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August 24, 2016

AP's Report on Clinton Meetings Questioned

Vox and The Washington Monthly are taking the Associated Press to task for its reporting Wednesday on Hillary Clinton’s meetings with Clinton Foundation donors during her tenure as secretary of state, particularly over how the news service hyped its coverage on social media

AP wrote that at least 85 of 154 people from outside the U.S. or foreign governments with whom Ms. Clinton had phone or face-to-face talks during her first two years at State had financially supported her family’s charity. A social-media “share card” the wire service posted to promote the story online left out the qualifier that the 154 figure did not include several times that number of meetings with foreign leaders and other federal officials.

Critics of the coverage also said AP produced no evidence suggesting donors received favors from Ms. Clinton’s State Department and that meetings highlighted in the article — for example, with Nobel Peace Prize-winning Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus and representatives of cosmetics company Estee Lauder’s charitable arm, which works on AIDS prevention and education — were appropriate for a secretary of state.

Vox’s Matthew Yglesias writes that the question of whether foundation backers were gaining undue access to Ms. Clinton when she served as the country’s top diplomat is worth investing journalists’ time and resources in but “there’s just nothing here. That’s the story. [AP] looked into it, and as best they can tell, she’s clean.”