A Clinton Story Fraught With Inaccuracies: How It Happened and What’s Next?

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Make no mistake. A Clinton presidency would be disastrous – the worst of all possible deplorable choices, none worthy of any public office, all aspirants beholden to wealth, power and privilege exclusively.

 

By Margaret Sullivan – Public Editor’s Journal

July 27, 2015 10:00 am

Updated: July 28, 2015 | The story certainly seemed like a blockbuster: A criminal investigation of Hillary Rodham Clinton by the Justice Department was being sought by two federal inspectors general over her email practices while secretary of state.

It’s hard to imagine a much more significant political story at this moment, given that she is the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination for president.

The story a Times exclusive — appeared high on the home page and the mobile app late Thursday and on Friday and then was displayed with a three-column headline on the front page in Friday’s paper. The online headline read “Criminal Inquiry Sought in Hillary Clinton’s Use of Email,” very similar to the one in print.

But aspects of it began to unravel soon after it first went online. The first major change was this: It wasn’t really Mrs. Clinton directly who was the focus of the request for an investigation. It was more general: whether government information was handled improperly in connection with her use of a personal email account.

Much later, The Times backed off the startling characterization of a “criminal inquiry,” instead calling it something far tamer sounding: it was a “security” referral.

From Thursday night to Sunday morning – when a final correction appeared in print – the inaccuracies and changes in the story were handled as they came along, with little explanation to readers, other than routine corrections. The first change I mentioned above was written into the story for hours without a correction or any notice of the change, which was substantive.

And the evolving story, which began to include a new development, simply replaced the older version. That development was that several instances of classified information had been found in Mrs. Clinton’s personal email – although, in fairness, it’s doubtful whether the information was marked as classified when she sent or received those emails. Eventually, a number of corrections were appended to the online story, before appearing in print in the usual way – in small notices on Page A2.

But you can’t put stories like this back in the bottle – they ripple through the entire news system.

So it was, to put it mildly, a mess. As a result, I’ve been spending the last couple of days asking how this could happen and how something similar can be prevented in the future. I’ve spoken to the executive editor, Dean Baquet; to a top-ranking editor involved with the story, Matt Purdy; and to the two reporters, Matt Apuzzo and Michael S. Schmidt.

Meanwhile, I heard from readers, like Maria Cranor who wanted clarification and explanation on The Times’s “recent, and mystifying, coverage of the HRC emails. It appears that your reporters relied on leaks from the Gowdy committee to suggest that Clinton was involved in some kind of criminal malfeasance around the emails. The subsequent walk backs have not been effective, or encouraging. Please help us retain our wavering confidence in the Times’ political coverage!” (Her reference is to the Republican congressman, Trey Gowdy.)

Another reader, Paul Kingsley, demanded a refund for his Friday paper. “We all deserve one,” he wrote to me. And, complaining about the lack of transparency and the errors, he added:

1) please repost the original reporting;
2) provide an explanation as to how it made it to press and what was wrong.
3) what are you going to do to prevent such inaccurate bias in the future?
4) are you going to minimize using unnamed sources?

The story developed quickly on Thursday afternoon and evening, after tips from various sources, including on Capitol Hill. The reporters had what Mr. Purdy described as “multiple, reliable, highly placed sources,” including some “in law enforcement.” I think we can safely read that as the Justice Department.

The sources said not only was there indeed a referral but also that it was directed at Mrs. Clinton herself, and that it was a criminal referral. And that’s how The Times wrote it initially.

“We got it wrong because our very good sources had it wrong,” Mr. Purdy told me. “That’s an explanation, not an excuse. We have an obligation to get facts right and we work very hard to do that.”

By Friday afternoon, the Justice Department issued a terse statement, saying that there had been a referral related to the potential compromise of classified information, stating clearly that it was not a criminal referral. Mr. Purdy says he remains puzzled about why the initial inaccurate information was confirmed so clearly. (Update: Other news outlets also got confirmation of the criminal referral as they followed The Times’s story. They did not report, as an earlier version of this post suggested, that she herself was the target of the referral.)

There are at least two major journalistic problems here, in my view. Competitive pressure and the desire for a scoop led to too much speed and not enough caution. Mr. Purdy told me that the reporters, whom he described as excellent and experienced, were “sent back again and again” to seek confirmation of the key elements; but while no one would discuss the specifics of who the sources were, my sense is that final confirmation came from the same person more than once.

The reporters and editors were not able to see the referral itself, Mr. Purdy said, and that’s the norm in such cases; anything else would be highly unusual, he said. So they were relying on their sources’ interpretation of it. All at The Times emphasized that the core of the initial story – the request for an investigation – is true, and that it was major news, as was the later development.

Hindsight’s easy, but I’ll take a stab at it anyway. Here’s my take:

First, consider the elements. When you add together the lack of accountability that comes with anonymous sources, along with no ability to examine the referral itself, and then mix in the ever-faster pace of competitive reporting for the web, you’ve got a mistake waiting to happen. Or, in this case, several mistakes.

Reporting a less sensational version of the story, with a headline that did not include the word “criminal,” and continuing to develop it the next day would have been a wise play. Better yet: Waiting until the next day to publish anything at all.

Losing the story to another news outlet would have been a far, far better outcome than publishing an unfair story and damaging The Times’s reputation for accuracy.

What’s more, when mistakes inevitably happen, The Times needs to be much more transparent with readers about what is going on. Just revising the story, and figuring out the corrections later, doesn’t cut it.

Mr. Baquet, who is a former Times Washington bureau chief, told me Sunday by phone that he faults himself on this score, and he would do it differently now.

“We should have explained to our readers right away what happened here, as soon as we knew it,” he said. That could have been in an editor’s note or in a story, or in some other form, he said.

“The readers of The New York Times got whipsawed,” by all the conflicting reports and criticism, he said.

He agreed, as Mr. Purdy did, that special care has to come with the use of anonymous sources, but he believes that the errors here “may have been unavoidable.” And Mr. Purdy said that he thought The Times probably took too long to append a correction in the first instance.

But, Mr. Baquet said, he does not fault the reporters or editors directly involved.

“You had the government confirming that it was a criminal referral,” Mr. Baquet said. “I’m not sure what they could have done differently on that.”

None of this should be used to deny the importance of The Times’s reporting on the subject of Mrs. Clinton’s email practices at the State Department, a story Mr. Schmidt broke in March. Although her partisans want the focus shifted to these errors, the fact remains that her secret email system hamstrung possible inquiries into her conduct while secretary of state both by the news media and the public under the Freedom of Information Act and by Congress. And her awarding to herself the first cull of those emails will make suspicion about what they contained a permanent part of the current campaign.

Nevertheless, the most recent story is both a messy and a regrettable chapter. It brings up important issues that demand to be thought about and discussed internally with an eye to prevention in the future.

Mr. Baquet and Mr. Purdy said that would happen, especially on the issue of transparency to readers. In my view, that discussion must also include the rampant use of anonymous sources, and the need to slow down and employ what might seem an excess of caution before publishing a political blockbuster based on shadowy sources.

I’ll summarize my prescription in four words: Less speed. More transparency.

After all, readers come to The Times not for a scoop, though those can be great, but for fair, authoritative and accurate information. And when things do go wrong, readers deserve a thorough, immediate explanation from the top. None of that happened here.

(Update: An editors’ note, explaining the errors and stating that corrections should have been handled differently, was published late Monday, and appeared in Tuesday’s paper on page A2.)

Hillary Clinton Pushes GMO Agenda, Hires Monsanto Lobbyist, Takes Huge Dollars from Monsanto

 

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Clinton-Monstanto-2016-Button-400Democrats who had been programmed to blindly vote for Hillary Clinton are picking their jaws up off the floor after learning the truth about Hillary’s ties to Monsanto. The ties run so deep that she’s now being dubbed the “Bride of Frankenfood.” (Tweet this story)Shockingly, Hillary Clinton’s ties to Monsanto are new information to her liberal support base. It drives home the important point that nearly everyone supporting Hillary Clinton has no idea who she really is, as evidenced by this stunning new video from Mark Dice and Luke Rudkowski.

“Hillary Rodham Clinton’s ties to agribusiness giant Monsanto, and her advocacy for the industry’s genetically modified crops, have environmentalists in Iowa calling her ‘Bride of Frankenfood’” reports the Washington Times. “A large faction of women voiced strong support for Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy until the GMO issue came up, prompting them to switch allegiances to Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont, a liberal stalwart challenging her for the Democratic nomination.”

Oh my, how little they really know about the real Hillary Clinton… keep reading to find out more…

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Monsanto and Bill Gates are top donors to the Clinton Family Foundation

A quick look at this table of Clinton Family Foundation donors reveals both the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Monsanto as two of the heavy-hitting donors to the Clinton Family Foundation.

Bill Gates, of course, pushes vaccines on the world, while Monsanto pushes GMOs. It’s a toxic one-two punch for global depopulation.

Hillary Clinton’s donors also include the drug maker Pfizer, ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical, Goldman Sachs, Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and many more. It’s a who’s who compilation of the most evil corporations and institutions on planet Earth, and they’ve all given huge money — tens of millions of dollars — to Hillary Clinton.

All the corporations are, of course, buying influence with the Clintons. This obvious fact was wildly attacked by extreme leftist Democratic party operatives like George Stephanopoulos, who turned out to have hidden his own $75,000 in donations to the same Clinton Foundation. He claims he thought he was donating to halt “deforestation.” Hillaryious!

Hillary Clinton hires former Monsanto lobbyist to run her campaign

If you’re still not convinced that Hillary Clinton has strong ties to Monsanto, ask yourself why she just hired a prominent Monsanto lobbyist to run her campaign.

As True Activist reports:

Hillary Clinton recently announced that she will be appointing long-time Monsanto lobbyist Jerry Crawford as adviser to her “Ready for Hillary” super PAC… Over the years, Crawford has been instrumental in fighting against small farmers in court and protecting Monsanto’s seed monopoly.

Crawford is an “equal opportunity payola operative” who hands out political bribes to members of both parties. “Crawford has mostly worked with Democratic politicians in the past, but has also put his support behind Republican candidates as well. Anyone who was willing to support Monsanto’s goals would receive support from Crawford,” says TrueActivist.com.

Hillary Clinton’s law firm used to have Monsanto as a client

Back in the 1990s, during the era when Vince Foster was murdered for what he knew about the Clintons, Hillary Clinton was a partner at the Rose Law Firm. This law firm counted Monsanto as its client:

“Her history of backing GMO dates back to her early days in Arkansas as a lawyer with the Rose Law Firm, which represented Monsanto and other agribusiness leaders,” reports the Washington Times.

Almost none of today’s activist voters are even old enough to remember the Rose Law Firm, the Clintons’ Whitewater scandal, or even the fact that Hillary Clinton ran the media attacks on all the women who tried to go public with claims of being sexually violated by Bill Clinton. (Yes, Hillary ran the “blame the victim” campaign to protect Bill!)

Yet in an age where progressives demand full transparency on all the issues that matter to them most — immigration, gay marriage, gun control and so on — Hillary finds herself squarely on the wrong side of the GMO issue. She’s a puppet for Monsanto and all its toxic practices that destroy life and destroy the environment.

Hillary Clinton pushes toxic pesticides, herbicides and other agricultural chemicals

At every opportunity, Hillary Clinton pushes toxic chemicals, pesticides and herbicides that contaminate the food supply, promote human diseases like Alzheimer’s and even threaten destruction of the environment. Hillary Clinton, Bride of Frankenfood, is also a “chemical holocaust” pusher who works hard to make sure every woman and child in America eats food laced with cancer-causing glyphosate.

“In the GMO debate, Mrs. Clinton has consistently sided with the chemical companies,” says the Washington Times. “A new scientific study bolstered environmentalists’ concerns by finding the herbicide Roundup could be linked to a range of health problems and diseases, including Parkinson’s, infertility and cancers. The study published last month in the scientific journal Entropy also reported evidence that residue of glyphosate, a chief ingredient in the weed killer, has been found in food.”

That food, of course, enriches Monsanto and the other biotech firms, many of which kick back huge donations to Hillary Clinton as long as she keeps pushing poison.

A vote for Hillary, it turns out, is a vote for Monsanto.

It’s not just GMOs, either, that haunt the real history of Hillary Clinton. As The Atlantic reported this year, Hillary Clinton was also instrumental in handing the Russian government a near-monopoly over nuclear weapons uranium supplies.

All the while, money was flowing into the Clinton foundation from uranium interests:

In total, people affiliated with Uranium One or its predecessor gave more than $8 million to the Clinton Foundation between 2008 and 2010. Meanwhile, Bill Clinton received $500,000 for a speech in Moscow, paid for by a bank boosting Uranium One stock.

Why does this matter to the Clinton voter support base? Because progressives are rightly anti-nuclear power and anti-nuke weapons. Yet their gender champion Hillary Clinton is out there promoting the proliferation of nuclear fuel and nuclear weapons, all while raking in millions of dollars for her own foundation in exchange for selling her influence to the highest bidder. Suddenly a Clinton presidency doesn’t sound so “progressive,” does it?

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Hillary Clinton parrots Monsanto’s talking points as speaker for the Biotechnology Industry Organization

Just to make sure no one is confused about where Hillary Clinton really stands on the issue of GMOs and biotech, she openly parrots Monsanto’s quack science talking points in public.

In 2014, she spoke at the Biotechnology Industry Organization and practiced running Monsanto’s talking points, saying:

I stand in favor of using seeds and products that have a proven track record … And to continue to try to make the case for those who are skeptical that they may not know what they’re eating already. The question of genetically modified food or hybrids has gone on for many many years. And there is again a big gap between what the facts are and what perceptions are…

During the speech, Clinton basically says that all anti-GMO people are anti-science idiots who don’t know “the facts.” Those “facts,” of course, are all contrived by Monsanto itself and its deep network of financial influence over scientists, universities and even the lamestream media. Hillary Clinton basically concludes that since you don’t know you’ve already been eating GMOs, then it’s safe to keep doing so.

See the video here:

Hillary Clinton at BIO Convention 2014

 

 

 

Published on Jun 27, 2014

Hillary Rodham Clinton, answering questions as if a presidential contender, speaks to thousands at the BIO International Convention on June 25, 2014, at the San Diego Convention Center. She was interviewed by Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, a trade group based in Washington. For more on her appearances in San Diego, see Times of San Diego at http://timesofsandiego.com/politics/2…

Will anybody stand up and challenge the Bride of Frankenfood?

If you’ve ever wondered why there’s almost no willingness among 100+ million Democrats to challenge Hillary Clinton for the nomination, it’s because Democrats are terrified of Hillary.

For decades, the Clintons were able to control the official narrative and construct a false image of who they really are and what they really believe. But now, thanks to the Independent Media which is now dominating in viewership and is trusted far more than the mainstream media, the Clintons can’t roll out their usual revisionist history and expect it to work.

The simple truth — to the great horror of progressives everywhere — is that Hillary Clinton has long sold out to chemical agriculture and biotech.  And she wants your vote because she’s gonna dethrone the one percent? Seriously? Pathetic. Hillary Clinton is FUNDED by the one percent!

If you think Hillary Clinton opposes the one percent, you must also believe ExxonMobil opposes drilling for oil.

What you can expect from a Clinton / Monsanto presidency

There are so many ties between Clinton and Monsanto that the evil biotech corporation is practically Hillary’s running mate.

Clinton / Monsanto for President, 2016!

And if Clinton becomes president, you can expect the full Monsanto agenda to be aggressively pushed as national policy:

• A nationwide federal ban on GMO labeling.

• Immediate USDA approval of all experimental GMO crops.

• Extreme, politically motivated attacks against all anti-GMO activists, scientists and journalists.

• Huge increases in taxpayer-funded subsidies for farmers who grow GMO crops.

• Aggressive corporate imperialism push to overturn bans on glyphosate and GMOs by other nations.

• Possibly even attempts by the FDA to outlaw non-GMO Project Verified labels in the same way they attacked hormone-free labels for cow’s milk.

Make no mistake: A vote for Hillary is a vote for Monsanto