NYT backtracks, a little, amid email scandal

Wednesday, July 29, 2015
 | 
Bill Bumpas (OneNewsNow.com)

A media analyst says the ability of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign to get The New York Times to change its story about her email scandal shows they know how to spin the controversy.

Tim Graham of the Media Research Center credits the liberal newspaper for "sticking" to the email story in an effort to learn what happened.

"I think that's exactly what made the Clintons so angry," Graham tells OneNewsNow.

Benghazi Hillary Clinton 620x300Clinton used a private email address and a private computer server when she served as secretary of state, and she erased thousands of emails before handing out tens of thousands of them to the State Department. 

That story, which broke in March, also came from The New York Times.

Clinton claimed at the time that no classified information - meaning sensitive government secrets - were stored on her server or sent via her private email address. But that claim has been proven untrue, media sources are now reporting.

A sample of just 40 emails showed four contained sensitive information, an investigation found. 

The changes in last week's New York Times story were made at the request of Mrs. Clinton's campaign staff to soften the report of a criminal investigation.

 According to The Washington Post, the original lead story reads like this:

Two inspectors general have asked the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation into whether Hillary Rodham Clinton mishandled sensitive government information on a private email account she used as secretary of state, senior government officials said Thursday.

Graham, Tim (MRC)The lead sentence was "softened" later to drop the first reference to Clinton, the Post explained, though it pointed out that the Times maintains there's no "factual error" in the first version. 

"I think it tells you that the Clinton campaign is extremely aggressive in hounding the media," Graham observes. "And they're pretty effective at getting the media to accept their spin-line on things."

He explains there's a fine line to walk for an organization that is trying to maintain its journalistic credibility while at the same time trying to remain in the good graces of the Clintons and their backers.

"I think The New York Times is not only concerned about its access to the Clintons and their approval by the Clintons," says Graham, "they're concerned about their liberal readership being upset that they would in any way sort of ruin the Clintons. So they have something sensitive to negotiate there." 

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