While CNN and others in the media belatedly expressed anger and shock over former CNN contributor Donna Brazile secretly feeding questions to the Clinton campaign for CNN debates, the interim chair of the Democratic National Committee is entirely unapologetic and, if anything, seems to regret only that she got caught if a recent interview is any indication. CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker called Brazile’s actions “disgusting” but Brazile is claiming that she would do it again.
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.
After claiming that she was being “persecuted” and then claiming that the emails were altered, Brazile is now insisting that breaking the ethical rules at CNN was the right thing to do: “My conscience — as an activist, a strategist — is very clear.” Really, because CNN thought its rules (and made to the public and its profession) were equally clear. Indeed, Brazile would repeat (implausibly) every night how she was independent and not a supporter of Clinton.
Brazile now says that it was right and proper to secretly shared questions with just one candidate: “You’re doggone right I’m gonna talk to everybody. Joe, I will never go out on TV or go on radio without the facts. I will ask, I will submit things, I will circulate things, and guess what, I also enjoy the exchange that I have with my colleagues.” Of course, this was not her colleagues. Her colleagues in that capacity were commentators and journalists, not Clinton campaign staffers.
As with her earlier bizarre interview with Megyn Kelly, Brazile seemed to flip rationales and return to the entirely unsupported claim that the emails were altered. First, here is the Kelly interview:
Now Brazile insists: “Had the Republican National Committee been hacked, had the Republican Party’s emails and other assistants been altered and hacked, the country would be in selective outrage if they found out this was from a foreign source.”
As discussed earlier, the media has conspicuously declined to confirm the truth of Brazile’s claim of alteration and have bizarrely not pursued the recipient of the emails, campaign adviser Jennifer Palmieri who is readily available to the media. Of course, no one is asking Brazile to show the original, which she said that she kept. All of that would confirm whether Brazile is the victim of a fraud or repeatedly lying to the media. That would seem to be major story for the acting head of the DNC but there is just crickets in the aftermath of these interviews. The media has also dropped the question of who gave Brazile the questions. CNN simply says that it completed an investigation and cleared everyone.
The actions of Brazile may have been described as “disgusting” and “unethical” but there appears little interest in confirming the underlying facts.