By Brigitte L. Nacos
Fox News, the New York Times, and the Washington Post have joined forces in an unusual, or should I say unholy alliance to securing exclusive rights to the anti-Hillary Clinton material assembled by a Republican activist. The soon to be released book’s controversial author Peter Schweizer is president of the so-called Government Accountability Institute which is reportedly financed by the same family that backs Senator Ted Cruz, a declared contender for the GOP’s presidential nomination and certainly not a disinterested party when it comes to harm the favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination. It is noteworthy, too, that the Koch brothers, known for effectively using their wealth to influence election outcomes are said to be financial supporters of author Schweizer as well.
As Politico noted, it is hardly surprising that Fox News was eager to utilize and promote Schweizer’s book “Clinton Cash.” After all, the volume’s publisher HarperCollins is owned by News Corporation and like Fox News part of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. But it is a shocker that the two newspapers partnered with Fox News and now help to promote a book designed to derail Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
When I listened to talking heads this morning, I heard some buying into the argument that Schweizer is not a biased partisan since he already announced that he will make revelations about Republican Jeb Bush’s questionable financial transaction. That is not a proof of being non-partisan. After all, nothing would be more welcome by the GOP’s extreme right than getting the perceived moderate Bush out of the way. For Cruz and his supporters Clinton and Bush are obstacles on the way for a truly patriotic Republican capturing the presidency.
Unless there is evidence of quid pro quo cases or even patterns that tie Clinton foundation donations from abroad and overseas speaking fees for Bill Clinton on the one hand and State Department decisions on the other, there was no wrong doing. Ethically, though, the money flow from abroad—most of it into the Clinton foundation but some into the ex-presidents private pockets attests to poor judgment. But in that Bill Clinton is not unique among ex-presidents.
As the Boston Globe’s Jeff Jacoby reported,
Ronald Reagan accepted $2 million to deliver two 20-minute speeches in Japan shortly after leaving the White House in 1989, and both George H. W. Bush and Jimmy Carter have traveled widely to lecture for pay. The elder Bush in particular seems to be Clinton's model. The Wall Street Journal reported a decade ago that "in the four years since he left office, Mr. Bush, already a wealthy man, has earned millions of dollars speaking publicly." Charging $80,000 to $100,000 per appearance, "Bush generally restricts himself to giving speeches and rubbing shoulders with corporate executives and high-level government officials."