Not front-page email server news

Hmmm.  Latest email release is one from Congressional Democrats that is an email from Colin Powell to Hillary Clinton about using a private email account.  Vox’s Jeff Stein:

Clinton loyalists got powerful new evidence to buttress their case last night. Before Wednesday’s presidential forum, House Democrats released an email that former Secretary of State Colin Powell sent then-Secretary Clinton, who had asked for guidance about using a private server…

The email makes clear that Powell, too, used private systems to avoid the State Department servers.

“What I did do was have a personal computer that was hooked up to a private phone line (sounds ancient.)” Powell wrote on January 23, 2009. “So I could communicate with a wide range of friends directly without going through the State Department servers. I even used it to do business with some foreign leaders and some of the senior folks in the Department on their personal email accounts. I did the same thing on the road in hotels.”

Now, there’s still a difference between Powell’s handling of the email server and Clinton’s. While it’s clear Powell used a private server to go around the State Department, Powell also did communicate over the State servers and maintained a State email account. By contrast, Clinton never set up a account throughout her time as secretary of state and onlyused a private account.

But the distinction is increasingly looking like a matter of degree rather than kind. The torrent of criticism against Clinton is obviously connected to the extraordinary FBI investigation into her private server, but it also now looks wildly disproportionate given how close it mirrors that of her predecessor. [emphasis mine]

Yep.  And, yes, clear mistake on Clinton’s part.  But nowhere near as horrible as all the media coverage might lead one to believe.  Especially in light of Powell’s comments.

But what is most noticeable to me is that there is no mention of this email on the front of the NYT and it’s buring way down the page at  There’s a link at, but not one giving any indication that this is a significant (though, admittedly, partial) vindication of Clinton’s behavior and the story she’s been telling.

Now, is this all because the media hates Hillary?  I want to say, “no” but will settle for “probably not.”  Rather, revelations about supposed malfeasance and abuse are simply far more interesting than revelations that, “hey, but that wasn’t so bad after all when placed in proper context.”


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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