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Tag: hillary clinton

The Threat To Abortion Rights Began In 2016

The demolition of Roe v. Wade began long before now. It started in 2016, when Sen. Bernie Sanders and his left-wing followers destroyed the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. Had Clinton won the presidency, Donald Trump would not have been able to add three justices to the Supreme Court who have made ending a right to abortion highly likely.

That year, the senator from Vermont ran for the Democratic presidential nomination, as was his option. But he ran a scorched-earth campaign, tarring Clinton as "corrupt." And long after it became clear that he was not going to win the nomination, Sanders continued to sabotage her candidacy.

By April 2016, Trump had become the presumptive Republican nominee. He said that women should be punished for having an abortion.

That same month, Sanders said that Clinton was not qualified to be president. That same month, Clinton trounced him in a string of liberal Northeast states, but Sanders continued to carpet-bomb her reputation.

This was a time when a significant segment of the Democratic left declared open season on women's dignity. After Clinton won the Nevada caucuses, as even Sanders conceded, the Bernie "bros" threw a misogynistic tantrum. Threatening violence at the Nevada Democratic state convention, they shouted the C-word at the female officials trying to certify the results.

Sanders should have come down hard on this shocking display by his supporters, but he held back. He finally issued a statement disapproving of their conduct — in the third paragraph. He then proceeded to blame both sides.

As it became clear Clinton was taking the lead, Sanders appealed to the party's superdelegates and claimed a victory for Clinton would result in a contested convention.

Most of his voters did eventually move to Clinton, but Sanders had groomed a cult open to swallowing conspiracy theories. Trump and his Russian trolls took them and ran.

"To all of those Bernie Sanders voters who have been left out in the cold by a rigged system of superdelegates," Trump said, "we welcome you with open arms."

At the Republican National Convention, Putin pal Michael Flynn led the outrageous anti-Clinton chant, "Lock her up." Then, at the Democratic National Convention, some Sanders delegates parroted him by also shouting, "Lock her up."

Toward the very end of the campaign, Sanders announced his support for Clinton. Admittedly, she was not the cleverest candidate, but even then, Clinton beat Trump by Three million popular votes. Narrow victories in three pivotal states gave Trump a fluke Electoral College win.

Having slashed the tires on her campaign, Sanders later expressed bewilderment that Clinton failed to put Trump away.

Abortion rights are not some culture war bauble. Losing them threatens the ability of women and their mates to control their lives. (That said, Democrats would help themselves if they were more open to the nuances of the debate while ensuring that early abortions are easy to obtain.)

The white, educated liberals who dominate the left wing tend to live in states that would keep abortion legal even if Roe were struck down. And if they live elsewhere, they'd have the means to jet off to a state that provides the service — or to Mexico.

The politics of this do not favor Republicans. Some right to end an unwanted pregnancy has been taken for granted by many voters otherwise open to voting for Republicans. That right will be lost if the Supreme Court throws out Roe.

Clearly, the creation of a Supreme Court poised to do just that dates its origins to 2016, when Trump won the presidency. That's when Bernie Sanders played the Democratic spoiler who handed power to the right wing.

Reprinted with permission from Creators.

Friends And Colleagues Mourn Admired Media Critic Eric Boehlert, 57

Eric Boehlert, the incisive and prodigious media analyst who became one of the most respected critics of right-wing disinformation and mainstream fecklessness, died on Monday evening in a tragic bicycle accident. He was struck by a commuter train while cycling in Montclair, New Jersey, where he lived with his wife Tracy Breslin and children Ben and Jane. He was 57 years old.

His dear friend, journalist and filmmaker Soledad O’Brien, announced his passing on Twitter, describing him as “a fierce and fearless defender of the truth,” and “an awesome human being, handsome/cool/witty dude who kicked ass on our behalf. Crazy devotion to facts, context, and good reporting, enemy of BS, fake news.” He was, she wrote, “Brutal to bad media on Twitter, sweetest guy in real life.” She was far from alone in that assessment.

To readers of The National Memo, Eric was a familiar and welcome byline whose writing appeared in these pages nearly from the beginning a decade ago. He was a former colleague of editor Joe Conason at and a longtime friend.

“We were always thrilled to share Eric's articles,” said Conason, “first from Media Matters for America, later from Daily Kos – and over the past two years, he honored us by allowing frequent reprints from the PressRun site that he created in 2020.”

Kind and warm as well as astute, Eric was broadly admired despite the fact that he routinely published harsh judgments on the work of other outlets and reporters. He didn’t take himself too seriously but believed deeply that improving political media was crucial to the survival of a democratic society. He worked hard at that mission. And wherever he worked, he was loved for his humor, generosity, and friendship.

In the hours following his death, hundreds of tributes appeared on social media, where he had long been a powerful presence.

Media Matters, Salon, and Daily Kos issued moving statements recalling his contributions to their pages.

James Fallows, both a pathbreaking journalist and a penetrating critic of press myopia, explained why he will be missed. “I had met Eric only once in ‘real life. But I corresponded with him with increasing frequency over the years, especially this past year, and considered him a conscience and inspiration,” wrote Fallows on his own Substack. “He was fearless and absolutely unsparing in his writing about this era’s mainstream press.”

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tweeted her appreciation of Eric, who began to exercise his independence from herd journalism when her husband was president.

Articulate and telegenic, Eric made many appearances on all kinds of media -- he was a popular guest on major television broadcasts but often lent his talents to far smaller independent media outlets. Among those who featured him most frequently was MSNBC's Joy-Ann Reid.

Hillary Clinton Hilariously Trolls Putin After Sanctions On Her

After Russian dictator Vladimir Putin decided to invade the sovereign country of Ukraine, Russia has been hit with extraordinary sanctions by the United States and NATO allies around the world, including a ban on Russian oil imports.

Although the severe sanctions have yet to stop Russian attacks, Russia recently announced its own sanctions on several American officials, which prohibit them from traveling to Russia. According to the outlet, the list includes President Biden, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, Biden National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, CIA Director William Burns, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, Deputy National Security Adviser Daleep Singh, USAID Director Samantha Power, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Adewale Adeyemo, and U.S. Export-Import Bank President Reta Jo Lewis. But there are also people outside of the government on the ban list, including Hunter Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Well, it seems Hillary had the best response to this silly posturing that has no merit whatsoever.

" I want to thank the Russian Academy for this Lifetime Achievement Award," Tweeted Hillary.

Now that is some world-class trolling!

Michael Hayne is a comedian, writer, voice artist, podcaster, and impressionist. Follow his work on Facebook and TikTok

Kremlin Sanctions Hillary And US Officials, Triggering Psaki Bomb

There was devastation at the White House Tuesday morning as Russia announced its own set of sanctions, these against individuals including President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, and others. It must really be a bitter pill for them to swallow, having their Russian assets frozen and personal travel to the country banned.

Sanctions against Russian oligarchs have led to the seizure of multiple yachts and one Premier League football team in countries like Italy and the United Kingdom. Russia’s sanctions against Biden and other U.S. officials mean that … their property in Russia could be seized? That yacht Joe Biden was definitely keeping in Sochi? Seized. The dacha Psaki surely retreated to on vacation? Seized, and Psaki banned from entering Russia.

In addition to Biden, Blinken, and Psaki, the list includes Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, National Security Adviser Jacob Sullivan, CIA Director William Burns, Deputy National Security Adviser for International Economics Daleep Singh, United States Agency for International Development Administrator Samantha Power, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo, and Reta Jo Lewis, president and chairwoman of the board of directors of the Export-Import Bank.

Russia’s statement announcing the sanctions said that “we do not refuse to maintain official relations if they meet our national interests, and, if necessary, we will solve problems arising from the status of persons who appear on the 'black list' in order to organize high-level contacts,” so it’s not a total severing of relations with the highest-ranking U.S. officials.

Also on the list are Hillary Clinton and Hunter Biden, both of whom are private citizens with no say in U.S. policy on Russia. At first it seems kind of silly for that reason, but then it gives the game away: This is a move aimed at right-wing conspiracy theorists in the U.S. and elsewhere who will take the sanctions on Clinton and the younger Biden as a sign that they do have relevant property and relevant influence.

Notably not on the list is Donald Trump, the guy who would—at some moments, at least—have us believe he was much tougher on Russia than Biden.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Fox News Drops Durham Smear After Clinton Hints At 'Actual Malice'

In the days after special counsel John Durham, tasked with investigating the FBI probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, filed a pretrial motion on February 11, Fox News provided an astounding amount of coverage at a breakneck pace, falsely claiming it proved 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton spied on the Trump campaign. However, coverage of the story slowed dramatically after Clinton accused the network of “getting awfully close to actual malice” in its reporting.

A Media Matters review of Fox News transcripts found that from February 11 through February 24, 2022, Fox's total coverage of the Durham filing was more than 11 hours over 149 segments. Eighty-five percent of that was before Clinton alleged Fox of “malice”; just 15 percent was after.

Contrary to framing from right-wing media, which generally ran hog wild with the story, Durham’s filing alleges that a lawyer linked to the Clinton campaign shared internet traffic data from networks near the White House and Trump Tower with the CIA. The filing does not allege that the data were obtained illegally or that the Clinton campaign directed the effort, nor does it provide evidence that the data were collected after former President Donald Trump was sworn into office.

From February 13, when Fox first mentioned the story, through the 3 p.m. EST hour on February 17, when Clinton commented about the network's coverage approaching “malice,” Fox covered the story for 9 hours and 23 minutes total. From then onward through February 20, Fox spent 1 hour and 40 minutes on the story: The network covered it for 5 minutes on February 18, 17 minutes on February 19, and 56 minutes on February 20.

  • Fox News coverage of Durham investigation "bombshell" falsely alleging Clinton spied on Trump

A significant portion of Fox’s coverage after Clinton’s “malice” comment was on the February 20 edition of Life, Liberty & Levin, where host Mark Levin spent 35 minutes on the Durham investigation and false allegations from Trump that the Obama administration or the Clinton campaign spied on his own. Levin has been making these unsubstantiated accusations for years. Since then, Fox appears to have dropped the subject entirely; there was only a single mention of the story which Trump made during an interview on February 23’s The Ingraham Angle.

In between accusing mainstream media of ignoring the story, Fox and other right-wing media’s coverage falsely framed the Durham filing as a “bombshell” proving Clinton is a “certified political criminal,” and “the real insurrectionist” who “tried to steal the election by spreading misinformation.” Meanwhile, Durham attempted to distance himself from right-wing coverage of his filing.

Such pontificating was not relegated to the network’s opinion programming; Fox’s straight-“news” shows were just as culpable in pushing the false narratives of the Durham filing. Nearly 4 hours of coverage was on so-called “news” shows like The Story with Martha MacCallum (44 minutes), America Reports with John Roberts and Sandra Smith (37), Special Report with Bret Baier (33), and America’s Newsroom with Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino (32).

But Fox’s opinion shows provided the most coverage with more than 7 hours in total. Leading the pack was the network’s premiere weekday morning talk show Fox & Friends with 1 hour and 3 minutes. Following closely behind was Hannity (58 minutes), Fox & Friends First (50), and Fox & Friends Weekend (43).

  • Fox News coverage of Durham investigation "bombshell" falsely alleging Clinton spied on Trump

Clinton’s accusation of “actual malice” holds real legal meaning: The 1964 decision in The New York Times v. Sullivan established “actual malice” as the legal threshold to prove defamation of a public figure; 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s defamation lawsuit against The New York Times hinges on the same legal standard. This wouldn’t be the first time Fox found itself in legal hot water for its reporting: Dominion Voting Systems Corp. and Smartmatic are suing the network for knowingly pushing false information about election fraud.


Media Matters searched transcripts in the SnapStream video database for all original programming on Fox News Channel for any of the terms “Durham” (including misspellings), “Special Counsel,” or “Clinton” not within close proximity to “Bill” each within close proximity to any of the terms “Trump,” “Russia,” “Sussmann,” “White House,” or “server” from February 11, 2022, through February 24, 2022.

We included segments, which we defined as instances when Durham’s investigation was the stated topic of discussion or when we found significant discussion of the investigation. We defined significant discussion as instances when two or more speakers in a multitopic segment discussed the investigation with one another. We also included mentions, which we defined as instances when a single speaker discussed the investigation without another speaker engaging with the comment, and teasers, which we defined as instances when the anchor or host promoted a segment about the investigation scheduled to air later in the broadcast. We rounded all times to the nearest minute.

We split Fox programs into “news” and “opinion” sides. We defined “news” programs as those with anchors, such as Bret Baier or Shannon Bream, while we defined “opinion” programs as those with hosts, such as Tucker Carlson or Laura Ingraham, at the helm. We used the designations from each anchor’s or host’s author page. We also considered the format of the program; we defined those using a panel format, such as Outnumbered and The Five, as “opinion.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

Hillary: If GOP Won’t Stand Up To Trump, It Can’t Stand Up To Putin Or Xi

Liberal democracy is under attack not only in countries that have voted authoritarians into office — Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, Viktor Orbán in Hungary, Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines — but also, in the United States, where Fox News’ Tucker Carlson openly praises Orbán, countless MAGA Republicans tried to overturn 2020’s presidential election results, and the Claremont Institute (a right-wing think tank) argues that democracy has outlived its usefulness. But in late February articles, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former U.S. State Department official Dan Schwerin and CNN’s Fareed Zakaria argue that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine shows why liberal democracy is well worth fighting for.

Clinton and Schwerin, in an article published by The Atlantic on February 25, stress that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine is about much more than his interests in that part of the world.

“Russian President Vladimir Putin pines for the old Russian empire and takes Ukraine’s independence as a personal affront, but the invasion of Ukraine is not a limited regional dispute between neighbors,” Clinton and Schwerin observe. “Putin is also motivated by a deep opposition to democracy more broadly; that is why he has waged a long-running shadow war to destabilize free societies and discredit democratic institutions in the United States and around the world. Ukraine is one flash point in a larger global struggle between democracy and autocracy — one that stretches from the steppes of Eastern Europe to the waters of the Indo-Pacific to the halls of the U.S.”

Events in Ukraine, according to Clinton and Schwerin, must be viewed as a part of a global trend in which democracy is also under attack by everyone from the government in Mainland China to the Republican Party in the United States.

“Much has been said about the assault on American democracy by a radicalized Republican Party, but its international consequences have not gotten the attention they deserve,” Clinton and Schwerin warn. “Republican leaders are abandoning core tenets of American democracy even as the stakes in the global contest between democracy and autocracy are clearer and higher than at any time since the end of the Cold War. They are defending coup-plotters and curbing voting rights while Russia tries to crush Ukraine’s fragile democracy and China menaces not only Taiwan, but democracies everywhere, from Australia to Lithuania.”

Meanwhile, in an op-ed published by the Washington Post on February 24, Zakaria — best known for hosting Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN — writes that Putin feels threatened by Ukraine’s desire to remain a democracy.

Zakaria explains, “What caused this crisis in the first place? It’s very simple: the overwhelming desire of Ukrainians to live in an open, democratic society. Let us not forget what it was that enraged Putin and led him to invade Ukraine for the first time in 2014. It was not a Ukrainian declaration to seek NATO membership; it was the efforts of the Kyiv government, a pro-Russian government at the time, to finalize an ‘association agreement’ with the European Union.”

The CNN host views Putin’s invasion of Ukraine as a “bloody, brutal effort” to “stem” the “the liberal democratic project” in Eastern Europe.

Zakaria wraps up his op-ed by stressing that while liberal democracy hasn’t been defeated, it will be crucial to fight for it around the world.

“With the voices of nationalism and populism so loud, it seems that liberal values have few willing to defend them unabashedly,” Zakaria writes. “To those who dwell on liberal democracy’s problems rather than its promise, I say, ‘Let them go to Ukraine.’ The people of Ukraine are showing us that those values — of an open society and a free world — can be worth fighting for and even dying for. The question for all of us is, what will we do to help them?"

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Clinton Mocks Fox News But Issues Grave Warning

Hillary Clinton aimed directly at the Republican Party, Donald Trump, and Fox News in a Thursday speech to the New York State Democratic Party convention, and as usual, post-2016 Clinton has their number. “It’s funny, the more trouble Trump gets into, the wilder the charges and conspiracy theories about me seem to get,” she said.

Currently, Republicans are squawking about a false reading of a legal filing from special counsel John Durham, with Trump calling for the death penalty for Clinton and her 2016 campaign team over the filing, which contains little new information and no substantial allegations. Fox News mentioned Clinton 200 times in one day as it works to blow Durham’s work into a full-fledged conspiracy theory (with the active help of Durham, who was appointed by Trump Attorney General William Barr to undermine investigations into Trump’s Russia connections).

Clinton nailed what’s going on here, including a little warning shot to Fox News.

“So now his accountants have fired [Trump] and investigations draw closer to him and right on cue, the noise machine gets turned up,” she said. “Fox leads the charge with accusations against me, counting on their audience to fall for it again. And as an aside, they're getting awfully close to actual malice.”

”Actual malice” is a legal standard by which even public figures can get libel judgments against the media.

Fox News personality Sean Hannity responded. “Malice, really? It's called news,” he said, stretching the bounds of the definition of “news” even by Fox standards. “Hillary, we invite you to bring it on.”

She probably won’t bother, but considering that Fox News is facing a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit from voting machine maker Dominion—a lawsuit the network lost a bid to have dismissed in December—its lawyers might want to take a look at just what its public faces are saying when they mention Clinton 200 times in a day.

Clinton also addressed the Republican Party itself, highlighting its recent resolution describing the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol as “ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse.”

“When the Republican Party officially embraces violent insurrection as legitimate political discourse. When storming the Capitol, assaulting police officers, trying to overturn an election, are being normalized, we are in uncharted territory. And make no mistake, our adversaries around the world are watching," she said. "Republicans are defending coup-plotters, they're curbing voting rights at precisely the moment when democracy needs champions, when we should be standing together against autocracies like Russia and China.”

Clinton’s specific take on Trump and her take on the Republican Party tie together: The Republican embrace of lawlessness is so broad and so deep that it needs to create people like Clinton as villains at the head of vast conspiracy theories to distract from its own sordid realities.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Durham Dismisses False Reports About Trump’s Paranoid ‘Spying' Claims

Special Counsel John H. Durham is pushing back against Fox News' reports suggesting former President Donald Trump was preoccupied with conspiracy theories and spying on staff members.

According to The New York Times, Fox News' reporting explained details about Durham's motion which suggested former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign was secretly surveilling the Trump White House servers. But now, however, Durham actually refuted those reports, himself.

On Thursday, February 17, the special counsel's team wrote a statement in its court filing. “If third parties or members of the media have overstated, understated, or otherwise misinterpreted facts contained in the Government’s Motion, that does not in any way undermine the valid reasons for the Government’s inclusion of this information,” Durham’s team wrote.

Per The Daily Beast, Durham tried to defend himself against allegations made by defense attorneys who argue that his Feb. 11 court filing was an attempt to "inflame media coverage.” In right-wing reports about the filing, they also falsely claimed that it included evidence to support the notion that the Clinton campaign conspired against the former president.

Trump has also pushed similar claims. Last week, the former president claimed the baseless conspiracy theory should be “punishable by death.”

"This is a scandal far greater in scope and magnitude than Watergate and those who were involved in and knew about this spying operation should be subject to criminal prosecution," Trump reportedly said. "In a stronger period of time in our country, this crime would have been punishable by death. In addition, reparations should be paid to those in our country who have been damaged by this."

Reprinted with permission from Alternet