Thursday, May 26, 2016

A big nothingburger

The State Department released a report on Hillary Clinton's email server yesterday. Here's the article in the New York Times.

But to my mind, this comment by Josh Marshall at TPM sums it up pretty well:
Let's focus on the essential point: Despite the fact that there are some real questions about the impartiality of the IG, the report says the issues with the management of the Secretary of State's emails are of longstanding and go back with the last five Secretaries of State. The report also singles out Colin Powell, who had a similar set up. The criticism is there. It definitely wasn't a good arrangement. But to see this as a damaging report after the hyperbolic and frequently insane coverage of this issue is crazy. This was never more than some poor judgment overlayed by a big bureaucratic pissing match all slathered over by a thick layer of partisan game playing and media derp.

Like most Clinton scandals, if there there hadn't been months, maybe more than a year of weird conspiracy theories, expected perp walks and general nonsense, one might read this and say, wow, that's disappointing. But after all that, it's just a big nothingburger. Like it almost always is.

Yup, that about sums it up. But Republicans want political ammunition, so they'll manufacture it from whatever they can. And the media want viewers. The media want sensationalism. A story on "nothing to see here" is useless to them.

There's another thing that strikes me about this ridiculous 'controversy.' There were no negative results from it. Not even Republicans claim that anything actually happened as a result of her using her personal email account (as other Secretaries of State did, as well).

At least the Benghazi circus had four dead Americans to drag through the political muck. What does this have? Conspiracy theories?

Keep in mind that government officials still send personal emails. They're expected to keep official business separate, though that's entirely a matter of their own judgment. The fact that Clinton sent personal emails, too, is a complete non-issue, no matter how much her political enemies try to imply something nefarious.

Republicans have attacked Hillary Clinton nonstop for two decades now, and the media have gone along with it, because 'controversy' sells. Those attacks have had a real effect on Clinton's popularity (which Republicans have even admitted was the whole point), but they haven't found anything that's even slightly noteworthy.

Just a big nothingburger.

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