It was personal information that was devastating, and there is no doubt that it was true. It exposed hideous and highly immoral behavior and unspeakable language that was never intended for the public at large to ever read or hear. It was private communication between individuals who never intended their ruminations, observations or pithy comments to become public knowledge, much less public headlines.
But they did, and as a result, much poop hit many fans.
In two completely different, yet uncannily similar situations, privacy was violated, the law was likely broken and embarrassment was abundant.
Many liberals in this country are ready to toss out the results of our national presidential election because they believe the exposure of the personal conversations of Hillary Clinton’s campaign director, John Podesta, and other important figures in the Democratic Party, via a series of compromised emails, handed the election to her opponent. They specifically believe Russian spies executed the hack at the explicit instruction of their President Vladimir Putin, to insure Clinton would lose and her opponent, Republican nominee Donald Trump, would win.
Many of the stolen emails featured comments between Podesta and other campaign allies that seemed to verify claims by the Bernie Sanders camp that top level Democratic Party officials were in the bag for Clinton, and working illicitly (and unethically) behind the scenes to derail and marginalize the senator’s challenge of Secretary Clinton in the primary. Also, there were emails and comments from Hillary herself which exposed political duplicity and open disdain for a number of party faithful, information that also served to embarrass and expose the veteran politician as the wishy-washy, “politically soulless” hypocrite her detractors always knew her to be.
A lot of the specific dirt that was exposed was freshly mined material, several of the stolen emails discussed debates and political business that had occurred just a few weeks before. It was quite a scandal to be sure and, to their credit, none of the implicated individuals, most notably the candidate and Podesta themselves, attempted to deny authorship of the purloined missives.
If we are to believe her whiny supporters, Clinton’s campaign ultimately failed because the Russians got their hands on these private communiqués, and by passing them to Julian Assange’s controversial Wikileaks organization, became colossal “tattle-tales.”
But I don’t buy that.
I am a political conservative and, as such, I would have voted for any candidate that gave us the best chance of defeating Clinton and, yes, ultimately to prove that point, I voted for Donald Trump. It wasn’t a vote I was excited or proud to cast, but I haven’t been in that position in a presidential election since 1988. That said, the email information “revealed” by the Russians, or whomever, didn’t mean a hill of beans to me. It was interesting to be sure, and reinforced my longstanding opinions about the personal integrity of the Democratic Party leadership, but it certainly did not influence my vote.
The entire “email hacking” affair did underscore the vital importance that American officials maintain an extraordinary level of diligence and seriousness when it comes to following security protocols involving government computers. Clearly Clinton’s epic breaches regarding “server-gate” were fresh in the minds of some voters considering her fitness to be trusted with sensitive materials.
There appears to be a consensus among intelligence officials working in President Barack Obama’s administration that the Russians are in fact responsible for the theft of the emails, and the resulting game of “tattle-tale” that ensued. Putin denies it, but since the Russians are believed to be heavily involved in cyber espionage outside election season, it certainly would not surprise me if they pulled this one.
Shame on them if they did, and I hope the president follows through on his threat to punish them. However he can do that.
Now, what can President Obama do to NBC?
On the same day back in October that the most damaging Podesta emails were released, the Washington Post reported that NBC News was in possession of the now infamous Donald Trump-Billy Bush “pussy-grab” recording. And they were holding the story.
It was an 11-year-old recording of a private conversation between Trump and the Access Hollywood reporter. A recording that, since neither Bush nor Trump knew was being made at the time, was technically illegal.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you know the nature of the conversation. Bush was apparently made aware that a tape of that conversation existed soon after that, and according to reports, he communicated that information to NBC News officials at some point in Trump’s primary run. It has also been reported that network officials knew about the tape back in July, because it was a topic of “behind the scenes” discussions during their coverage of the Summer Olympics in Brazil.
For the record, NBC News says they were “vetting” the story and “clearing it through legal,” but any first-year journalism student can tell you that information of this magnitude justifies public release without fear of successful litigation, much like the hacked emails did, or for that matter, the same type of stolen/leaked material that was used to build the Washington Post’s Pulitzer Prize winning Watergate stories.
The “public’s right to know” outweighs privacy concerns in these matters, and that has pretty much been confirmed since the tape was released without legal consequence.
Of course, Trump immediately apologized, but at that point his candidacy was considered “dead in the water” and for days after the revelation, news reports were full of speculation that he would soon be announcing his withdrawal, and the coronation of Hillary Clinton had all but begun.
Ironically the Wikileaks releases, which proved Hillary and her team to be lying, cheating, political hypocrites, were never considered by any of the mainstream press to be a “deal breaker.” The subsequent FBI announcements involving new inquiries into her failure to secure top secret government materials was thought to be “troublesome,” but no one, and I mean no one in the mainstream press was pronouncing her candidacy “DOA” the way that they had been for Trump when his scandal broke.
Trump’s scandal proved what most of us knew anyway, that he was a loud mouthed, ill-mannered, skirt chaser who loved to talk trash about good-looking women. You know, an honorary Kennedy.
Hillary’s scandal proved she and her staff were paranoid to the point of cheating in the primary, and highly disrespectful of several of the key constituencies of her career long political party. Not to mention she was flippant and dismissive of concerns about the security risk she created with “server-gate,” which is astoundingly ironic given that the entire mess she had on her hands came as a result of hacked computers.
Most conservatives understand how Trump has lived his life, and it goes without saying that we would not have wanted our daughters around him a few years ago. But we also understand Hillary, and what she represented politically for our future. We choose Trump.
Besides, at his most profane, Trump looks like an angel compared to the documented behaviors of Hillary’s husband, and the husband of her number one aide Huma Abedin, the notorious Anthony Weiner. Bottom line, Hillary and her team have no moral high ground from which to condemn Trump’s decade old conversation.
If the Russians did intend to get Trump elected, I give them credit. They not only defeated Hillary Clinton, but 95 percent of the Hollywood entertainment industry, NBC News and the rest of the mainstream media.
And they did it simply by being a “tattle-tale.”