On Sunday, we found out that Jared, Son-in-law of Trump and unelected Fixer of Everything, has been using personal email to discuss government business. More specifically, we discovered that this particular email account was set up after the election, meaning its clear intent was to avoid scrutiny:
Presidential son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner has corresponded with other administration officials about White House matters through a private email account set up during the transition last December, part of a larger pattern of Trump administration aides using personal email accounts for government business.
Kushner uses his private account alongside his official White House email account, sometimes trading emails with senior White House officials, outside advisers and others about media coverage, event planning and other subjects, according to four people familiar with the correspondence. POLITICO has seen and verified about two dozen emails.
You probably don't remember that during the 2016 election, there were a few questions about Hillary Clinton doing something similar. I'm sure if you take a few moments, you'll start to recall what the levelheaded tone of that coverage was like and how the whole story was just a minor footnote in the otherwise boring and run of the mill campaign coverage. Most likely, the press will cluck their tongues, wag their fingers and move on from this to something more important.
Clearly that's not what happened but humor really is one of the only ways to deal with the rage engendered by the obvious double standard. Chris Cillizza alone write over 50 articles about Hillary's emails in a constant effort to keep the non-story in the news as long as possible. When people pointed out that politicians have used private emails to skirt digital records retention laws pretty much as long as there's been email, the Chris Cillizzas and Chuck Todds of the press scoffed and deployed "Clinton Rules" reasoning to justify their rabid obsession of the story: Assume that Clinton is acting in bad faith until there's hard evidence otherwise.
Kushner, on the other hand, is literally half a billion dollars in debt from just one bad real estate deal, comes from a deeply corrupt family (daddy's been to jail) that has been using its connections to the president to enrich itself, married the con-artist daughter of a con-artist president, has ties to the Russian government and access to the highest levels of power in America but hey, he seems alright. Why obsess over his obvious attempts to hide emails or anything? Now Hillary? That bitch had to go down!
The only way the press will care about Jared's emails for more than a news cycle or two is if they find something in them about Russia. But it will take a link to the largest political scandal in American history to get even a hint of the kind of wall to wall coverage that graced Hillary's emails or to generate a word cloud that looks like this:
It's also worth remembering that Hillary's emails were innocuous, a big nothingburger that "journalists" like Chris Cillizza and Chuck Todd shoved down our throat almost daily. In fact, the emails were so devoid of scandal, the press had to invent the whole new metric of guilt free "optics" just for Hillary so they could have something to bitch about. It seems unlikely that Jared will be subjected to this same microscopic examination. After all, Jared and Ivanka are very concerned about Trump's behavior and, gosh darnit, they're in Washington to keep him in check!
This is not to endlessly rehash 2016 but it's important remember how miserably the press failed us and how, after years of letting Republicans off the hook so as not to appear "biased", they mounted a concerted effort to destroy a single candidate; not through the kind of real reporting that is going to take down Donald Trump but through innuendo and insinuation.
We must demand better from our press. It's protected by the Constitution because we recognized its vital roll in informing the public and holding our government accountable to we the people. They've been failing in that duty for decades, leading us to the brink of total disaster. "Journalists" like Chris Cillizza still have jobs despite having shown an appalling lack of objectivity he, like most of the press, has yet to apologize for or even acknowledge. Bias is just fine for writers like me because I make no pretense of being anything other than a frothing liberal but Cillizza is supposed to be a neutral arbiter; that lent his anti-Hillary jihad a gravitas it wouldn't have had if he'd been honest about his personal loathing for her.
If we shrug our shoulders and learn nothing from 2016, the press will continue down its path of selective accountability that always seems to disproportionately benefit Republicans and I'm not sure how much more the country can take.
There are 42 days left to the the 2017 elections.
There are 406 days left to the 2018 elections.
- This article kills fascists
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