Campaign watch: Another major press corps "mistake!"


Latest innocent "mistake" damages Candidate Clinton:
Jill Abramson will tell you it's all about the sexism.

Surely, Abramson knows it isn't as simple as that. We refer to the latest major "mistake" about the probe of Hillary Clinton's emails.

This latest "mistake" has now produced the latest correction. The correction has now been offered by the Washington Post:
CORRECTION (3/30/16): An earlier version of this article incorrectly said that Clinton used two different email addresses, sometimes interchangeably, as secretary of state. She used only as secretary of state. Also, an earlier version of this article reported that 147 FBI agents had been detailed to the investigation, according to a lawmaker briefed by FBI Director James B. Comey. Two U.S. law enforcement officials have since told The Washington Post that figure is too high. The FBI will not provide an exact figure, but the officials say the number of FBI personnel involved is fewer than 50.
This correction corrects a major March 28 news report by the Post. That wildly erroneous claim—147 agents!—produced excited squeals and insinuations, all over the press, about the obvious seriousness of this ongoing probe.

On the one hand, you just have to laugh at that correction. It leads with a tiny error—it was one email address, not two!

It then moves on to that ginormous groaner, the one which has already caused harm. Stylistically, that clownish correction resembles the old comedy club staple in which the nervous teen-age boy asks the pharmacist for seventeen different innocuous items before he gulps hard and asks for a package of condoms.

(The tired old bit was even featured in the 1971 Jennifer O'Neill vehicle, The Summer of 42.)

On the one hand, that correction is comical, puerile, clownish. On the other hand, it represents the journalism of personal destruction, a culture which has swirled unaccountably through the New York Times and the Washington Post for a good many years now.

During Campaign 2000, there was a phony, behind-the-scenes "independent counsel" probe of Candidate Gore's possible criminality too. That phony, semi-criminal probe produced a lot of negative noise until it finally died away.

That's what these probes are designed to do. These phony probes, with their endless flow of phony facts from anonymous sources, have been a standard part of politics in the age of Clinton/Gore/Clinton.

We the liberals have always sat there and taken it. We keep pretending that we don't know about the pattern that gets played out in these repetitive events.

That's what Jill Abramson is doing when she pretends that the coverage of Candidate Clinton is driven by sexism, rather than by a 24-year-old political war against both Clintons and Gore. A cynic could even say that Kevin Drum is being too soft with this weary assessment of the latest correction of the latest "mistake:"

"Oh well. Close enough for government work, I guess. One of these days, journalists will learn not to rely on Republican sources when they write about the Clintons. One of these days."

Was this really another innocent "mistake" made within the Washington Post? Just like the earlier innocent "mistakes" concerning this latest probe, innocent "mistakes" which were accidentally made on the front page of the New York Times?

After all these error-riddled years, are the Post and the Times really so dumb that they keep making these same old mistakes? We don't know how to answer that question. But we know of no reason to think so.

We do know this:

This sort of thing will continue on. We also know this: Maddow and Hayes won't breathe a word about this innocent mistake, or about the history here.

Dearest darlings, use your heads! Rich careers hang in the balance! Such things simply aren't done!


  1. Tired old Bob even remembers when tired old bits about condoms appeared in films almost a half century old which he describes as "vehicles" for film "stars" for fashion models nobody under 55 even remembers.

    1. Brilliant. A totally pointless bit of snark ridiculing Somerby for a very brief aside. Troll, we salute you!

    2. Brilliant. Calling someone a troll for pointing out an inane "Maddowesque" insertion of condoms by Somerby himself into a post about coverage corrections.

  2. Glad to see Somerby invoked Jill Abramson without quoting her. Otherwise he would have had to tell us the full story of why "People are dead all over the world because of the horrible things she and her gruesome guild members have so endlessly done."

    1. You know how these horrid stories about endless events from the nineties gruesomely gobble so much bandwidth only to never finish.

  3. Clinton aide: Sanders needs to change 'tone' if he wants NY debate"

    Bernie has refrained from making an issue out of HRC's private email server, lying to families of the Americans killed in Benghazi, or the pay for play Clinton Foundation. If anything, Bernie's tone is harmonious to HRC being the Dem nominee for POTUS. If HRC objects to the Peter, Paul & Mary sounds Bernie is playing, how is she going to deal with Trump's Chief Keef tunes?

    1. Won't be difficult for Clinton to deal with Trump's clowning. Just today, he announced that he would appoint Supreme Court justices to investigate Hillary's vast criminal email conspiracy.

      A fifth-grader could handle the response.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. @Joe

      But it is too difficult for HRC to deal with Bernie's challenge for her to release the transcripts of her Wall Street speeches. Her response was she would if Bernie would. Considering he hasn't made any speeches to Wall Street, pro bono or paid, HRC could use the advise of a fifth grader to cope with Bernie.

    4. Your comment at 7:13 PM was much better. Meanwhile, troll on.

  4. Poor Bob is committed to defending the indefensible. The two corrections may be numerically important, but they're not politically important. Either way, Hillary Clinton never set up an official government e-mail as the White House had instructed her to do. If using 2 personal e-mails for classified messages violated any laws or regulations, then using one personal e-mail did too. Also, whatever number is correct, an enormous number of FBI agents are investigating her.

    1. It is actually an economical use of FBI agents assigned to investigate HRC's private email server, Clinton Foundation, Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills. Will HRC take the 5th when the FBI requests an interview with her?

    2. This waste of FBI agents brought to you by Hillary Clinton's need for pocketbook convenience in daily e-mail management.

    3. @ 1:48

      Convenience? HRC's claim was busted a long time ago when she admitted to using four different devices, not just the one she claimed at the U.N. press conference, for email. Of course this was before her sole use of the Chappaqua private server was known by people outside of the Obama Administration.

    4. Caesar, I'm sympathetic to your position, because my wife feels the same way. I suspect that most liberals do. If the FBI recommends prosecuting Hillary and the Justice Dept. declines to prosecute, my wife's OK with that too, as perhaps you are.

      In a way, this is appalling, because we don't care about being ruled by laws. A traditional aspect of government corruption is that the In group escapes prosecution for any crimes they might commit. The Federal government is close to that point now, and many Americans (perhaps a majority) are perfectly OK with that.

    5. @DiC

      Trump claimed that he could murder someone in broad daylight, have it uploaded on youtube, and he wouldn't lose a single supporter. Trump and HRC have more in common than either one would care to admit.

    6. Yeah cicero. Both of them invited Bill Clinton to their most recent wedding.

    7. Oh, stick it where the sun don't shine David. She was the Secretary of State, with the power and authority to classify or declassify information. Not some ex captain in the Gambino crime family.

      I have no doubt that there are people in the FBI who are trying to damage her politically and they have now provided you with a ready made excuse when the inevitable happens and this ends with the predictable dud all the rest of the manufactured phony partisan Clinton "scandals".

      I believe what is happening here is that these same partisan FBI agents are baiting Obama or Clinton or both to attempt to intercede and end this fucking phony clown show of an investigation, and then they will finally have something real to hang around her neck. Too bad she's too fucking smart.

      By the way, so sorry to hear that your party is choking to death on its own insanity. That's some helluva group of potential US Presidents your party has going. Will the next debate be sponsored by World Wide Wrestling Federation?

    8. "Too bad she's (HRC) too fucking smart." mm

      "Yes, I should have used two email addresses, one for personal matters and one for my work at the State Department. Not doing so was a mistake. I’m sorry about it, and I take full responsibility."
      HRC September 8, 2015

    9. It would take omniscience and prescience to know what trivial action will later be blown up by her enemies into a huge waste of time and money. I have no doubt she does her best to avoid feeding the mill, but only God has those qualities. It is nice of her to apologize, but that seems to be the only way to move on.

      Nice the way you took mm's quote out of context. It refers to the possibility of interceding on behalf of her staff, not her own previous actions.

      There was certainly no way for Clinton to know in advance that she would be investigated for doing the same thing as previous Secretaries of State and other cabinet members, but I imagine she is used to the double standard. Her best strategy is to do her work competently and honestly and let the chips fall where they will, so that the inevitable hearings will be a nuisance instead of a scandal.

      I think she has done an admirable job of that -- the Benghazi hearings speak to that, and the inability of the right to charge her with anything at all as the result of these email investigations. No other candidate for the presidency has been so thoroughly vetted in this way!

    10. @not mm

      HRC is the lone government official to have a private server which was located in her Chappaqua basement. Do not conflate private email with private server.

      Of course HRC knew not use private email, never mind a private server, while she was at Foggy Bottom. An email sent out under her name on June 28, 2011 to diplomatic and consular staff worldwide warning "Avoid conducting official Department business from your personal email accounts."

      It will be Obama's DOJ that will do the charging if the FBI believes HRC is guilty of either lying to them or being carless with Secret & Top Secret information on her sever.

    11. HRC is the lone government official (Cabinet Secretary) to have a husband who was President of the United States and who had a private server which was located in his Chappaqua home.


    12. The FBI doesn't decide whether to charge people with crimes. It collects evidence and investigates things. Charging people is the job of a public attorney.

      How can Hillary be guilty of being careless with secret info ("careless" is not a well defined term and there are doubtless specific statutes that would apply) when she didn't send the emails in question -- she received them?

      In all the many hours of testimony Clinton has given on a variety of questions, how many lies has she been charged with telling? Any at all? None!

    13. "The FBI doesn't decide whether to charge people with crimes."

      Of course they don't, but doesn't stop some of them from feeding bullshit to their "anonymous" republican allies which then winds up on the front pages of our major newspapers. Then they anonymously threaten to resign from the FBI if she isn't charged with a crime.

      It's perfect. She is unable to defend herself from these secret anonymous leaks from the secret anonymous "lawmaker", and then when the inevitable happens and she is not charged, they will yell and scream that she is being protected by Obama.

      I wouldn't be surprised if a few of these FBI guys don't already have deals with the Rupert Murdoch Media Empire for a cushy soft landing job after they resign in a huff. Joe DeGeneva stated the resignations will make the Nixon Saturday Massacre look like kids stuff in comparison. Really, he said that.

      It is an email "scandal" now. Mission accomplished. Even though every single one of her work related emails have now been released, a totally unprecedented disclosure, the vast sum of which aren't even Public Records as defined in the Foreign Affairs Manual. No matter, it is a "scandal" you see, even though the entire world can now read every single one of her emails, this must remain a "scandal".

      Right now, today, Secretary John Kerry can go to his email account and delete any damn email which he and only he decides is not worth saving. As goes for everyone working in the SD. Today, as I am writing this.

      But never mind, we must remember the email "scandal" that is Clinton's.

    14. Really mm? Which FBI guys are you talking about?

    15. How would I know, they remain anonymous at this point.

      The FBI and intelligence community "would go ballistic" if there's no indictment in the case of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of her private email server to conduct government business, former federal prosecutor Joseph diGenova tells Newsmax TV.

      Breaking News at******************************

      That's the kind of shit she has had to put up with from almost the exact day she announced her candidacy for the Democratic Party's nomination.

      I've heard of coincidences. I've just never seen one.

    16. Yeah, maybe I am gullible. We'll see.

    17. @mm

      Why are you absolutely positive that POTUS Obama will squash any indictment of HRC that Loretta Lynch might be compelled by law to bring forth based on the FBI evidence?

      "Even though every single one of her (HRC) work related emails have now been released," mm

      Try again.

      The U.S. Defense Department has found an email chain that Hillary Clinton did not give to the State Department the, the State Department said on Friday, despite her saying she had provided all work emails from her time as secretary of state

    18. You try again. Your link is bogus.


    19. "Why are you absolutely positive that POTUS Obama will squash any indictment of HRC ..."

      I never said that you ignorant little worm.

      Then you link to an article that's 7 months old talking about an email chain that began before she even took office with Petraeus and does not contradict in any way what I stated and which was already explained. What a dipshit you are.

      [Before March 18, 2009, Secretary Clinton continued using the email account she had used during her Senate service. Given her practice from the beginning of emailing Department officials on their accounts, her work-related emails during these initial weeks would have been captured and preserved in the Department's record-keeping system. She, however, no longer had access to these emails once she transitioned from this account.]

    20. @mm

      Apparently you still haven't learned your lesson that relying HRC propaganda websites such as Media Matters and Correct The Record is folly.

      "The correspondence with General David Petraeus, who was commander of U.S. Central Command at the time, started shortly before she entered office and continued during her first days as the top U.S. diplomat in January and February of 2009."

      "The Petraeus exchange shows she started using the account by January 2009, according to the State Department."

      "Clinton's spokesmen, who did not respond to questions, have acknowledged that other work emails from later in her tenure were also missing from the record Clinton handed over. They have declined to say why."

    21. @mm
      What is the difference? But you illustrate HRC's mouthpiece shares the same affliction as their client, recollecting facts.

  5. In other news, researchers studying census tracts in St Louis find that childhood lead exposure correlates with crime twenty years later.

  6. " Jill Abramson will tell you it's all about the sexism.

    Surely, Abramson knows it isn't as simple as that."

    Thus begins a minor comic-turned obscure vanity blogger. Ironically he knowingly perpetrates this simple falsehood in a post chastising mistakes made by a media outlet.

  7. One hunderd forty seven FBI agents doesn't strike me as huge. Kinda like the Idaho caucus turnout. But you will never get that from Ken Starr and Rachel Maddow on their shows.

    1. @3:08
      Ken Starr has an MSNBC show? Did he replace Melissa Victoria Harris-Perry's show?

    2. @ 3:32 PM

      You really are a ridiculous piece of fluff - not quite a nit.

  8. I believe the FBI needs to investigate the "lawmaker" who falsely reported on confidential briefings of an ongoing law enforcement investigation provided to him in his official capacity by the Director of the FBI.

  9. That's what Jill Abramson is doing when she pretends that the coverage of Candidate Clinton is driven by sexism, rather than by a 24-year-old political war against both Clintons and Gore.

    Oh, stop it. You know very well that Abramson did not pretend anything of the sort. She quoted someone else who surmised that sexism might play a role. Of course, applying the new, incomparable rules of the Howler, it's perfectly fine to take those words from the person Abramson quoted and put them in her mouth instead.

    Abramson did a perfectly adequate job of describing the specious reporting to which Clinton has been subjected. Will the Howler tell its readers?


  10. "On the one hand, you just have to laugh at that correction. It leads with a tiny error—it was one email address, not two!"

    I laughed the same way when Bob Somerby went to great lengths to prove a major cable star made a major error by not correctly calculating the drive time from Virginia Tech to Flint, Michigan.

    1. I wonder what happened to the two replies which were here before?

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  12. Would B.S. be relieved if he learned that only 39 FBI agents were investigating him?

    1. Try 12, troll.

    2. WaPo reported that FBI Director Comey says there are 147. The Hill reports the FBI would not provide the paper an exact figure, but the officials said the number of FBI personnel involved is fewer than 50. MSNBC reports another unnamed source who is a former FBI agent says about 12 agents working on the criminal investigation of HRC. How would an ex agent know anything about the case? Seems liberal media is in more of a panic than HRC about the number of FBI agents going through her emails.

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