This is something that's a few days late, but it only clicked in when I saw the actual graphic that the Associated Press put out to promote their story about the number of meetings with Clinton Foundation donors that Hillary Clinton took as Secretary of State.
I hadn't seen this exact phrasing, but when I did, something seemed instantly terribly wrong.
Hillary Clinton was the Secretary of State for four years. And when I read this, the thought that immediately occurred to me was -- does the AP actually believe or want me to believe that in four years as Secretary of State, traveling around the world and on just daily business overseeing the foreign policy of the Unites States of America, that Hillary Clinton in those four years Only Met or Had Phone Conversations with just 154 people???
Hey, AP, I meet or have more phone conversations with more people than that in four years. Hillary Clinton probably meets or has that many phone conversations in a month, if not less.
As it turns out, the Clinton campaign has had a big push-back on this article and the numbers, and there's been significant coverage about how the AP screwed up. Unfortunately, the story and headline is out there and got all the big news. That it's been discredited -- and that the story itself isn't especially damning (the "big reveal" was meetings she took with Muhammad Yunus...a Nobel Prize-winning economist, Congressional Gold Medal winner and World Food Prize-winner, who had been pressured by a foreign government to resign from the board of bank he was investigating) -- is alas a minor issue compared to the attention it got in the first place. The bell has been rung, and it's not possible to unring it.
When one actually reads the article, it turns out that what they write is different from what the Big Promo implies. The article refers to only those with "private interests." (Though even that is selective cherry-picking.) The larger point is that what they promoted -- what most people only saw, as it got passed around and spread like wildfire on social media, is that card above. Implying that it's all the people who the Secretary ever met or spoke with on the phone. All 154 of them in four years...
Journalist Matt Yglesias has an excellent and detailed article on how poor the AP reporting was. You can read it here.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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