8:50 PM, Dec 6, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
In a five year span, the William J Clinton Foundation gave five grants totaling $851,250 to the University of Virginia's Miller Center. One year in particular, 2007, the Clinton gift was specifically marked: "Oral history project of Clinton presidency."
Well, today the New York Times has a front page feature on the newly released oral history project about the Clinton presidency. The one the Clintons helped pay for. But nowhere in the 2,600 word piece do Times writers Amy Chozick (who is on the Clinton beat) and Peter Baker (longtime White House reporter) disclose the obvious conflict of interest.
On the Miller Center project, the authors only write, "Her triumphs and setbacks are laid bare in the oral histories of Mr. Clinton’s presidency, released last month by the Miller Center at the University of Virginia. The center has conducted oral histories of every presidency going back to Jimmy Carter’s, interviewing key players and then sealing them for years to come. But more than any other, this set of interviews bears on the future as much as the past."
Other presidential foundations have given money to the Miller Center, according to a representative of the Miller Center.
Here's a history of the William J Clinton Foundation's donations to the Miller Center and Miller Center Foundation, courtesy of Foundation Search:
The focus of the Times article is Hillary Clinton and, in the context of her likely 2016 presidential run, what might be learned about the possibly presidential candidate from her time as first lady. It paints a nuanced but mostly complimentary and flattering picture. "Hillary Clinton’s History as First Lady: Powerful, but Not Always Deft," the headline reads.
"[Bill Clinton] depended on [Hillary Clinton] more than any other figure in his world. It blinded him to trouble, some advisers concluded, most notably about her ill-fated drive to remake the health care system," write authors Chozick and Baker.
"But he rarely overruled her, at least not in ways that staff members could detect. 'I can’t think of any issue of any importance at all where they were in disagreement and she didn’t win out,' recalled Abner Mikva, who served as White House counsel."
The article even credits Hillary Clinton with helping to save her husband's presidency:
Mrs. Clinton went up to Capitol Hill to rally Democrats against impeachment. “She was absolutely great,” recalled Lawrence Stein, the White House lobbyist. “They loved her. She called it a coup.”
Without her public support, Democrats might have abandoned the president, leading to pressure to resign or even a conviction in the Senate. Once again, Mrs. Clinton had rescued him.
An image of a strong, smart, loyal Hillary Clinton is one the former first lady will surely want 2016 voters to have of her. So perhaps it's safe to say the Clinton Foundation's $851,250 to the University of Virginia's Miller Center was money well spent.
UPDATE: In an email, a representative of the Miller Center states, "Both the George H.W. Bush Library Foundation and the George W. Bush Foundation have provided major financial support to this program on exactly the same grounds as the Clinton Foundation. Each has paid for the substantial transactional costs of their oral histories, but no funding for faculty salaries. The Program’s scholars, and the many outside scholars who volunteer their time to help with the interviews for no compensation whatsoever, maintain complete editorial control and academic independence over the interview sessions." Those donations do not appear in the database Foundation Search, but this post has been updated to reflect the representative's claim.
10:29 AM, Dec 6, 2014 • By WHITNEY BLAKE
Two weeks ago, Rolling Stone published a bombshell piece that rocked the academic world. In the story, author Sabrina Erdely detailed a horrific crime — a gang rape at one of the fraternities at the University of Virginia that allegedly took place two years ago.
1:06 PM, Jul 15, 2014 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
Someone I'm related to by marriage has written a superb column on the problem of media ignorance. The fact I'm not a disinterested observer shouldn't stop me from noting that the column and the event that prompted it has attracted some attention. The piece is pegged to a much discussed interview talk radio star Hugh Hewitt conducted with Zach Carter, the Huffington Post’s “senior political economy reporter.” Hewitt asked Carter why he was spouting off various critical opinions related to Dick Cheney and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Certainly, Carter's not alone here -- the rise of ISIS has had liberal journalists queuing up to insist President Obama bears minimal responsibility for the disintegration of the situation in Iraq. Joe Biden bet his vice presidency Iraq would extend the Status of Forces Agreement, and had they not failed, it might well have prevented the current mess. But here we are.
This one, from Roll Call, is headed to the Department of Justice.12:46 PM, Jan 22, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Another reporter is joining the Obama administration. Emily Pierce, the deputy editor of Roll Call, will be joining the office of public affairs at the Department of Justice, the federal agency headed by Attorney General Eric Holder.
Pierce was welcomed to her new position by Brian Fallon, who works in that DOJ office and who used to be Chuck Schumer's spokesman in the Senate.
"Can't wait to welcome @emilyprollcall to @TheJusticeDept Office of Public Affairs later this month. She is a true pro," Fallon said on Twitter.
Jan 13, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 17 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Like Diogenes in search of an honest man, The Scrapbook has been on an extended quest to find the Golden Age of American journalism. That was the era, not so long ago, when a literate public was downright serious about the news, and America’s newspapers, magazines, and television networks paid close, detailed attention to current events, foreign affairs, and national politics—which, of course, were civil in tone, bipartisan in nature, and concerned with finding solutions rather than exploiting problems.
Aug 26, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 47 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
The Scrapbook has previously commented on the “new breed of pundit/political scientist who seems to think that a pie chart is a substitute for argument.” Whether it’s the fault of an education system and corporate sector saturated with PowerPoint presentations, the increasing desperation of polemicists, reporters, and poli-sci types to cast their work as hard “science,” or just the rising tide of philistinism, it seems an ever-growing number of writers and thinkers have taken to substituting the siren song of the computer-generated chart for the hard work of written argument.
9:30 PM, Aug 14, 2013 • By FRED BARNES
With the death of Jack Germond at 85, the great triumvirate of political reporting is now gone. Germond, Robert Novak, and David Broder were the Clay, Calhoun, and Webster of political journalism with their columns and TV commentary, but mostly with their dogged reporting.
Jul 29, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 43 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
In light of the ongoing, slow-motion collapse of the mainstream media, at least one major journalism school has decided to reassess its priorities. Last week, Inside Higher Ed reported that the prestigious Annenberg School of Journalism at the University of Southern California is revamping its master’s degree program.
9:44 AM, May 13, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
In a statement released this morning, the Newseum announces that it will "re-evaluate" its decision to include two terrorists on its "Journalist Memorial." The Newseum had been planning to honor former members of the terrorist group Hamas, Mahmoud Al-Kumi and Hussam Salama.
4:07 PM, Mar 18, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
A year at Columbia University's journalism school will set you back nearly $84,000.