Back in 2007, the White house "lost" more than 5 million private emails. The story to be barely extended

(AP/J. Scott Applewhite)
This write-up originally showed up on Media Matters.

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Even because that a Republican White home that was badly stumbling with George W. Bush"s sixth year in office, the revelation ~ above April 12, 2007 was shocking. Responding come congressional requirements for emails in link with the investigation into the partisan firing of eight U.S. Attorneys, the White residence announced the as many as five million emails, spanning a two-year span, had been lost.

The emails had actually been operation through exclusive accounts regulated by the Republican nationwide Committee and were only supposed to be supplied for taking care of non-administration political campaign work to stop violating ethics laws. Yet congressional investigators already had evidence private emails had been offered for federal government business, including to comment on the shoot of among the U.S. Attorneys. The RNC account were provided by 22 White home staffers, including then-Deputy chief of Staff Karl Rove, who reportedly used his RNC email for 95 percent of his communications.

As the Washington Post reported, "Under federal law, the White house is compelled to maintain records, including e-mails, including presidential decision- making and also deliberations." yet suddenly countless the personal RNC emails had actually gone missing; emails the were viewed as potentially vital evidence by congressional investigators.

The White house email story broke on a Wednesday. However on the Sunday"s Meet The PressFace The Nation, and Fox News Sunday, the object of millions of missing White home emails did not come up. At all. (The story did acquire covered on ABC"s This Week.)

By comparison, not just did every network Sunday news display this week cover the story about former Secretary that State Hillary Clinton emails, however they to be drowning in commentary. Between Meet the PressFace The NationThis Week, and Fox News Sunday, Clinton"s "email" or "emails" to be referenced more than 100 times on the programs, follow to Nexis transcripts. Talk about saturation coverage.

Indeed, the commentary for the critical week truly has actually been relentless, with the Beltway push barely pausing to catch its breath before unloading yet an additional round the "analysis," many of which provides little insight but does enable journalists to vent about the Clintons.

What has become clear over the critical eight days yet is the the Clinton email story isn"t around lawbreaking. "Experts have actually said it doesn"t appear Clinton violated federal laws," CNN conceded. "But the hasn"t stemmed the worry that has actually become more about negative optics and also politics than any actual wrongdoing." The National law Journal agreed, noting that while the story has created a politics furor, "any legal after-effects are likely to prove negligible."

Still, the scandal device churns on figured out to the law the story together a political blockbuster, also though early polling indicates the kerfuffle will not damages Clinton"s standing.

Looking back, it"s curious how the D.C. Scandal an equipment could barely get out of an initial gear when the bush email story broke in 2007. I"m not suggesting the push ignored the Rove email debacle, because the story to be clearly covered at the time. However triggering a firestorm (a guttural roar) the raged because that days and also consumed the Beltway chattering course the way the D.C. Media has end up being obsessed through the Clinton email story? certain not. Not even close.

Instead, the millions of missing Bush White residence emails to be treated as a 24-hour or 48-hour story. It to be a topic that to be dutifully noted, and also then the media pack quickly moved on.

How walk the Washington Post and New York Times commentators attend to the bush email scandal in the week complying with the check of the missing messages? In his April 17, 2007 column, Post columnist Eugene Robinson fight the White house hard. However he to be the only Post columnist to do so. Top top the editorial page, the Post cautioned that the story of millions of absent White residence emails can not yes, really be a "scandal." Instead, it to be possible, the Post suggested, that Rove and others just received "sloppy guidance" about email protocol.

There"s been no such Post inclination to provide Clinton any type of sort of benefit of the doubt regarding email use as the paper piles up endless attacks on her. Dana Milbank: "Clinton made a whopper of one error." Ruth Marcus: "This has the unique odor the hogwash."

As for The new York Times, here"s the entirety of the newspaper"s commentary on the bush White house email story in the week following the revelation, follow to Nexis:

Last week, the Republican nationwide Committee threw up another roadblock, declare it had actually lost 4 years" precious of e-mail message by knife Rove the were sent on a Republican Party account. Those messages, officials admitted, can include some about the United states attorneys. That is virtually difficult to erase e-mail messages fully, and the insurance claims that they room gone space not credible.

Three sentences from a single, unsigned editorial. That"s it. No Times columnists handle the topic. By comparison, in the week due to the fact that the Clinton story broke, the Times has published one editorial dedicated solely come the subject, and also no much less than 5 opinion columns addressing the controversy.

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Just come repeat: In 2007, the story was about millions of missing White house emails the were search in link to a congressional investigation. However somehow the archiving the Clinton"s emails today calls for exponentially more coverage, and exceedingly more vital coverage.

Of course, back in 2007 Fox News seemed utterly uninterested in the bush email story days after the news broke. A search of Fox archives locates just one dashboard discussion about the story and also it featured two guests accusing democracy of engineering a "fishing expedition."

From then-Fox co-host, Fred Barnes: "I mean, deleted e-mails, that cares?"

Eric Boehlert

Eric Boehlert, a former senior writer for, is the author of "Lapdogs: just how the press Rolled Over for Bush."