The end of Benghazi and the email server

Oh, they’ll continue on plenty on Fox and right-wing news sites.  But these issues have been significantly delegitimized in the mainstream press that drives so much campaign coverage.  I’m sure occasional stuff will still come up with the emails, but now that it has been so tied to the obviously to all, so partisan, Benghazi hearings, the media is not going to be reporting on it in the same way.  Drum captures this dynamic nicely:

Republicans have screwed the pooch on Benghazi. The press can only play along with their faux investigation as long as they maintain plausible deniability about its partisan goals. [emphasis mine] But now we have (a) Kevin McCarthy spilling the beans, (b) news reports that John Boehner wanted to use the committee to attack Hillary, (c) Richard Hanna agreeing that it was mostly a partisan witch hunt, and (d) no less than the New York Times reporting that the committee has all but given up on Benghazi in favor of holding hearings on Hillary’s email server. We knew all along there was a man behind the curtain, but now he’s actually been exposed. It’s getting harder and harder to play along with the charade.

Yep.  It terms of driving media narratives it is totally different whether just Fox is going after Hillary on something (which they always will) then whether the NYT, WP, ABC, etc., are going after her on it.  And with the curtain now so clearly pulled away, the more serious journalists at NYT, etc., are simply no longer able to tell themselves that reporting on these things is not a partisan matter.

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Another take on why Hillary won

Really good piece from John Cassidy:

But we won’t get a reliable reading of public opinion until we see some scientifically conducted surveys based on random samples of Democratic voters. The post-debate online polls weren’t of this type: their samples were self-selecting, and you would expect their results to be skewed toward the candidate with the most-committed supporters. In this race, without a doubt, that is Sanders.

The only post-debate poll I’ve seen that employed orthodox surveying techniques was carried out by the research firm Gravis Marketing, and it showed Clinton as the clear victor…

The main reason that I think Clinton emerged as the winner relates to the third question: she gave her campaign a huge and much-needed boost. Of all the debate participants, she had the most to lose. After six months in which Clinton struggled to deal with the issue of her use of a private e-mail server while she was secretary of state, Democratic élites and donors were starting to question her abilities as a candidate. A poor performance on Tuesday could well have engendered outright panic. Clinton not only reassured the elected politicians, interest groups, and donors who have thrown in with her; she dealt a big blow to the “draft Biden” movement, which probably, in hindsight, needed its man to be onstage in Las Vegas.

The Clinton campaign believes that it can ultimately deal with a buoyant Sanders, even one who raises more money after the debate or gains a few more points in the polls. A panicking Democratic establishment and a swift entry into the race by Joe Biden would have presented a much more alarming scenario—one that now appears to be receding as a possibility.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  What matters about debates is not about what people sitting at home think about who won or who lost.  What matters is the media narrative that shapes up afterward and in this sense, there can be no doubt, Clinton is an overwhelming winner.

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