Tom Goodenough Tom Goodenough

‘Saved at the bell’: How the US press reacted to the FBI clearing Clinton (again)

Hillary Clinton is, not for the first time, in the clear. The FBI announced last night its investigation into the latest cache of emails to emerge showed no wrongdoing on the part of the Democrat nominee. Clinton’s spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri said the they were glad the matter was resolved. But does the exoneration – if you can call it that – come too late for Hillary? Clinton’s poll lead is narrow: she’s currently 1.8 points ahead of Trump, according to the Real Clear Politics poll of polls. And with millions of voters having already cast their ballots, is the damage already done?

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The New York Post’s front page is typically rambunctious: ‘Saved at the bell’, the newspaper shouts on its front page. The Post says Clinton is ‘off the hook again’ and looks as if ‘her prayers have been answered’. Yet in its editorial, the paper is much less clear-cut in its vindication of the Democrat candidate. It says whatever the decision of the FBI, the email scandal will undoubtedly rumble on and it points out that ‘other ugly facts keep surfacing’. It says that while some may point the finger at the FBI, the real blame lies at Hillary’s door, because she failed to hand over a chunk of the emails in the first place. If she had done so from the start, the paper suggests, a lid might have been put on the scandal long ago. The paper also points out a worrying thought: could the foreign governments that ‘likely hacked the server years ago’ be hanging on to their data to drop a bombshell further down the line?

There’s no such worry in the Washington Post. Hillary gets a ringing endorsement from the Post’s editorial, in which it says that while the email row shows up Clinton’s ‘flaws’, it doesn’t constitute treason – and nor does it show she shouldn’t be president.

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