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The Top Ten Misreported and Underreported Media Stories of 2016

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  1. Clinton Foundation / Pay for Play

Hillary Clinton’s State Department was blatantly unethical and designed to serve Clinton Foundation interests. While evidence of the specific pay-to-play scandals abounds, this list will cover a couple of the most notable.

First, the Clinton campaign and the media repeatedly claimed that Donald Trump favored Russia. However, it was Hillary Clinton’s State Department that oversaw the Skolkovo effort, a Russian foundation and technology park which risked giving the Russians access to dual-use technologies that could enhance Russian military capabilities. Yet by 2014 the FBI had issued “an extraordinary warning,” according to the Government Accountability Institute report, that Russian members of Skolkovo were seeking to “gain access to classified, sensitive, and emerging technology from the companies.” As for Mrs. Clinton, not only did her State Department promote the Skolkovo effort, “17 of the 28 participating companies from around the globe had either donated to the Clinton Foundation or sponsored Bill Clinton’s speeches.”

Mrs. Clinton and her staff also thoroughly misused their influence to ensure that “Friends of Bill [Clinton]” had influence over the Haitian recovery efforts in 2010.

Haitian analyst Jake Johnston told ABC News in October that “I think when you look at both the State Department and the Clinton Foundation in Haiti, that line was pretty faint between the two…You had a lot of coordination and connection between the two, obviously. And I think that raises significant questions about how they were both operating.”

Emails released in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the Republican National Committee, confirmed by ABC News, show State Department official Caitlin Klevorick giving preferential treatment to “Friends of Bill” and “William Jefferson Clinton VIPs” in the immediate aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. “Need you to flag when people are friends of WJC,” she wrote. “Most I can probably ID but not all.”

And then there is Laureate Education. While many in the mainstream media sought to indict Trump over Trump University’s lack of quality and high pressure sales tactics, Laureate Education is, for the Clintons, a very similar debacle. A 2012 U.S. Senate report found that Laureate’s Walden University was spending more than half of its revenue on marketing and profit, and accepts students based on their ability to pay while offering, as Forbes reports, “no academic reputation and virtually no standards for admission.”

But the Clintons made millions off of Laureate. More than $16 million was paid to Bill Clinton through a shell corporation, after which more than $55 million American taxpayer dollars flowed out of Hillary Clinton’s State Department to a non-profit run by Laureate CEO Douglas Becker. Also, Bill Clinton resigned from his position as “honorary chancellor” of Laureate in April of 2015, right after the disclosure of the information from Clinton Cash was made public.

An Associated Press inquiry found that “More than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money—either personally or through companies or groups—to the Clinton Foundation.…At least 85 of 154 people from private interests who met or had phone conversations scheduled with Clinton while she led the State Department donated to her family charity or pledged commitments to its international programs…”

The AP report makes it evident that these are just a few of the many pay-for-play schemes that Secretary Clinton oversaw, and that this only scratches the surface of what is clearly blatant, endemic corruption and conflicts of interest. Secretary Clinton used her term to benefit Clinton Foundation donors, and to build good will for the Clintons that could be cashed in for her presidential run. I’m sure many of those donors would like a refund.

  1. Rigged FBI Investigation

While the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the leadership of Director James Comey, claimed to examine Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and misuse of classified information, the fix was in from the very beginning—but don’t expect the mainstream media to cover that fact. Director Comey said in a statement on July 5 that “110 e-mails in 52 e-mail chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received,” and eight of those were Top Secret.

Yet Comey then proceeded to claim that “no reasonable prosecutor” would make a case against Hillary Clinton for her misuse of classified information. Comey’s refusal to recommend prosecution of Mrs. Clinton had brought us one step closer to Banana Republic status.

No one should be above the law—as a presidential candidate or secretary of state, Clinton was equally responsible for safeguarding American secrets, but she broke that promise to the public and the Obama administration.

As more details surfaced it became clear that the FBI investigation was being run in a highly unusual manner. For example, as we reported, the Bureau granted immunity to five persons connected to the email scandal, and also refused to suspend the immunity agreement given to one witness after he lied to investigators. According to Andy McCarthy, writing for National Review, Secretary Clinton’s former chief of staff Cheryl Mills and Clinton aide Heather Samuelson also received immunity agreements meant to ensure that they gave the FBI access to their laptops. However, the FBI could have just subpoenaed the computers or obtained a search warrant instead. And lastly, the FBI failed to call a grand jury and instead conducted light touch interviews. The fix was clearly in.

It became even clearer that the FBI would never recommend prosecution when the public discovered that the wife of the Deputy Director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, had received campaign money from close Clinton ally Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s political action committee and the Democratic Party of Virginia. Naysayers noted that the money was given before Mr. McCabe became deputy director. However, according to The Wall Street Journal, “Before he became No. 3 at the FBI Mr. McCabe ran the bureau’s Washington, D.C. field office that provided resources to the Clinton probe. Campaign-finance records show that 98% of the McAuliffe donations to Mrs. McCabe came after the FBI launched its Clinton probe.”

Some news media, as well as Clinton supporters, claim that the last-minute reopening of the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton after 650,000 emails were found on Anthony Weiner’s computer irreparably damaged her chances at becoming president. This ignores the fact that Mrs. Clinton was a deeply flawed candidate. However, as I wrote on the eve of the election, “While Comey did, in fact, argue back in July that he was not recommending an indictment or prosecution of Hillary, he also drew other ‘conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton.’” Those conclusions were “that she lied when she said that she hadn’t sent or received classified materials on her private, unsecured server,” that “She lied when she said that nothing that she sent or received was marked classified,” lied “when she said that she only used one device,” and “lied when she said that she had turned over all of her work-related emails.”

This is what the Clinton campaign is wearing as a badge of complete exoneration, and a closing of the books on her so-called email scandal, which is actually a national security scandal. As we have often pointed out, others have gone to jail, been fined, lost their security clearances and were run out of public life for far less egregious examples of mishandling classified material.

Whether or not Comey’s last-minute re-opening of the investigation into Hillary’s email scandal, or his account of her many lies, influenced the election outcome is a question for the historians. But this FBI investigation was flawed from the very beginning.

  1. Obama’s Legacy Failures

As President Obama prepares to leave the White House, he is attempting to salvage his reputation by asserting that he inherited a financial mess from President George W. Bush, and that his policies have actually boosted the economy and provided greater access to health care. The complicit media, of course, continue to ignore or downplay Obama’s many failures.

The press considered few, if any, of the major Obama scandals—including the IRS targeting scandalBenghazi, the Veterans Administration scandalFast & Furious, ransom cash sent to the Iranians—as real scandals.  That is because the press has made excuse after excuse for Obama’s mismanagement or deliberate malfeasance, perennially ignoring and downplaying his scandals.

“As I told my staff, we should be very proud that their work has already ensured that when we turn over the keys, the car’s in pretty good shape,” said President Obama in his first press conference following the election. “We are indisputably in a stronger position today than we were when I came in eight years ago.”

If you think that sounds like a self-serving statement, you’d be right. President Obama is determined to make the case that as he leaves office, he is leaving the country in better shape than when he arrived. He claims to have saved the economy and left the world a more peaceful place, with America’s standing back on top. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In reality, the U.S. labor participation rate is comparable to the 1970s. There are 95 million people out of the workforce. Obamacare’s premiums are skyrocketing, and Americans are less safe because the Islamic State has expanded into more than two dozen countries and caused the death of thousands. The election of Donald Trump was a direct repudiation of President Obama’s failed policies. Whether the media choose to report it, Trump has inherited a popular mandate to roll back Obama’s signature legacies, including the unsigned Iran deal.

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