Tuesday, February 27, 2007

'nother non-story

Josh Marshall:

Solomon lands another lunker! Sen. Clinton failed to list charitable contributions on ethics report. Jon Chait picks it apart.

This of course comes on the heels of his bogus McCain story.

Basically, once you take the hocus pocus and disingenuousness out of his pieces, this is what they end up like. Doesn't this stuff make the Post look a touch silly putting this on the front page? It's barely worth a blog post.

Late Update: Here's the shocking truth revealed -- the Clinton Foundation's publically available 990 forms with their donations listed on page 18 and 19.

But now that we've seen the full rundown of the Clinton Family Foundation, what exactly was the point of this article? The reporters outline donations to charities founded by Hillary's best friend, her alma mater, some Arkansas Children's programs, the tsunami fund, and some thoroughly respectable middle eastern charities. We found that wealthy people often have these charitable foundations and that some of them, including the Clintons, don't spend every penny of the money each year. We also know that this foundation is run by a Senator and presidential candidate, her husband the ex-president of the United States and that their highly accomplished daughter is a director, which would be a dream masthead on any charity in the United States.

There is no evidence that they cheated on their income taxes or that this foundation has contributed to anything that could even remotely be construed as a conflict of interest or even slightly hypocritical. Indeed, after all this investigation, there is not even the slightest hint of irregularity in the foundation and certainly no illegality, merely that she failed to report this on her disclosure form. had she reported it, it would have revealed exactly nothing of interest to anyone.

So,why all the breathless hinting around about some unnamed nefarious deed? It's the classic bogus Whitewater narrative that never actually turns up anything but makes the country think that there just must be "something" there or the media wouldn't report it. We saw a very similar report recently on John Edwards from the same reporter and even the WaPo's limp ombudsman thought it was questionable and said "accurate stories can be misleading." It appears the editors have no intention of reining Solomon in.

One final thought: if the press had applied the Clinton Rules to George W. Bush's strangely enriching-for-him-and-losing-for-others oil business schemes during what turned out to be the closest election in history, we might not be saddled with this godforsaken presidency today. But they didn't. Why do you suppose that is?


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