August 14, 2013

NYT criticizes Clinton Foundation, and then shuts down its own website

A Thursday Hillary Bash on Wednesday?  Well, this is big.  So yes.
 
In a developing story, The New York Times is raising some questions about the Clinton Foundation, alleging in thinly veiled terms conflicts of interest, and large deficits despite gobs of cash pouring in.  The Telegraph has the story (The NYT article is behind their paywall, and apparently the entire NYT site is offline right now);
...the liberal NYT has no such scruples. The killer quote is this:

For all of its successes, the Clinton Foundation had become a sprawling concern, supervised by a rotating board of old Clinton hands, vulnerable to distraction and threatened by conflicts of interest. It ran multimillion-dollar deficits for several years, despite vast amounts of money flowing in.

Over a year ago Bill Clinton met with some aides and lawyers to review the Foundation's progress and concluded that it was a mess. Well, many political start-ups can be, especially when their sole selling point is the big name of their founder (the queues are short at the Dan Quayle Vice Presidential Learning Center). But what complicated this review – what made its findings more politically devastating – is that the Clinton Foundation has become about more than just Bill. Now both daughter Chelsea and wife, and likely presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton have taken on major roles and, in the words of the NYT "efforts to insulate the foundation from potential conflicts have highlighted just how difficult it can be to disentangle the Clintons’ charity work from Mr Clinton’s moneymaking ventures and Mrs Clinton’s political future." Oh, they're entangled alright.

The NYT runs the scoop in its usual balanced, inoffensive way – but the problem jumps right off the page.
Tim Stanley concludes his piece wondering about the state of democracy in the States.
It's nothing new to report that there's an unhealthy relationship in America between money and politics, but it's there all the same. While the little people are getting hit with Obamacare, high taxes and joblessness, a class of businessmen enjoys ready access to politicians of both Left and Right that poses troubling questions for how the republic can continue to call itself a democracy so long as it functions as an aristocracy of the monied. Part of the reason why America's elites get away with it is becuase [SIC] they employ such fantastic salesmen. For too long now, Bill Clinton has pitched himself, almost without question, as a homespun populist: the Boy from Hope. The reality is that this is a man who – in May 1993 – prevented other planes from landing at LAX for 90 minues [SIC] while he got a haircut from a Beverley Hills hairdresser aboard Air Force One. The Clintons are populists in the same way that Barack Obama is a Nobel prize winner. Oh, wait…
That's a reasonable posit but a discussion for another time. The point that interests me is why the liberal NYT would suddenly post a story like this. Curious doesn't begin to describe it. One story like this along with the occasional soft jab at Obama won't overcome decades of profound, half-heartedly veiled liberalism in the eyes of its critics (myself included). That means one of two things. Either the foundation has become so blatantly corrupt and/or dysfunctional that they (the NYT) can no longer turn a blind eye to it for fear of being complicit by their silence, or the Clintons are using the situation to try to make hay about their own scruples.

Can you imagine the story in the NYT in a few months when Hillary interviews (exclusively with the NYT) and talks about how she had no choice but to shut the Foundation down in order to make sure nothing untoward was happening there. It's a better safe than sorry sort of thing. Oh and by the way, I'm running for president. That NYT exclusive story coming early 2014 - exclusive in exchange for planting the seed about possible malfeasance this week in a way that looks impartial and yet journalistically probing.

Yes, I'm a cynic. At least when it comes to anything Clintonian.

UPDATE:  According to Townhall, the NYT site is back, partially.
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