- The Washington Times - Friday, September 9, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The mainstream media seemingly values Donald Trump’s bombastic rhetoric to Hillary Clinton’s proven record.

The bias made itself clear on Friday, with all the major cable networks (excluding Fox News) demanding Mr. Trump apologize for questioning President Barack Obama’s nationality several years ago (even though the entire “birther” argument was born from Mrs. Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign).

The previous day, The Washington Post declared in an editorial that Mrs. Clinton’s email story was “out of control,” and that there’s “still no evidence that national security was harmed” (FBI Director James B. Comey did say Mrs. Clinton put it at risk, and the consensus expert view is that her server was most likely hacked by a foreign entity). But never mind these bothersome details because Mrs. Clinton’s email scandal “vastly exceeded the boundaries of facts,” The Post wrote.

In other words: Mainstream media, it’s time to put the email story to bed. The birther story however, well, that’s good for infinity and beyond. Mr. Trump must apologize, that’s only human decency. You see, words matter more here than actual action and record.

This is what action looks like:

Mrs. Clinton told the FBI 40 times in one interview she couldn’t remember details on how classification works (an essential part of her job, and as commander in chief), she had her mobile devices smashed by a hammer so they couldn’t be recovered, and “BleachBit” 33,000 “personal” emails (of which we still don’t know included the Clinton Foundation) so they could never be read by the public.

She set up a private email server with the purpose of going around public records requests (she hasn’t specifically said that’s the reason why, but she also has never been asked by the press about her intent — heck, she wasn’t grilled by the FBI, either); and she doled out favors to Clinton Foundation donors and close friends of her husband (Crown Prince of Bahrain, Doug Becker to name a few) while she served as secretary of state.

Mrs. Clinton’s team also deleted emails and wiped her server clean, weeks after receiving a congressional subpoena to produce the information. That’s obstruction of justice folks. But nothing to see here. Let’s move on.

Another example of the press placing more emphasis on Mr. Trump’s words than Mrs. Clinton’s record is on foreign policy.

The media had a field day when Mr. Trump said Russian President Vladimir Putin was a stronger leader than Mr. Obama.

“Donald J. Trump’s campaign on Thursday reaffirmed its extraordinary embrace of Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, signaling a preference for the leadership of an authoritarian adversary over that of America’s own president, despite a cascade of criticism from Democrats and expressions of discomfort among Republicans,” The New York Times wrote ominously.

For starters, I’m not sure how “extraordinary” Mr. Trump’s embrace of Mr. Putin is.

It was Mr. Obama in 2012, after all, who told then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have more flexibility after November’s election to deal with contentious issues such as missile defense. And it was Mrs. Clinton who famously hit the Russian “reset” button, only to see the red state expand into the Ukraine and team up with Syria in their civil war.

But if our point is to talk about emboldening hostile nations, let’s look at Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton’s policies in Iran and Cuba.

The U.S. paid Iran a $400 million ransom to free hostages, and then transferred more than $1.3 billion in cash after the initial payment.

The Washington Free Beacon reported on Thursday that Iran may have received an additional $33.6 billion in secret cash and gold payments facilitated by the Obama administration between 2014 and 2016 — before and after the Iranian nuclear deal was hammered out.

The Washington Free Beacon in August also exposed that the U.S. and its negotiating partners agreed “in secret” to allow Iran to evade some restrictions in the agreement so they could meet the deadline and start getting relief from economic sanctions. This is as U.S. Naval warships are getting harassed by Iranian patrol boats and after 10 U.S. sailors were held in Iranian custody.

Cuba is no different. Mr. Obama validated the dictatorial Castro regime by normalizing relations with the country. Since then nothing in Cuba’s behavior has changed — it’s still a gross human rights violator, and reports have surfaced the country is censoring text messages that contain words like “democracy.” The Cuban military has expanded its economic empire, taking over businesses in tourist destinations.

These are examples of real actions — real policy-making made under both Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton that have had noticeable and negative outcomes.

It’s rich the press would like to spend more time on Mr. Trump’s words than on Mr. Obama’s and Mrs. Clinton’s actual record.

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