Guccifer speaks, NBC edition (3)

NBC News interviewed the Romanian hacker Guccifer in Bucharest before he was extradited to the United States. His extradition to the United States appears to have been prompted by the Clinton email investigation. Indeed, Guccifer told NBC News more than a month ago that he had hacked the private email server on which Clinton chose to conduct her official business as Secretary of State. In the report broadcast last night, NBC News characterized the claim as “truly explosive.” In its initial online version of the story, NBC News characterized his claim as a “bombshell.”

The funny thing is, NBC News sat on the story for over a month. In the meantime, Catherine Herridge and Pamela Browne scooped NBC in an intensely reported story for FOX News.

The NBC way is not typically how you treat treat a news “bombshell.” What happened?

NBC News sent around a press release late Wednesday announcing the story on which it was scooped by FOX News. The press release didn’t disclose that NBC had let itself be scooped by FOX News, but it should have!

Chris White of Law Newz followed up on the press release by contacting the listed NBC contact. When the NBC contact finally responded to White’s query regarding the reason for NBC’s treatment of the story, he declined to comment. White at least got a well deserved Drudge link for his efforts!

One can postulate a number of explanations for NBC sitting on the story. Unlike a jury viewing a criminal defendant’s exercise of his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent, however, we are entitled to draw adverse inferences against NBC from its non-comment. I think that NBC News is at best intimidated by the Clinton campaign, at worst in support of it.

NBC News cites sources “close to the investigation” for various points compatible with Clinton’s assertions. Note that these are not described as FBI sources. I think they are highly likely to be associates of the Clinton campaign. They are certainly “close to the investigation.”

CNN reports on the progress of the investigation. They rely on “US officials” whom they describe as having been briefed on the status of the investigation to assert that “so far investigators haven’t found evidence to prove that Clinton willfully violated the law[.]” What “US officials” are being briefed on the investigation? Is “willful violation of the law” the applicable standard? There is a Clinton force field around this story that produces misdirection at best.


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