Bill O’Reilly promised “New Information!” about Hillary Clinton’s email investigation, but actually served up a biased, imbalanced serving of right wing opinions about the matter.
There were two guests: Andrew Napolitano and David Tafuri. Napolitano, a former judge and Fox News contributor, was identified as "judge" and given a fair amount of legal respect, as usual. Tafuri was identified merely as “someone who worked for the State Department” and as a “former Obama campaign foreign policy advisor.” In reality, Tafuri is a partner at Dentons and an expert in international law, with a J.D. from Georgetown. He practices law in Washington, D.C., and is a former aide to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Napolitano, unsurprisingly, offered his opinion that the evidence of Clinton's guilt is “overwhelming,” that she should be indicted and convicted of crimes. He painted a gloomy picture of Clinton’s upcoming testimony before the FBI, saying that he thought it was a bad idea for her to do so but that she may need to do so for the optics. He also offered his thought that FBI director James Comey would resign if Attorney General Loretta Lynch doesn’t proceed with an indictment.
O’Reilly gave Napolitano extra cred by saying that if the evidence of Clinton's guilt is overwhelming to Napolitano, it must be for the FBI, too.
Tafuri was then presented with a black and white question of whether he agreed with “The judge”, who was “100 percent certain there’s enough evidence to indict.” Tafuri then had to take time to explain what is actually a more complicated legal situation. He noted that people were either saying she was absolutely about to be indicted or saying that this situation was nonsense. Tafuri was careful not to endorse either opinion. He said the only questions the FBI would be looking at were whether Hillary Clinton knowingly released classified information and whether there was enough evidence to persuade a jury.
Tafuri was able to discuss the key difference between Clinton's situation and that of David Petraeus. Petraeus admitted on tape that he knew he was giving classified information to Paula Broadwell, Tafuri said, while Hillary Clinton has repeatedly stated that she had no intention of doing such a thing.
You would think that Tafuri’s comments would effectively end the discussion. But O’Reilly was clearly set on the idea that the FBI would only care that Clinton had classified material on the server, regardless of her intent. Tafuri corrected him, insisted that the intent is actually crucial, since the FBI would need to show that Clinton released the classified material on purpose.
Tafuri agreed that Clinton’s upcoming FBI testimony would be critical to the outcome. O’Reilly then countered that the recent questioning under immunity of Bryan Pagliano, the former Clinton staffer who set up her private email server, would somehow be important - under O’Reilly’s premise that the FBI would look to see if anything Clinton said contradicted Pagliano. And if her testimony didn’t line up with Pagliano's, “IT GOES,” O’Reilly said emphatically. With that, O’Reilly decided this had been a good discussion and closed the segment.
It’s a good thing that Tafuri was able to at least make the points he did.
This segment was simply an excuse for Fox to smear Clinton as deceitful and criminal. The constant repetition of the story, including this needless “update,” keeps the idea of a Clinton indictment in the forefront of viewers’ minds. And by keeping the story going, Fox News can continue to make it a part of ongoing campaign coverage. So, even after the FBI concludes their examination of this matter, the right wing can hope to have generated as much PR damage as possible.
Watch it below, from the April 21 The O’Reilly Factor.
Correction: This post originally credited the wrong author.
James, have you actually watched this segment or even read this post before offering your own obfuscation? It appears you have not.
The point of this post is not to say that O’Reilly is a bully. We already know that. The point is to note that Fox News has repeatedly trumpeted this story, even when they’ve had nothing new to discuss. O’Reilly even went out of his way to promote this segment as featuring new material that he didn’t have. What was unusual here was that O’Reilly actually had a guest who understood the legal issues at play here, with David Tafuri. But both he and Fox News attempted to diminish Tafuri’s expertise and dismiss his statements. If you were to actually listen to what Tafuri had to say, you might learn something about what’s really going on here.
It’s interesting to hear the right wing talking points about “the facts that Hillary Clinton did some bad things in order to avoid accountability” and “the fact that she ignored the law to avoid accountability.” That’s a nice attempt at spin. But while you may hold that opinion, those are NOT facts. Those statements are right wing opinions.
Nobody is “running cover for Hillary”. There is an actual examination going on of the situation around the email server, and when the FBI’s work is completed, the DOJ will issue a public statement. But while that’s happening, it’s curious that right wing radio shows and outlets like Fox News want to continue the drumbeat of repeating their mantra that Hillary Clinton is about to be indicted and thrown in prison. And it’s not like this is a new idea for Fox News – they’ve been trying this angle since the network was founded in 1996. This obsession is not based on facts and never has been. It’s based on the right wing’s hatred of both of the Clintons, going back 25 years now.
We’ll see what the DOJ concludes about this situation, which does involve serious issues, when you strip away the right wing talking points. But let’s be clear-minded about what those issues are. And if we’re going to say that Clinton was doing “bad things” here, then we also must say that Colin Powell was doing the same “bad things”. The right wing has shown no willingness to accept that. Nor have they shown any understanding of the severity of what David Petraeus did, as repeatedly shown on Fox News and on right wing radio.
So complaining about a right wing bully like O’Rielly picking on Clinton for ignoring the law to avoid accountability does not change the fact that she ignored the law to avoid accountability. The Democratic party, and all of the news sources who are running cover for Hillary have no idea how much damage they are doing to their own reputations by continuing to defend this. It just makes every institution on the left look corrupt and untrustworthy.
Ramsay, it sounds like you forgot to actually watch the segment before commenting. Please actually do so, as you may find it answers some of your confusion about this matter. David Tafuri had to take a moment to explain the legal issues as they are more complicated than Bill O’Reilly’s attempted gotcha bullying conditions of “Yes or no? Right now!” that he regularly throws at left wing guests. Further, I would have to ask if you have a law degree and understand these issues from that perspective. Tafuri does – and he made clear what would actually be examined by investigators on that basis. Tafuri made clear that intent really does matter here, which you would know if you’d actually watched his comments or studied this issue.
Ramsay also tries to sidestep the matter that Fox News has regularly tried to assert that Hillary Clinton’s conduct is somehow “much worse” than David Petraeus’ leaking materials to Paula Broadwell. This was discussed because it’s been a right wing meme to opine that Petraeus was disciplined for something far less serious than Clinton’s emails. Which is outright nonsense, as Tafuri explained. I note that Tafuri’s explanation was the first one I’ve heard allowed on Fox News’ air. Usually, the liberal doesn’t get that far before being interrupted and shouted down. As for whether Tafuri is “in the tank” for Clinton, who knows? He made clear what the legal issues are and said that Clinton’s upcoming discussion with the FBI will be important.
Susan, I wonder if you’ve followed this case very closely before making your comment about the laws here. Let’s look at this from outside the right wing bubble. Tafuri’s discussion was that the FBI would be examining intent when it comes to the handling of classified materials, and there’s no reason to doubt him on that. You’re attesting that Clinton’s use of her server was “unauthorized”. Does this mean that every other cabinet official who has done this was also “unauthorized”, including Colin Powell? Or is only a problem if it’s someone you don’t like, who served in President Obama’s cabinet? You’re also making comments without knowing what these emails were or how they related to each other or to intelligence. Common experience with email threads shows that much of the email on this server was likely within a smaller number of discussions among multiple people. When you have a thread running with 20 people, you can have a single topic suddenly run up past 50 emails when they are all really part of the same chain. So citing the numbers involved here is not necessarily meaningful. And we have to keep in mind the purpose of the server as well as the intent behind the various regs – everyone involved had the same idea of keeping classified materials classified. If we were to see evidence that the server was leaked to the public or that Clinton was knowingly trying to put classified material into public distribution, that would be a different discussion.
Cary, I empathize with your sorrow for our republic. But your repetition of right wing talking points does not mean that anyone would be in prison, much as the right wing wishes that were so.
And then we get Robert Freid, who throws some more right wing anger. “Fast Buck Bill”. That’s a new one. The rest of his initial post is the usual litany of Clinton attack points, built from the desperate right wing hope of seeing one or the other Clinton thrown in jail. Interesting to hear about the “Clint Foundation” being a “slush fund”. I’m sure that this would be news to them and to the people who donated. That said, I do agree with Robert that someone really is in for a shock when this matter concludes. It’s just looking like it will be the same right wingers who thought that Mitt Romney was going to win the 2012 election in a landslide.
The Petraeus case has no bearing on the Hillary case (no matter who says it does)
I guess that wasn’t clear enough for YOU…Glad you got your fox-bashing in tho…
I don’t watch Fox as much as you apparently do…you should stop that…bad for BP.
As for “Insinuating that lawyers and judges in this case are going to be comparing such things…plays well to the court of public opinion…but has no bearing on real court proceedings…Petraeus’s name and case will not be mentioned in any potential courtroom.” Please send that to FoxNoise which seems to believe that Hillary’s case is EXACTLY the same as the Petraeus case.
Now, go back under your bridge. I doubt you have any more legal insight in this case than O’Reilly or Napolitano (just because the latter was a judge doesn’t mean he won’t put his political views above the actual law).
Please share a valid source that states that the email server set up for President Clinton after his term of office was deemed "unauthorized " for use by Sec Clinton. I have yet to find any official statement backing up your claim. To be clear, this was a server that was guarded by the secret service.
Also according to Executive Order #13526 dated Dec 2009 Hillary had not only the authority but also the responsibly to classify anything she wrote. Even her own State Dept had to come out and say that 104 of her emails she wrote herself should have been marked as classified.
Finally, although Hillary had the authority to classify or declassify material within the State Dept she had NO authority to change the classification generated out of another agency. Plenty of that was found within her trove of emails.
*This is nothing more than turning on the “fog of war” machine…IT IS NOT more complicated.
“He said the only questions the FBI would be looking at were whether Hillary Clinton knowingly released classified information and whether there was enough evidence to persuade a jury.”
*Actually…“knowingly” is not required in some of the laws violated = only negligence
*Actually releasing classified info. is also not required = only moving it from an authorized location.
“Tafuri was able to discuss the key difference between Clinton’s situation and that of David Petraeus.”
*Insinuating that lawyers and judges in this case are going to be comparing such things…plays well to the court of public opinion…but has no bearing on real court proceedings…Petraeus’s name and case will not be mentioned in any potential courtroom.
“You would think that Tafuri’s comments would effectively end the discussion.”
*The only discussion it ends….is that Tafuri and the author are in the tank for cankles!
So I gave up Fox News (dropped traditional cable) some weeks ago yet nothing here is new. Same right-wing focus on Email-gate since it smears Hillary. Same tired talking points that – yes, America once again – we’re on the verge of Hillary’s long awaited (by right-wingers) fall and prosecution.
The only positive thing I can say about the Fox News right-wing propaganda factory is they’re very effective in sexing up the news into interesting conservative narratives. Even after watching GOP TV™ rehash the same baloney dozens of times I got to the end of the segment without being bored.
OTOH, my favorite news source, PBS “NewsHour”, which offers a far more diverse range of topics because it never flogs a story to death and at the same time doesn’t sex up its stories is as boring as it is informative.
Clinton has repeatedly said and testified that all classified information was transmitted on the government’s classified system.
Fox News’ one and only primary purpose.