GUEST COLUMN, Dan Backer, political.law
From Stormy Daniels to allegations of Russian collusion, the left-leaning mainstream media is determined to derail the Trump presidency. A recent, typically biased CNN headline reads: “Trump’s boss act doesn’t always work.”
For every legitimate news story, there are dozens of others criticizing President Trump’s personal cell phone use, First Lady Melania Trump’s designer hat, and the Trump administration’s alleged “scandals and embarrassments.” Even the president’s second scoop of ice cream made headline news.
Media bias is nothing new. More than 90 percent of Trump campaign coverage was negative, while 96 percent of media campaign contributions went to Hillary Clinton.
But even more dangerous than an openly partisan press spinning biased coverage is the journalistic sin of omission—when the press willfully ignores a relevant story on the basis of political ideology. According to Ken Stern, former CEO of the left-leaning National Public Radio, the liberal media routinely suppresses stories that “don’t reflect their interests or beliefs.”
Perhaps the most stunning example of suppression is the mainstream media’s handling of Hillary Clinton’s $84 million campaign finance scandal. If you’ve never heard of it, that’s precisely the problem.
The liberal media is so preoccupied with Stormy Daniels — and an alleged $130,000 Federal Election Commission (FEC) reporting issue—that they’re willfully ignoring an ongoing federal investigation into Clinton’s fundraising practices. That scandal, which for months has appeared almost entirely in conservative media, involves $84 million in allegedly excessive six-figure contributions laundered through the Hillary Victory Fund, dozens of Democratic state parties, Democratic National Committee (DNC), and ultimately to Clinton’s campaign.
Last December, the Committee to Defend the President filed a complaint with the FEC, documenting “an unprecedented, massive, nationwide multi-million dollar conspiracy.” The 101-page complaint is built entirely on FEC reports filed by Democrats, memos authored by Clinton campaign manager Robbie Mook, and public statements from former DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile and others.
After the FEC refused to act on the complaint within a statutory 120-day timeframe, the Committee recently sued the FEC to force action, claiming the FEC’s failure to act is “arbitrary, capricious, contrary to law, and an abuse of discretion.”
The $84 million amounts to the single largest campaign finance scandal in U.S. history. For perspective, conservative filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza was prosecuted, convicted, and served eight months in a community confinement center and five years of probation for a similar campaign finance violation—totaling $20,000 in straw man contributions. And the mainstream media predictably jumped on the story.
The Clinton machine stands accused of steering $84 million in straw man contributions to Hillary’s campaign—more than 4,000 times more money!
Yet the liberal media has ignored the story. To date, the Washington Post is the only mainstream news outlet to cover the initial complaint, but not the subsequent lawsuit, with even Post reporter Dave Weigel acknowledging “most coverage of the FEC complaint had appeared in conservative media.” The New York Times, which obsessively covers “damaging moments for Trump,” has steered clear. Ditto for ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC.
No matter where you stand politically, isn’t any $84 million campaign finance scandal worthy of news coverage?
The liberal media complains about the lack of trust in today’s press, but they only have themselves to blame.
Dan Backer is a veteran campaign counsel, having served more than 100 candidates, PACs, and political organizations, including the Committee to Defend the President. He is founding attorney of political.law, a campaign finance and political law firm in Alexandria, Va.