Hillary Clinton has been the subject of a huge right-wing conspiracy for a quarter century, but it’s her fault. That’s the conclusion of the conservative Washington Post. It’s all because she is secretive, and WaPo claims it started with Clinton’s failed Arkansas real estate investment. Aides blamed President Bill Clinton’s refusal to be transparent about Whitewater on Hillary. Then came a series of other “gates” as the GOP tried to destroy both Hillary and Bill Clinton. Since then, billions of dollars have been spent in the Clinton conspiracy/scandal theories.
Over 40 anti-Hillary books are available just on amazon.com, including three of the top ten best sellers on the NYT hardcover nonfiction list. Passionate opposition to Clinton finds ulterior motives in every Clinton action. No one has any facts to hate her, but hate her many people do. They just have that “feeling” that she’s untrustworthy.
The myth of Clinton’s low likability ratings comes from both sides of the media that constantly ask why she is not likability. Her favorable rating is actually 41 percent—not as good as President Obama’s current 52 percent but far better than Trump’s 34 percent, House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) 33 percent, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) 16 percent, and the GOP’s overall 34 percent. Yet no asks about the lack of GOP leaders’ favorability.
The media is so anti-Clinton that it refuses to point out that she had a 69-percent favorability when she left her job as Secretary of State, making her the most popular in this position, and topped Gallup’s list of America’s “Most Admired Woman” for the last 14 years in a row and 20 times total. As Sady Doyle pointed out at Quartz, women who “lean in” are described as “aggressive,” “pushy,” and “bitchy.” Women aren’t supposed to ask for promotions. People associate positive leadership attributes with male characteristics and punish women who aim for a male-dominated position—because it makes them unlikable, a characteristic important for women but not men.
Associated Press, long considered conservative, went so far over the edge in partisanship that even other journalists howled in anger. The press agency released a story claiming that “half of the people Hillary Clinton met with as Secretary of State were Clinton Foundation donors.” It covered only 154 meetings in two years amidst thousands of Clinton meetings, however, and skipped every meeting with a “government official.” The meetings also resulted in no problematic favors. Most of the stories about the Clinton Foundation eliminate the fact that the Clinton Foundation helps provide medication for more than half of all adults and 75 percent of children impacted by HIV/AIDS worldwide. Yet the GOP is using the AP article as an excuse to investigate Clinton.
Extensive investigations found no proof that there was anything criminal in her emails, Benghazi, and the Clinton Foundation—the only foci of incessant lambasting. Media concentrating on the foundation have produced lists of people who both donated to the foundation and were able to see Clinton but no favors that were given any of these people.
RNC chair Reince Priebus asserts that he “knows” that Clinton gave away international secrets in her emails, and people believe him despite his total lack of any proof after multiple investigations. The only reason that the FBI claimed Clinton’s server was “probably” hacked is that servers are usually hacked—a situation occurring with many government servers including the one at the State Department.
The media and GOP treat Clinton in a very special way, for example demanding emails only from her and no one else. Dana Perino, who ranted about Hillary Clinton’s emails, was White House press secretary defending over five million lost emails from the George W.Bush administration in 2007 during a time of multiple scandals include deliberately compromised classified information.
One huge disappointment for Republicans is the FBI release of the interview notes with Clinton about her emails. The report showed that she didn’t delete emails, she didn’t tell her staff to delete emails, and she trusted her legal team to do what the FBI wanted–in short, she told the truth about the emails. It’s unlikely, however, that the media will report this information without twisting it into something negative about Clinton.
Although non-profit organizations are not required to release donors, the Clinton Foundation started making this information public eight years ago when Hillary Clinton ran for president the first time. The George W. Bush Foundation raised $361.8 million between 2010 and 2013 but has no disclosure for donors. The foundation for George H.W. Bush makes less money but still doesn’t release its donors. It was also taking in money during H.W. Bush’s administration, and W. Bush’s foundation was operating while brother Jeb was running for president.
If Republicans were able to find anything wrong with what Clinton had done, they wouldn’t come up with manufactured falsehoods about Clinton’s health or her supposed involvement in the 1993 tragic death of a close friend, Vincent Foster. Each time that one conspiracy fails, the GOP creates another one.
The GOP history of scandal—Nixon’s Watergate, Reagan’s Iran-Contra scandal, hostile Senate hearings of Supreme Court nominees Robert H. Bork and Clarence Thomas, etc.—led to more and more resentment from the right, that continued to rapidly move farther right. Then Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-GA) forced out House Speaker Jim Wright (D-TX) on ethics charges in 1990. The House sank deeper into the morass of corruption as Dennis Hastert, now revealed as a serial child abuser, became Speaker in 1999 because of Rep. Robert L. Livingston’s (R-LA) extramarital affairs following the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.
A conservative organization founded in 1994, Judicial Watch, is one of the most dogged groups to smear the Clintons. Now it has company from Julian Assange at WikiLeaks who is determined to destroy Clinton. Started as a way to make politics more transparent, Assange is using information from Russian hackers to influence the U.S. election as well as endangering people’s lives through providing health and sexual orientation information.
In trying to destroy Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump calls her “crooked Hillary” and “the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency.” He projects his own corrupt nature onto her but fails to produce any proof of wrong-doing on Clinton’s part. Yet the repetition of these phrases cements them into the susceptible brains of those who desperately want to believe anything negative about Clinton. She also gets blamed for her husband’s actions.
The conspiracy theories were exacerbated by the GOP’s inability to take down President Bill Clinton; the pressure increased after he won a second term and accelerated when Hillary Clinton went into politics herself. When the Clintons accused right-wing organizations of spreading unverified stories that eventually turned up on the mainstream media, conservatives called them paranoid. In a backlash to the conspiracy theory, David Brock started Media Matters in 2004. Although conservatives had far more resources, other media such as Huffington Post and Talking Points Memo were started. And now WaPo agrees that there has been a long-term record of conspiracies against the Clintons.
Imagine a media world that ignores all these conspiracy theories in the same way that the mainstream media skips over the lawsuits against Trump for rape, corruption, racism, etc. Imagine, too, if the media published positive information about Clinton’s accomplishments during the past half century. While the media glows about Trump’s wonderful children—who were reared by their mothers and nannies—it ignores Hillary Clinton’s success as a mother and daughter. While tearing Clinton down, the media rarely points out that she tells the truth almost all the time while Trump lies almost all the time.
More special treatment for Clinton: Trump gets millions of dollars for speaking, but people complain only about Hillary Clinton’s speeches although she donates most of the money to others. Corporations and wealthy people give billions of dollars to politicians to buy their positions, but people complain about the Clinton Foundation that doesn’t financially benefit Hillary Clinton. The NRA buys legislators to prevent universal background checks despite overwhelming support for this program by gun owners and others, but only Hillary Clinton is described as corrupt despite no evidence of inappropriate favors. Trump has financial interests throughout the world and refuses to provide an information about them while he plans to continue these if he’s elected, but Hillary Clinton must divest herself from the Clinton Foundation. Trump refuses to release his tax returns while Hillary has published three decades of personal tax returns and made those for the Clinton Foundation public, but people maintain that Clinton is hiding something.
Trump convinced the GOP to remove any sanctions against Russia for taking Crimea as a favor to his Russian friends. Yet people claim that Trump is honest, and Clinton is cheating. There’s something wrong with this picture that the media paints.