A new scandal has emerged relating to Hillary Clinton’s reliance on industry funding for her presidential campaign. Previously, there was the infamous paid-speeches-to-Wall-Street scandal, where Clinton received hundreds of thousands of dollars from Wall Street under the guise of “giving speeches”–this, in an industry famous for Enron-esque money laundering schemes where the sources of money are concealed through falsely rendered services. The new scandal emerged this week after a Greenpeace activist asked Clinton to boycott campaign funding from the fossil fuel industry. Clinton responded by elapsing into a tirade against the “lies” of the Bernie Sanders campaign, suggesting that she does not receive money from fossil fuel companies.
Of course, many mainstream media outlets rushed to lie in place of the Clinton campaign. According to an article from Blue Nation Review titled, FACTCHECK: No, Hillary Did NOT Get Money from the ‘Fossil Fuel Industry’: “One of the most insidious attacks against Hillary is Bernie’s false assertion that she has received money directly from corporations.” The article begins with the banal statement that corporations cannot contribute directly to candidates in the first place before focusing solely on contributions to candidates from employees of fossil fuel companies.
Of course, lots of lobbyists that give money to her campaign are industry representatives. Nobody is claiming that Exxon writes oversized Publisher’s Clearinghouse checks directly to Hillary Clinton. The article is stark propaganda by the usual technique, narrowing the debate to something that doesn’t really matter.
The article’s additional focus, that Sanders is a hypocrite for also receiving contributions from individuals, is such an oversimplified straw man that it stretches the imagination for what’s possible when you “double down.” Of course, if Clinton supporters want hypocrisy, they can look in the mirror. Misrepresentations like these are a Clinton trademark. From “free college tuition would mean paying for Donald Trump’s kids” to “Sanders’ free, single-payer healthcare would mean the end of Medicaid,” Clinton has literally run on misrepresentation.
A more infamous media outlet, NPR, performed precisely the same misleading “analysis.” NPR, a notable recipient of fossil fuel funding itself, did a “fact check” of the claim and of course found that Clinton’s contributions from fossil fuel companies have remained “paltry.” Their “analysis” focused solely on contributions to the presidential campaign itself from employees of fossil fuel companies. It should be explicitly stated, without giving NPR a pass, that their “analysis” didn’t even include what she receives from lobbyists! Lobbyists! This is the kind of laughable, self-serving campaign finance analysis that you can expect from the mainstream media.
Finally, money doesn’t just go through the candidates, but through Political Action Committees (PACs) and, in her case, the Clinton Global Initiative. According to Greenpeace itself, Hillary and her Super PAC have received more than $4.5 million from the industry during the 2016 cycle alone!
In conclusion, there’s a big takeaway from all this: (1) surprise! Money flows through lobbyists; and (2) corporate media has stretched so far in saying that Clinton “doesn’t accept money from the fossil fuel industry” that it’s become a clear, outright lie. When the media lies for a candidate, we lose all prospects for an informed election.