More on Clinton's exchange with Wallace!

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 3, 2016

PolitiFact fumbles again:
Candidate Trump's peculiar behavior has driven Candidate Clinton's emails from public view. That said:

Yesterday, at New York Magazine, Jesse Singal critiqued Clinton's recent discussion with Chris Wallace of those infernal emails. We thought he did a poor job.

In fairness, so did Lauren Carroll at PolitiFact. Singal began his piece by reviewing Carroll's fact-check of Clinton's statements.

In our view, Clinton's statements to Wallace were strange, but these journalistic analyses were perhaps even stranger. Elementary facts went unmentioned. Basic questions weren't asked.

Let's review what the fact-checkers said. Today, let's start with Carroll:

What's wrong with Carroll's fact-check? For starters, she seems to assume the omniscience of Comey the God.

Consider the passage shown below. Quite correctly, Carroll notes that Clinton's statements to Wallace seem to contradict Comey's earlier statements. But at no point does she say how she knows Comey is right:
CARROLL (8/1/16): Take the video Wallace played on Fox News Sunday. In it, Clinton said, "I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified materials" (March 10, 2015); "I am confident that I never sent nor received any information that was classified at the time" (July 25, 2015); "I had not sent classified material nor received anything marked classified" (Aug. 18, 2015).

But Comey reported that, of the tens of thousands of emails investigators reviewed, 113 individual emails contained classified information, and three of them bore markings signifying their classification status. (Information can still be classified even if it does not have a label.) Eight email threads contained top-secret information, the highest level of classification, 36 contained secret information, and the remaining eight contained confidential information.
It's true. Comey did make the statements Carroll describes in the highlighted passage. He did say that three (3) of the emails "bore markings signifying their classification status." Beyond that, he did say that 110 other emails "contained classified information."

Comey the God did sat those things, first in his July 5 press statement, then to the House two days later. But who's to say that Comey was right? On whose authority did he make those pronouncements?

No one asked that question during Comey's testimony; in her fact-check, Carroll simply assumes that his judgments are right. She simply assumes that Comey was right in what he said about those emails. This is the way our "press corps" behaves when a major Establishment Figure has been anointed a God.

Forget the three marked mails for now. Is it true? Did 110 other emails "contain classified information?" It's certainly possible that they did. But what makes Carroll so sure?

Simple—Comey said! This is the way our press corps' most exalted fact-checkers proceed with a case of this type.

Carroll simply assumes that Comey's second statement was true. That said, let's return to Comey's first statement, in which he said that three emails "bore markings signifying their classification status."

It's true! Comey the God did make that assertion, first on July 5, then again before the House. But under questioning in the House, Comey acknowledged an awkward fact—the three emails which were "marked" had all been marked incorrectly!

Under questioning, Comey acknowledged that the markings had not been placed in the headers of the emails, where the recipient would be able to see it. That's where the State Department manual says the markings should be placed.

We think it's astounding that Comey only acknowledged this problem under questioning two days after his dramatic initial statement. Only three of the 30,000 emails had any "markings"at all—and in each of those cases, the markings had been misplaced!

We stopped believing in Comey's good faith when he failed to mention this problem. But what about Carroll? She doesn't even mention this problem with Comey's treatment of the marked emails. After that, she simply assumes that Comey was right about the other 110 emails.

In her exchange with Wallace, Clinton seemed to suggest that she and her associates actually weren't emailing classified information. Yesterday, we imagined a possible reason for her convoluted statements to that apparent effect.

As we suggested yesterday, Fred Kaplan's piece in Slate may start us on the road to Clinton's thinking. But Carroll did a very poor job outlining the basic facts of this case.

Our view? Comey the God was remarkably slick in his treatment of the "marked" emails. Carroll simply ignored this problem, after which simply assumed that Comey was right about everything else.

Clinton's exchange with Wallace was strange; Carroll's analysis is perhaps even stranger. But this is the way our press corps works. Basic analytical skills no longer exist in this guild.

How do we know that Comey is right? On what basis did he make his assessment? Carroll never explains!

Tomorrow: Singal takes it from there

17 comments:

  1. The liberal media should make a huge stink about those misplaced markings. It's true. Cmon guys - get it together.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Comey lumped Clinton in with her colleagues at the state department when he pronounced they were extremely careless. None of the top secret e-mails originated with Clinton as Diane Feinstein has revealed. Somehow Kaplan knew the actual content was related to CIA drone strikes. That's why she made the statements to Wallace about trusting her colleagues. She never dreamed when she set up the server that classified stuff would land there. I'm sure if the non-classified state.gov accounts of every one in the state department was scoured the way Clinton's account was, there would be many many inadvertent breaches.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I guess I am doing nuance on this one. I don't think Comey was treated as a God. I don't think the basic appropriateness of what he was doing was sufficiently challenged.
    I think the left just took it as a win that he was finally ending the thing and there was no indictment. Sure, the exchange between Comey and Goudy was comedy gold, just totally nonsensical, but leave it be, we won. Some Clinton fans are trying to set the record straight but it doesn't much matter. Like The Marc Rich Pardon being the most shocking affront to common decency in the history of mankind ( Thank God speaker Hastert will not be troubled by this matter!) Clinton haters going to hate hate hate.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The Washington Post, NPR, USA Today* and PolitiFact all challenged Clinton’s claims, saying they appeared to be based on a selective and misleading interpretation of Comey’s remarks. The Post awarded her “Four Pinocchios,” the worst truth-telling rating it gives, for statements it classifies as “Whoppers.”

    WaPo, NPR and PolitiFact tilt left. USA Today is slightly left. Are all these liberal sources wrong?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "liberal sources": you're funny.

      You ought to check out a great blog.
      It's called The Daily Howler by Bob Somerby.

      Are they all wrong: YES

      Delete
    2. I feel sorry for Dunning-Kregers like David. Maybe there will be a cure soon.

      Delete
    3. So you're saying that those four sources took Comey as infallible? That's Bob's point.

      Delete
    4. No, Bob is making another point. Comey behaved inappropriately and has proven himself to be a sleezy partisan.

      What I am saying is that they are wrong because their argument is illogical.

      Here is the title of Lauren Carroll's article at PolitiFact.

      Hillary Clinton's wrong claim that FBI director Comey called her comments about email 'truthful'

      Under oath at the ridiculous, unprecedented and extraordinary Congressional hearing, Comey answered the question.

      "We have no basis to conclude she lied to the FBI," Comey told House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) during one of the hearing's opening exchanges.

      So, when asked about this by Chris Wallace, that's all she repeated.

      Clinton Rules demand that she is never allowed to defend herself. She has been slandered and smeared with rumors and false news reports filled with rank speculation for over a year. she has had to remain silent while this ridiculous FBI investigation proceeded, enduring a constant stream of leaks from investigators to GOP sources.

      Now that the investigation is finally over and she has been exonerated, the media will still not accept the verdict.

      No one, including Glenn Kessler and Lauren Carroll can possibly know and have no basis for speculating what the FBI asked her and what her answers were.

      Yet here they are claiming they do know, claiming that they just know that what she told the FBI differs in some material way from what she has been saying publicly all year.

      Look closely at the dishonest way Chris Wallace begins:
      ***
      WALLACE: After a long investigation, FBI Director James Comey said none of those things that you told the American public were true.
      ****

      In reality, what Comey said when asked that specific question directly"

      *Chaffetz then asked whether Clinton lied to the public. "That's a question I'm not qualified to answer. I can speak about what she said to the FBI," Comey said.
      ***
      Here is how Clinton answered.

      ***
      CLINTON: Chris, that's not what I heard Director Comey say, and I thank you for giving me the opportunity, in my view, clarify.

      Director Comey said my answers were truthful, and what I’ve said is consistent with what I have told the American people, that there were decisions discussed and made to classify retroactively certain of the emails.

      I was communicating with over 300 people in my e-mailing. They certainly did not believe and had no reason to believe that what they were sending was classified.

      Now, in retrospect, different agencies come in and say, well, it should have been, but that's not what was happening in real time.
      ***

      You really have to be highly motivated to twist her answer into a 4 Pinocchio rating.





      Delete
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