As disagreeable as Hillary Clinton is, I’ve recently found something that I actually agree with her about.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Clinton and Trump attended the “Commanders-in-Chief” forum hosted by NBC at the Intrepid museum in New York City. It was billed as an event in which military veterans would have an opportunity to ask questions to the two candidates. Veterans were recruited and pre-screened prior to being allowed into the event. I was one of them.
In her recent book titled “What Happened” and subsequent interviews, Hillary has lashed out at just about everyone and everything for her many failures. It seems as if everyone is responsible except for her, which seems like a common running theme in her career from Benghazi to White Water. Back at the Commanders-in-Chief forum, NBC host Matt Lauer monopolized most of the air time to ask stupid questions that everyone already knew the answers to as opposed to letting the veterans in attendance speak.
Matt Lauer used the opportunity to drill Hillary about her private email server yet again. Personally, I think she kept a private e-mail sever for official business in order to dodge future Inspector General investigations and in order to avoid FOIA requests which her communications on government systems would have been subject to. That said, this was besides the point at the NBC event. Hillary had responded to these questions many times. Every single one of us knew that she wasn’t going to admit to the truth and tell the world that she broke the law on live television so there was little point behind the spectacle.
Clinton writes of the news special in her book saying, “Now I was ticked off. NBC knew exactly what it was doing here. The network was treating this like an episode of “The Apprentice,” in which [Donald] Trump stars and ratings soar. Lauer had turned what should have been a serious discussion into a pointless ambush. What a waste of time.” A bitter Hillary continued, writing that, “I can’t say I didn’t fantasize about shaking some sense into Lauer while I was out there.”
The day after the event I ranted in an article that, “The theme of the night was evasive, vague, non-answers followed by mis-direction and general statements of affection for the US military without any actual political content or focus on policies. Frankly, it was embarrassing. IAVA, NBC, and Matt Lauer should be ashamed of themselves for wasting such an important opportunity.”
Only a small handful of veterans who had been pre-screened and selected before the event even began were allowed to ask any questions. They were lame questions at that, one guy once again asking about the email server. My question was how Hillary defines national interest and what her threshold would be for the deploying of US military troops for combat. I really would have liked to hear her (or Trump’s) answer and I’m sure a lot of others would have as well.
In the end, veterans were just used as stage props by NBC in order to give Matt Lauer an opportunity to posture in front of the cameras. As if he doesn’t get enough face time on television as it is. On this particular issue, I have to agree with Hillary.