John Kass: Clinton lucky social media wasn’t around early in her career
Hillary Clinton should be thankful that her career as America’s truth bender began long before social media really got going.
When she started dropping those big fat fibs of hers, there was no Facebook or Twitter, no army of Internet trolls to unleash at her enemies, and no emails to be mysteriously lost at the Obama State Department.
That was the pre e-Hillary.
Back then all she had to do was wink and put on her bad Southern accent and make her eyes big on TV — that astonished Hillary who just couldn’t get her mind around those devious Washington ways, blaming all her troubles, and Bill’s, on tricky Republicans putting turtles on fenceposts.
She could make $100,000 in her first cattle futures trades after putting up only $1,000. And later in the White House, magically get access to the FBI files of hundreds of Clinton political enemies.
And before social media became what it is today, all her problems were the fault of that right-wing conspiracy that abused turtles to no end.
“You know, you find a turtle on a fencepost and it didn’t get there by accident,” said Southern Hillary in 1998 on “Good Morning America,” her voice packed with purple hull peas and Arkansas okra, her eyes widening so you could see the turtles just wiggling there in her mind.
“And ah jes look at the landscape around here, and I see lots of big ol’ turtles sitting on lots of fenceposts,” she said. “And I think we need to find out how those old turtles got on those fenceposts.”
If Twitter or Facebook had been around back then, rather than Mrs. Clinton reaching for the White House and all the imperial power within, her career would have ended, buried in Shady Acres, in that patch on the back slopes reserved for congenital liars.
She certainly wouldn’t be around now to benefit from that pro-Hillary super PAC using an army of Internet trolls to harass actor Tim Robbins and other supporters of Bernie Sanders.
Robbins has been in a war with the Clinton super PAC Correct the Record, which is spending $1 million to develop methods to confront and shame Clinton critics on social media, like Robbins.
Unlike many others on social media, particularly average citizens who cringe at such attacks and are shamed into silence by trolls of all political stripes, Robbins fought back at the group, bringing media attention to the story about Hillary and the troll wars.
“It is meant to appear to be coming organically from people and their social media networks in a groundswell of activism, when in fact it is highly paid and highly tactical,” Brian Donahue, chief executive of the consulting firm Craft Media/Digital, told the Los Angeles Times.
“That is what the Clinton campaign has always been about,” he said. “It runs the risk of being exactly what their opponents accuse them of being: a campaign that appears to be populist but is a smoke screen that is paid and brought to you by lifetime political operatives and high-level consultants.”
If Twitter and Facebook and other social media platforms had been running when she started with the turtles, Clinton wouldn’t be here to run even with the vulgar barbarian Donald Trump in the battleground states of Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania, according to those recent polls.
And voters wouldn’t have to put their minds around the most truly bizarre Hillary news of the week: The Obama State Department has “lost” the emails of Bryan Pagliano, her IT guy when she was secretary of state.
The State Department couldn’t find his emails? Did the dog eat them?
Pagliano is the fellow who has been given immunity from prosecution as the FBI continues to investigate Clinton’s use of a private email server set up in her basement. That private email account allowed her to keep her work product from public scrutiny and allowed her to send classified and top secret documents, which may have been hacked by foreign intelligence services.
That alone should disqualify her from contention for the presidency, and Bernie Sanders should by rights be the Democratic Party’s nominee.
It’s astounding that the Obama administration — which supports the Clinton restoration — couldn’t find any of Pagliano’s emails from 2009 to 2013 in a response to a Republican lawsuit.
Later, the State Department said they found a few Pagliano emails, most after Mrs. Clinton stepped down from her post of secretary of state so she could campaign for president. One was an email he sent to her: “Happy Birthday, Madam Secretary. To many more!”
Before Clinton’s army of Internet trolls flay me in “Game of Thrones” style, let’s just say it could all be coincidence. Or, it could be a Chicago Way bedtime story for the chumbolones of America.
The main thing to remember is that if Twitter and Facebook and the rest had been available when Hillary began her public life as a truth bender and champion of turtles, she’d be off camera by now and out of our lives.
Perhaps she’d have disappeared, to live alone in a tiny house in the woods, the kind of house that rests on chicken feet in the old Russian fairy tales; a house that moves through the winter forest at night on those chicken legs so no one could find her secret lair.
Turn around, little house. Turn around, she’d say.
And then she’d be gone.