The Foundation and Weiner by Theresa Rebeck

This is what happened to me this week:

I got sick of watching news on television! I got bored with Donald Trump!

Apparently I'm right on schedule. Everyone else got bored with the Donald as well, and why not. The new Scandal du Jour is the Clinton Foundation. Well, the NEW new Scandal du Jour is Anthony Weiner and his shenanigans, but we will get to that. Right now, let's take a look at that Clinton Foundation.

How dare they raise money and save lives all over planet Earth? And then, how DARE they claim that that is a good thing? Saving 11.5 million lives is nothing, when you compare it to the dastardly effect of two emails that had something wrong in the subject line. Honestly, I cannot for the life figure out what gets people so mad at those emails and seriously I did try.

Okay I admit that while I stopped watching tv news, I continued to follow my FaceBook feed. So I did get to hear Hillary on the phone with Anderson Cooper.

She was sensational as usual: Bright, firm, clear, determined, intelligent, no nonsense. I loved it. Then, after Anderson got off the call, there was a six person panel who truly ripped her to shreds for a. Not talking to the press enough (just after she hung up from a phone call with Anderson!!!); b. being married to a guy whose foundation saved millions of lives in Africa and c. I stopped watching because I couldn't believe how weird b. was.

I also saw Andrea Mitchell light into a Clinton communications guy about that foundation. He did a good job defending it, and pointed out that if people don't want Hillary to be associated with something that does so much good for people who are really in trouble, that they shouldn't vote for her. He was utterly unapologetic in a way that I liked, and I thought Andrea looked pretty shabby by comparison.

I also saw, on the same FaceBook feed, that old Ragin' Cajun James Carville announce that the press was going to take down the foundation and as a consequence a lot of people are going to die. And then my secret crush Paul Begala got out there and also defended the idea that helping dying people in Africa is a GOOD thing. He was also unapologetic and brilliant and the whole thing made me feel a little better because it at least attempted to push back the true weirdness of the mainstream media's conviction that no matter how much good they do, those Clintons are secretly up to no good.

I didn't have time to watch tv this week anyway: I was invited to visit a friend in the Hamptons. She introduced me to a bunch of people who were nice and interesting and who are, unlike me, still watching the news. Like me, they think the current state of American politics is terrible. I heard plenty about it. They have a lot of money, and they don't like Trump, and they're not going to vote for him. They didn't like Hillary either. The latest thing they don't like? The Clinton Foundation.

When I tried to tell them how much good that foundation does, they didn't want to hear it. They didn't want to hear my concerns about how much criticism Hillary's taken for things that have never been proven. They thought I was naive. All of that nastiness about her would not be out there if it weren't true, was their position.

It was like talking to everyone on Anderson Cooper's enraged panel. They didn't want to hear about the 11 million lives saved! Those 11 million people meant nothing compared to the rumor, the innuendo, the secret suspicion that Hillary really is just up to no good. They told me they'll vote for her, but they all wished they could vote for someone else.

My friend, who I love, secretly admitted to me that like me she loves Hillary and she's excited to vote for her. But we had to talk about it in secret.

I kind of can't believe people are so addicted to the innuendo. Hillary really is a sensational choice for president under any circumstances; as an alternative to Trump she's breath-taking. And she's a WOMAN. Which is a good thing; we could use a woman in the White House. We all know it's long overdue. So why do people need to express, over and over, that they are only voting for her because they "have" to?

Why are they so mad about that Foundation that is doing so much good? And who gives a shit about poor Anthony Weiner? I love it that places like Slate stand up and say "hey wait a minute" when they try to lower the boom on things like the Clinton Foundation. But no one has yet told me why the mainstream media is so convinced that lies and innuendo and whispers have so much validity. These guys are reporters. Aren't they supposed to report, um, facts?

Why can't I see a panel of people who are as worked up into a lather about Donald Trump's debt, misogyny, racism, and his truly dangerous and deep business ties to the Russians? I have heard about those things but honestly I've never seen a panel of commentators go into a big snit about them. Why can't they work that degree of rage up over the truly dangerous Mr. Trump?

This is what I think: I've heard enough from the MSM about accusations that are never proven. I think: Fair's fair. I think: Report on the good stuff too.

And then maybe I'll start watching again.


August 31, 2016

Editor's note. The image which welcomes you to Theresa Rebeck's insightful commentary is by the esteemed cartoonist Liza Donnelly.

Voices4Hillary is pleased to announce that Liza's cartoons will regularly adorn and illuminate our pages. We all anticipate that she will soon join us on Facebook for Live Drawing.

We hope you will keep checking back to see what is happening. Much excitement as we approach Early Voting. What a day --Rebeck and Donnelly together at last!

For more on Liza

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