Thursday, August 25, 2016

The AP lies. And they lie about their lies.

First of all, honestly, the AP generally has shitty journalists. A lot of their pieces are the Real News equivalent of sports game recaps: instead of just giving you the information you want plainly directly (e.g. the score and any standout players), it pads that shit out in the most mundane fashion, using some of the most tired, mindless tropes possible. "Politician X held a press conference today and said Y," and then probably some bullshit about pivoting or whatever. A good glorified, uncritical mouthpiece.

The worst part is because their writing is so typically awful that no one actually wants to read the shit, it allows the AP to be used across the ideological spectrum, but also sort of perversely allows their headlines to serve as the actual content. It's so bad it rarely even gets singled out by Republicans, who are hostile to things like facts and reality, as being part of the Lame Stream Media.

But apparently the AP, like the GOP, would like to explore just how far it can sink into it's own pile of shit, so we have this story about how "[a]t least 84 of of 154 people who met or had phone conversations with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state donated or pledged commitments to her family or charity." Now, your first thought when you read that should be that a secretary of state would probably meet with thousands of people across several years. And you'd be right. So the AP is just flat out lying here. And they actually got called out on it, which compelled them to offer a lie about defense of their lie, which was this:

"AP has been transparent in how it has reported this story. It focused on Mrs. Clinton's meetings and calls involving people outside government who were not federal employees or foreign diplomats, because meeting with U.S. or foreign government officials would inherently have been part of her job as secretary of state. We focused on Mrs. Clinton's meetings and calls involving those people outside her duties as secretary of state whom she chose to include in her busy schedule."

First, you're lying again. That's not what you said. You didn't say "84 of 154 people outside government who were not federal employees or foreign diplomats, because we don't feel like any of the other thousands of people that she met with could possibly be implied to be part of a corrupt money-for-play scheme that we have no evidence of." What you said was "84 of of 154 people who met or had phone conversations with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state." Quit fucking lying. As a young child I was taught the first rule of digging holes: when you're in one, stop digging. Or in this case, stop lying. The correct answer isn't a journalistic non-apology: I'm sorry of anyone took our reporting for actual facts. It's to admit you lied, apologize, and then shut the fuck up for a while.

Second, the problem with that defense is that it's still bullshit. The only reason this whole story would actually be news is if these meetings took place as part of her "duties of secretary of state." It's the quo of the alleged(?) quid pro quo. The entire point of lying about the fraction of people she met with is to imply that there's some outsized list of people she had no business meeting with except that they gave money to the Clinton Foundation and so she cravenly peddled her influence in exchange for that cash to grant them favors they weren't otherwise entitled to. But none of the people the AP singled out as examples of this "corruption" were obscure people who wouldn't have been able to talk to the State Department, nor could the AP find any who were granted undue favors. At all. Not a one. So there's not even an alleged quo. The whole story is "these people paid money to the Clinton Foundation and then received nothing special for that money." Congratulations shitbags.

So what exactly does the Clinton Foundation actually do that warrants the AP lying about it? It helps kids with AIDS in Africa and helps feed starving people. Shit that normally we'd be applauding. If, for example, that racist dumbass Donald Trump actually gave money to his own foundation and used it to help innocent, impoverished people who were truly suffering, the AP would be slobbering all over it as evidence of how generous he is and how he Truly Cares About The Poors. But because it's Hillary Clinton? Well, she doesn't do press conferences, so fuck her I guess. Those kids in Africa can just suck on the AP's self-righteous bullshit.

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