Bob Cesca

At the risk of making this about me, anyone who's followed my writing since the 2008 Democratic primary fracas knows that I'm far from being a Hillary Clinton superfan. Since then, and due to how she comported herself following Barack Obama's nomination, I've warmed up to Clinton -- slightly -- though I still have reservations. Not so much in terms of another potential dynasty-based president (U.S. politics has always featured dynastic candidates, see also Kennedy, Adams, Roosevelt, Bush, Rockefeller, etc) but I've always been weary about a return to old school, baby-boomer Democratic politics, which, by the way, the Obama presidency has mercifully sidestepped for the most part.

Put another way: I don't have skin in the Clinton game. I'm neither an activist nor a Democratic Party apparatchik. For personal reasons, and to be perfectly frank, I hope a Democratic candidate wins in 2016, but my job isn't to campaign or shill for whomever the nominee happens to be.

My reporting surrounding the Clinton email story so far isn't intended to be a defense of her email practices or her veracity one way or another. Not unlike my coverage of the Ed Snowden saga, I have grave concerns about the lack of quality in the journalism and the kneejerk assumptions that follow it, both in terms of secondary reporting and the conventional wisdom that grows out of the muck.

This is where we are with this story. Based upon two very flawed articles, one from The New York Times and another from the Associated Press, the reaction among talkers, analysts, writers and observers is reflective of bad or absent information. Neither bombshell revealed any laws that were broken, and the AP article about Clinton's alleged "homebrew" email server explicitly stated, "It was not immediately clear exactly where Clinton ran that computer system," but only after stating in both its headline and its text that Clinton was "running her own email server."

Then there's an AP story published on Friday, titled "'HOMEBREW' EMAIL SERVERS: GENIUS AS WELL AS SNEAKY?" The second line of the article:

The personal email server used by Hillary Rodham Clinton during her time as secretary of state was most likely about the size of your office desktop computer and could have been tucked quietly in a corner somewhere.

Again, the original source article stated: "It was not immediately clear exactly where Clinton ran that computer system." Yet... CONTINUE READING