August 27, 2016 by celinagut
Like so much of what we read, this story exemplifies what spin can do to the truth. We may not always get all the details about politics and the movers and shakers therein, but at some point, the facts can be sorted out. The media can not be relied on to do that for us. For that reason, after reading this short article, get your Google on and find out for yourself at https://www.clintonfoundation.org/
The media has the Clinton Foundation story upside down
Mark Sumner, August 24, 2016, Daily Kos
What’s the real story of the Clinton Foundation? How does the philanthropic world see the Clinton Foundation? They’re rock stars.
It’s one of the top-rated charities, with a an “A” grade from Charity Watch and a “Platinum” rating from GuideStar. It’s also a charity that does important work on education, women’s rights, climate change and especially on health care. More than half the people being treated for AIDS around the world receive medication from the Clinton Foundation.
When Hillary Clinton was nominated to be secretary of state, she assured the Senate that she would place a “firewall” between the foundation and her work for the United States. Not one piece of evidence has been put forward that suggests that firewall was ever breached.
The real story of the Clinton Foundation is that there is no scandal. That’s just it. It’s not just “nothing to see here” it’s “nothing but good to see here.” It’s an un-scandal. An anti-scandal. Something of which the whole Clinton family can be justly proud.
That is, unless you’re determined to make the data fit your story.
The Associated Press has just shown us why it is important to be vigilant in how we consume the news as it is reported. They took some interesting information they gathered and spun it into something it wasn’t…scandalous. …
That is basically what most every drummed up “scandal” against Hillary Clinton comes down to: from the perspective of the people judging her – it looks bad. Welcome to the world of optics as scandal.
From the headline on, the AP story isn’t simply distorted: it’s untrue. To get things to look the way they wanted, they had to ignore over 97 percent of the meetings Hillary held as secretary of state, ignore more than 98 percent of Clinton Foundation donors, and completely ignore common sense.
This isn’t simply a story of the media’s ongoing obsession with finding something they can hang on Hillary Clinton, no matter how trivial. This is an attack on the people being helped by the foundation, waged in the name of “campaign optics” and generating something for the pundits to prattle about. The attempt to make this into a scandal…that’s the real scandal.
As Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon said quite well: You know what? If any American voter is troubled by the idea that Clintons to want continue working the AIDS crisis on the side, then don’t vote for her.
It’s not that this couldn’t have been a problem. Is it possible a charity could emerge as bad news, or represent bad optics, for a presidential candidate? Certainly. For instance, if a politician is connected to a foundation that’s been caught ripping people off, siphoning off contributions, or misleading donors about the work being done. But none of that applies to the uniquely transparent Clinton Foundation. …
The charity represents a thriving philanthropic operation that assists people around the world, while brandishing esteemed charitable credentials.
It’s that this isn’t a scandal. Both Hillary and the Clinton Foundation offered unprecedented transparency. People looked. And what they found was … no problem at all.
Even so, the AP determined to generate a lede that made it look as if there’s a problem. And then pundits decided to play into Donald Trump’s delusional attacks on the foundation by screaming about fire where there’s not even any smoke.
… here is where the AP blew their story. In an attempt to provide an example of how this becomes an “optics” problem for Hillary Clinton, they focused much of the article on the fact that she met several times with Muhammad Yunus, a Clinton Foundation donor. In case you don’t recognize that name, he is an economist from Bangladesh who pioneered the concepts of microcredit and microfinance as a way to fight poverty, and founded Grameen Bank. For those efforts, Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2010.
Obviously the kind of person that the secretary of state should be meeting with—more often.
Brian Fallon: It’s been widely praised by Democrats and Republicans alike for years you have the likes of John McCain, Candi Rice, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina and praises and supporting the work of the Clinton Foundation. Donald Trump donated $100,000 while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. Last night his campaign manager said that they did good work. Let’s look at what the work is –
Andrea Mitchell: Is it time to disband it?
Brian Fallon: More than half the people in the world receiving AIDS drugs, received them from the Clinton Foundation. So no, the Clinton Foundation will not be completely shuttering its work even if Clinton wins the presidency and for good reason. On the other hand, there is someone in the race who does have known entanglements with foreign entities. Which, for some reason, the media isn’t throwing a fit about. By contrast, Andrea, just two blocks from 30 Rock, NBC’s headquarters in New York, there is a building, a property—one of the crowned jewels of Donald Trump’s business holdings—that pays him millions of dollars a year. And he owes money to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars to the state-owned Bank of China and Goldman Sachs. Tell me how he’s going to stand up to Goldman Sachs and the state-owned Bank of China when he receives funds from a property where he owes money to them? He, Donald Trump, should sell off his building at 1296 Lexington Avenue, he should commit to that today, and until he does, he should stop raising questions about a charity that does not personally benefit Hillary or Bill Clinton at all.
Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, and Chelsea Clinton should be celebrated for the work done by the Clinton Foundation. And Hillary Clinton deserves praise for the careful distance she kept from foundation activities while serving as secretary of state—a distance that’s well-represented in public data on both sides.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump has endless connections to foreign powers and companies which he has neither disclosed nor offered to end.