When are your personal communications private, and when are they subject to scrutiny? We hold our expectation of privacy in high regard, and rightfully so, but there are situations in which the law allows investigation of personal communications, such as in a criminal investigation.
However, there’s a significant difference between privacy as encoded in law, and as encoded in public opinion — especially when those opinions are partisan. A recent ad from Meidas Touch addresses how right-wing commentators take very different views on “privacy” when they’re defending a Republican Chief of Staff for Donald Trump, versus when they’re attacking then-candidate for POTUS Hillary Clinton.
The compilation shows Fox News hosts and guests defending the right to privacy for messages sent to Meadows abut Trump’s role in the attack, or in stopping it, alternated with clips of them insisting that Clinton has no right to privacy as a public official.
Of course, the difference between the two cases isn’t just the political party — it’s also that Mark Meadows is actually being subpoenaed as a witness to an attack on the U.S. government, and turned over the communications himself, whereas the Clinton case was about leaked emails and a private server.
In fact, Clinton herself addressed the hypocrisy, tweeting to describe one case as being about an attempted coup, and the other as being about dinner entrees.
Especially since his emails were about plotting a coup d'etat, while ours were about gefilte fish. https://t.co/XLYENxoCbn
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) December 16, 2021
The text messages that Fox hosts are upset about are the ones they sent to Mark Meadows, which Meadows himself turned over to Congress. Sean Hannity has even indicated that the investigation has him avoiding email.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com