Sunday, March 8, 2015

New York Times Digs In On Email Double Standard And Gives Jeb Bush A Pass

The New York Times is holding Jeb Bush to a lower standard over his selective release of emails from his time as governor of Florida, taking Bush's word for it that enough emails have been "made public" despite reports that Bush hand-picked the emails he would release. At the same time, the Times is insisting that Hillary Clinton lay out the process she used to release emails from her tenure as secretary of state.

"Under Florida's records laws, emails from Mr. Bush's personal account have been made public," the Timesreported. "'His emails were available via public records requests throughout his time in office and have remained available,' Ms. Campbell [a Bush spokesperson] said."

That's it. That's all the Times had to say about Jeb Bush's use of a non-government email account during his tenure as governor.

But in the same article, the Times demanded to know what process Clinton used when turning over 55,000 pages of emails to the State Department, complaining that "her aides have declined to describe the process by which they selected which emails to hand over and which to hold back."

The Times has been hounding Clinton over her use of a non-government email account with sloppy reporting all week and refusing to acknowledge errors in its initial report. With the latest decision to hold Bush to a lesser standard, even though Bush cherry-picked the emails from a personal account that he chose to release, their reporting becomes even more inadequate.

Earlier this year, Bush published some emails from his non-government account used as governor on a public website. The Tampa Bay Times reported that Bush, who reportedly owns the server that runs his personal email account, "hand-picked emails from his time as governor to help build his case for a 2016 primary run for president."  MSNBC political correspondent Kassie Hunt reported on Wednesday that "staffers and his general counsel's office decided which ones to release."

The Tampa Bay Times, which said that Bush's public email files are incomplete, reported that emails "relating to politics, fundraising and personal matters while he was governor" were kept out of the public record.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported that Bush did not "fully comply with state law that requires governors to turn over their records upon leaving office" during the 8 years between leaving the governor's mansion and releasing some of his emails earlier this year.

Media outlets have breathlessly followed The New York Times' lead in scandalizing Clinton's email use, which makes the paper's Jeb Bush double standard even more troubling. 

http://mediamatters.org/blog/2015/03/05/new-york-times-digs-in-on-email-double-standard/202773

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