Can’t see the fire from the forest

Published 10:44 am Tuesday, October 18, 2016

It’s hard to ignore a blazing inferno.

Typically, massive fires are so bright, complete with towering columns of smoke, that they are hard to ignore if you’re anywhere near one.

So, how, and why, is the national media paying no attention whatsoever to the latest round of emails, those pertaining to Hillary Clinton as well as the Democratic National Party, released last week by Wikileaks?

Has anybody out there other than me read any of those emails? Does anybody understand how damning they are to Mrs. Clinton and the leadership of her political party? Does anybody care that she and her cronies are so crooked that they make Richard Nixon look like a saint.

There was one series of emails between Hillary’s camp and a fundraising wing of her campaign that was extremely blunt in laying out detailed plans of how to skirt around federal laws that control contributions to political candidates.

Another series of emails dumped by Wikileaks showed that Mrs. Clinton was provided questions, by someone within the national media, prior to a debate between she and Democratic rival Bernie Saunders.

Others showed a trail of favoritism offered to Clinton from the likes of CNN, The New York Times, The Boston Globe and CNBC. These are news outlets that people turn to for the truth. I now have serious doubts about the journalistic integrity of any news organization that twists the facts to the point where it favors one candidate over another.

So, while the release of these recent emails has provided the fuel to ignite an inferno, one so bright that I sat waiting and waiting for the national media to mention it and provide in-depth coverage to what it all means, what did we (those who seek the news) get?

Apparently, Donald Trump’s comments from 11 years ago, about a woman is far more newsworthy than political scandal at the highest level.

The national media is at the buffet line and feasting on Trump. When offered dessert (Hillary’s and the DNC’s collusion emails), they politely refused and headed back to the buffet for second, third, and more helpings of Trump.

And the uninformed voters are left believing what they are told.

Case in point, on Friday of last week while searching for a “fair and balanced” editorial cartoon for our Opinion Page in Saturday’s edition, the paid supplier we use for that source had 14 offerings. Eight poked fun at Trump’s gaffe. There were no “conservative” themed cartoons…nary a mention about the latest emails from the Clinton and DNC.

And the most damning emails dumped last week show that the State Department, of which Hillary once served as Secretary, were discussing which emails to delete. That electronic correspondence was dated March 4, 2015….the exact day that Congress issued a subpoena for Mrs. Clinton’s private email server that illegally contained classified information.

Less than a week later, Clinton herself announced at a press conference she had deleted nearly 32,000 emails from a private server, which could have been used for a congressional investigation. She claimed they had been deleted months earlier. We now know that’s not true.

It’s easy to see that Clinton and her handlers were making every attempt possible to avoid her from being charged with a federal crime and, possibly, land her in prison.

It’s also very clear with this latest information from Wikileaks of the involvement the Department of Justice had throughout the investigation into Clinton’s illegal email server. It’s apparent, at least to this community journalist, that Mrs. Clinton’s coziness with the DOJ, in particular with the U.S. Attorney General, afforded her the opportunity to withhold evidence, or destroy it in her case, that allowed Hillary to save her political career.

What we all need to remember here is that it wasn’t the Watergate break-in that led Nixon to resign, it was the cover-up that followed.

The national media was all over that story in 1972 and did a great service to all Americans of reporting the news fairly and accurately, without personal opinion. Today’s news writers and talking heads are falling woefully short of the high standards of their predecessors.

Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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