House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi doesn’t like that the media reported on the DNC and Podesta email hacks and went so far Friday as to say members of the press were accomplices in what she calls Russia’s attempt to influence US elections.
“I really say to you, my friends in the press, with all due respect for the guardians of the First Amendment that you are, that you were accomplices in this,” Pelosi said.
“It was every single day you reported that there was an email that was embarrassing to the Clinton administration without saying, ‘We know this because of disruption by a foreign power into our electoral system,’” she added.
The House minority leader said the press knew the Russians were involved and didn’t say anything. She said the media’s complicity had an impact on Clinton’s campaign but would not go as far as to say the results of the election would have been different without it.
The leaked emails, published by WikiLeaks, exposed the extent to which some top-level DNC officials went to marginalize Bernie Sanders in favor of Hillary Clinton, as well as collusion between prominent members of the press and the Hillary Clinton campaign — among other things.
No one outside the Democratic Party, not even the US intelligence community, is disputing the legitimacy of the leaked documents or accusing WikiLeaks of publishing forgeries. The biggest dispute currently is the role Russia had in the hacks, if any at all.
WikiLeaks continues to deny Russian hackers were its source. However, the latest ODNI (Office of the Director of National Intelligence) report claims the intelligence community is confident Russian hackers were responsible and Russian President Vladimir Putin was involved.
The leaks did not come without consequences for the DNC, as some officials were pressured to resign, including former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Donna Brazile is currently the interim DNC chair. CNN cut ties with her as a correspondent after it was revealed that she tipped off Clinton’s communication director, Jennifer Palmieri, about debate prep, including specific questions that could be asked.
In a press conference Monday, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said he believed the political elite within the Democratic Primary — which would include Nancy Pelosi — was fighting to protect themselves, because through rigging the Democratic primary they put up the least competitive candidate, and now they must answer to an angry base.
But there is another important point that the minority leader must consider: Why wouldn’t the media report on the hacks?
First, if the mainstream media didn’t report on the hacks then their competitors would. It is a juicy story that is guaranteed to get ratings and page clicks.
Second, correspondents that confirm election interference by the DNC is legitimate news, just like news stories about election interference from foreign sources. If the press didn’t report on it, it would suggest clear and overt bias.
Third, no matter where one stands on the DNC and Podesta hacking story, cyber security threats should always be taken seriously. If a foreign entity — whether it is a government, state party, or organization — is attempting to interfere in U.S. elections in any capacity, the matter should be investigated and the American people should know what information is available.
However, while there remains contention over the level of meddling the Russians did in the 2016 presidential election, there is one indisputable truth: There was meddling at every institutional level by the DNC to control the outcome of the primary and elevate or marginalize candidates to influence how voters cast their ballot. The American people deserve to know that as well.
Two private corporations, the Republican and Democratic parties, have firm control over the election process in the U.S., and for many Americans, they got their first look at the lengths major party officials will go to ensure the party-anointed candidate wins and lock out grassroots and political competition.