Inside the Beltway: Strategic media bias over the Clinton Foundation

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There was considerable hubbub over The New York Times’ decision this week to investigate the finances of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation; the news organization accused the feel-good, globally minded organization of mismanagement, among many things. Analysts swooned. Oh, the shock. Surely the account will mar Hillary Rodham Clinton’s potential presidential campaign, they agreed.

Right? Wrong. The Times story could be one of the most clever bits of media bias that has appeared this decade. Fox News analyst Monica Crowley has connected the dots.

“The question is, ‘How damaging could this be to possible presidential run?’” she asks. “I think the reason you saw this on The New York Times is not because The New York Times somehow wants to hurt Hillary Clinton’s chances, but to help her. In other words, they’re trying to get the negative stuff out early, so then they can claim it’s all been covered and that it’s old news by the time she announces.”

It will be old news next week, but no matter.

“Secondly, and this is really important point, they can say, ‘If there are dirty dealings going on at the Clinton Foundation, it was all going on before she joined.’ Remember, her name was just plastered onto the title of the Foundation. They could say, ‘It was all going on before she came onboard, and she’s there to help clean it up,’” Ms. Crowley concludes.

HILLARY‘S FAMILY EDGE

The aforementioned Clinton Foundation, meanwhile, is being manned by the Clinton triumvirate: former President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and daughter Chelsea Clinton, who already has given at least two delicate signals that she too would be interested in running for office if the calling was right. But wait. What about Vice President Joseph R. Biden?

Consider that Douglas SchoenMr. Clinton’s former political strategist — has stepped forward to announce that, hey, Joe Biden is a viable candidate for 2016 for myriad reasons, and he predicts that a “Biden-Hillary battle may be brewing” in an op-ed for Newsmax Magazine. History could be on Mr. Biden’s side, the author says, noting that five vice presidents have gone on to win the White House.

The former first lady/senator/secretary of state may still have the edge, though.

“Technically, Mrs. Clinton is not an incumbent, but the Clintons’ dynastic strategizing has given her the advantages of incumbency and then some,” points out Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto.

PRIEBUS ON PATROL

And part three of today’s Hillary Trilogy: Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus may very well ask for a binding vote during the finale of the Republicans’ big summer meeting Friday, asking his peers to bar the committee from partnering with CNN and NBC during upcoming 2016 presidential debates.

This all goes back to the networks’ plans to each produce Hillary Clinton-themed programming; Mr. Priebus is convinced that both productions will recast Mrs. Clinton’s personal story in a most flattering light, and just in time for the 2016 presidential election. The chairman has become a producer in his own right, however, issuing four short, snappy videos this week to get his point across.

The titles say all: “Will the Hillary Films Include ‘What Difference Does It Make?’” “Will the Hillary Films Include the McAuliffe-Rodham Scandal?” “Will the Hillary Films Include the Norman Hsu Scandal?” “Will the Hillary Films Include the Pardon & Clemency Scandals?” See them at GOP.com, under the “video” heading.

DRAWING THE LINE

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