Hillary Clinton needn’t worry that Ed Henry will emerge from the sidelines to bug her about this matter or that matter.
Fox News announced on Thursday that Henry, the network’s chief White House correspondent, won’t be covering the Clinton campaign — an assignment from which he was benched in early May after In Touch magazine reported that he’d carried on an extramarital affair with a Las Vegas hostess. “We recently became aware of Ed’s personal issues and he’s taking some time off to work things out,” said the network at the time.
Those personal issues thus turned into professional ones. Instead of bringing Henry back to continue his work on Clinton, Fox News is assigning national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin to the task; she has been covering the campaign since May 31. Chief congressional correspondent Mike Emanuel subbed in for Henry immediately following his departure from the airwaves.
Griffin brings significant terrorism chops to a presidential race certain to feature continuing debate on the topic. She has covered U.S. efforts against the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and delivered extensive coverage on the 2012 attacks against the U.S. diplomatic presence in Benghazi, Libya. In a story challenged by subsequent congressional investigations, Griffin reported in October 2012 that a “stand down” order delayed security operatives from delivering assistance to the State Department facility in the Libyan city. Security officials actually on the ground that night insist that such an order was indeed delivered.
Griffin started her work on the Pentagon beat when the United States launched its 2007 surge in the Iraq War and has also reported from Jerusalem and other hot spots.
Unclear, still, is Henry’s future with Fox News — Clinton beat or no Clinton beat. Asked about that, a Fox News rep said, “Ed Henry is continuing to take some time to work out his issues.”
The move by the network can’t be removed from the realities of the Trump-Clinton campaign. Trump has made clear that he will dredge up Bill Clinton’s record on marital fidelity anytime his own record on women arises — a backdrop that would have exposed a Clinton-covering Ed Henry to sniping in a hyper-politicized media environment. This is all very unfortunate: Henry was an assertive presence on the Clinton campaign, once goading the candidate to address reporters in the midst of a Q&A drought.