Henderson tells us how Clinton sounds!


Very lawyerly, not contrite. Also, too defensive:
Can you remember all the way back to the Commander-in-Chief forum? Before the basket of deplorables? Before pneumonia hit?

We can almost remember that far. Today, we wanted to finish our critique of that unfortunate evening.

In our view, it was pretty silly for Matt Lauer to burn all that time on the email matter. His questions had been asked and answered about a million times.

That said, Candidate Clinton actually dispensed some information when she answered the audience question about the email matter. We thought that question was harshly accusatory and should have been edited by NBC News, if there still is such a thing. That said, we will guess that many viewers had never heard key parts of this:
CLINTON (9/7/16): Well, I appreciate your concern and also your experience. But let me try to make the distinctions that I think are important for me to answer your question.

First, as I said to Matt, you know and I know classified material is designated. It is marked. There is a header so that there is no dispute at all that what is being communicated to or from someone who has that access is marked classified.

And what we have here is the use of an unclassified system by hundreds of people in our government to send information that was not marked, there were no headers, there was no statement, top secret, secret, or confidential.

I communicated about classified material on a wholly separate system. I took it very seriously. When I traveled, I went into one of those little tents that I’m sure you’ve seen around the world because we didn’t want there to be any potential for someone to have embedded a camera to try to see whatever it is that I was seeing that was designated, marked, and headed as classified.

LAUER: Let us—

CLINTON: So I did exactly what I should have done and I take it very seriously, always have, always will.
Poor Matt was trying to make her stop talking. He'd already wasted tons of time, and he had many more questions! That said, we will guess that many people had never heard a word about this:

"I communicated about classified material on a wholly separate system."

Say what? She "communicated about classified material on a wholly separate system?" Given the way our press corps works, we will guess that many people had never heard a word about that. We'll guess that those people would have been surprised, perhaps even edified, if they had been exposed to more information along these lines.

That said, our press corps loathes information. They prefer speculation and pointless prediction, accompanied by reversion to official approved story-lines.

Information makes their skin crawl. We thought this was clear on CNN immediately after the forum.

As usual, Anderson Cooper was pretending to conduct a discussion. He played tape of that full statement by Clinton, then asked the Washington Post's Nia-Malika Henderson to comment.

Henderson seems to be very bright; she's conventionally attractive, and pleasant. Presumably for these reasons, she's getting quite big on "cable news." But good grief! Ow ow ow! Here's what she said after Cooper played the tape of that statement by Clinton:

Nia, obviously, it's tough questions for—


COOPER: —for Secretary Clinton tonight, and obviously an issue which is not going away.

HENDERSON: Yeah. I mean, in some ways, this audience, it's an away game for Hillary. These are veterans. She's likely not going to win those folks in 2012. Mitt Romney won them by about 20 points in 2008. John McCain won them by about 10 points.

You know, I think, in that answer, she's sounded very lawyerly. I think, I mentioned that her people are going to back and look at that and figure out a better answer where she sounds less lawyerly. Maybe even a little more contrite.

So yeah, I mean, I think this was a preview of what we're going to see in these debates. A preview of what we've seen all along, which is the e-mail issue is not going away.

She doesn't quite have a good answer. She always sounds defensive, I think, when she's answering these questions about her e-mail, and it's just going to continue, I think.
Good God! When we watched that statement by Clinton, we were struck by the information it contained.

That said, Henderson has become a cable news pundit. As such, she has been trained to let us know how such statements "sound."

Never mind what Clinton said! Henderson set out to explain how her statement sounded. It sounded lawyerly, needless to say. Also, it sounded defensive.

Also, it didn't sound or possible seem sufficiently contrite! (Could that be because Clinton said, "I did exactly what I should have done?" We're not sure. We're just asking!)

Earth to Cooper and his ship of stooges: Clinton didn't sound contrite about this part of the topic at all! She said she did exactly what she should have done. She even included some information about the apparently careful way classified material was typically handled, both at home and abroad.

It never entered Cooper's slow mind to ask why Clinton would say such a thing. In turn, Henderson made no attempt to explain any of the factual matters Clinton had mentioned.

She made no attempt to fill in the informational blanks about that "wholly separate" email system. Using the omniscience granted her by CNN, she simply told the world how Clinton's statement "sounded."

Henderson seems to be very bright and pleasant. But she's picked up a bug from the guild she has joined. Her reaction tended toward our diagnosis:

Not recognizably human!


  1. I thought she should have jumped on Lauer's reference to "highly sensitive" material: "Well, Matt, there is no such category as 'highly sensitive,' there is only classified, and my email was not intended for and was not used for material that State Department professionals judged at the time to be classified material."

    I think it's time for her to dispense with the apologies, too. I have yet to see anything she needs to apologize for in a decision that appeared to be the smartest one at the time: one that would eliminate as many cumbersome steps as possible for both personal and professional emails that could come at any hour of the day or night.

  2. I recall the question that led to her answer. I was very frustrated with how she answered because I think she should have told the ass that asked the question that she totally rejected the premise of his question, that "if he had done what she did he would be in prison". He also implied that she endangered national security. This is all total bullshit and she should have called him (and Lauer) on it. Comey made it crystal clear that she was not getting special treatment.
    The reason this thing lives on is because she won't say this: "I don't see why I am taking the blame for people sending me unmarked classified information. My personal server was in no way illegal. Personal e-mail accounts were used by many people in the state department for work related communications. My server was never hacked. The FBI investigation has proven as much. I was very careful, it was my colleagues at State who were not. Notice that Comey always lumped me in with them in his statement. This because they were the ones sending the classified e-mails that landed on my totally legal private server that I now regret that I used for work."
    She would never say that. Partly because she won't criticize her colleagues but also because she would be criticized for not saying the buck stops with me. Damned if she does,damned if she doesn't.

  3. urban legend -- there may not be "Highly Sensitive" material, but there is highly sensitive material.

    Since Lauer was speaking, there's no way to tell if he was wrongly referring to a formal category, or was simply using the phrase in its ordinary meaning.

    1. Neither usage applies here. Her email system was specifically for discussing materials outside that category.

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