We discussed earlier how Donna Brazile, the interim chair of the Democratic National Committee, denied the legitimacy of emails that showed her leaking a question to Hillary Clinton that would be asked verbatim at the CNN downhill event. The media has largely declined to investigate the claim, including confirming the receipt of the earlier email from the Clinton staffer. Now additional emails allegedly show Brazile secretly feeding information to the Clinton campaign. Again, there has been relatively little media attention to the story and CNN issued a remarkably weak response that it was “uncomfortable” with the new disclosures on Brazile’s actions while a CNN commentator. “Uncomfortable”? How about words like “unethical”?
There are now three troubling levels to this story. First, CNN maintained throughout the primary that Brazile (who was well known as a supporter of Hillary Clinton) was a “neutral” commentator. It was a facially ridiculous claim for anyone familiar with Washington. Second, Brazile then alleged passed along questions to Clinton in what would be a deeply unethical act. Third, Brazile then said that the emails were not real and that she could prove it.
The easiest way to confirm the earlier story is to ask the recipient campaign adviser Jennifer Palmieri who is readily available to the media. However, reporters have not pressed Palmieri. In the meantime, Brazile gave a rambling denial of the story that would normally trigger a feeding frenzy. In addition, some techies have posted a research that they say strongly support claims of authenticity, but the response of the media has been crickets.
Now, the latest email show that Brazile revealed to the Clinton campaign the name of the person who provided her with a question that was asked of Clinton at a March 13 town hall co-hosted by CNN and TV One. Brazile also shared a question from a debate hosted by CNN a week earlier. She allegedly named Roland Martin, a TV One host who co-moderated a March 13 town hall with CNN’s Jake Tapper, as her source. The March 5th email shows Brazile sharing a question with Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and communications director Jennifer Palmieri that was to be asked in a March 6 debate hosted by CNN in Flint, Mich.
In a March 12 exchange, Brazile again refers to Martin and offers to provide more than just the one town hall question: “I’ll send a few more. Though some questions Roland submitted,” Brazile wrote to Palmieri in the March 12 email thread, which is entitled “From time to time I get the questions in advance.”
Now the emails contradict the denials of other CNN figures about sharing questions with Brazile.
In a March 5 email, Brazile reportedly leaked a question that was to be asked the next day at a debate that was hosted by CNN’s Don Lemon and Anderson Cooper: “One of the questions directed to HRC tomorrow is from a woman with a rash . . . Her family has lead poison and she will ask what, if anything, will Hillary do as president to help the ppl of Flint.”
Then in the debate a woman named Lee-Anne Walters did ask the question of both Clinton and Sanders:
“After my family, the city of Flint and the children in D.C. were poisoned by lead, will you make a personal promise to me right now that, as president, in your first 100 days in office, you will make it a requirement that all public water systems must remove all lead service lines throughout the entire United States, and notification made to the – the citizens that have said service lines,”
In response, CNN again denied sharing questions and said “We are completely uncomfortable with what we have learned about her interactions with the Clinton campaign while she was a CNN contributor.” CNN has cut all ties with Brazile, but of course she remains the DNC head after replacing Debbie Wasserman Schultz (who ironically was viewed as working to rig the primary for Clinton).
It would seem of more than passing interest for the media to determine if the head of the DNC, let alone a former CNN contributor, is lying. Yet, there appears to be a minimal level of coverage of the story.