From Paul Krugman:
...Even among progressives, the two-decade-plus smear campaign against the Clintons has had its effect. I keep being told about terrible things the Clintons did that never actually happened, but were carefully fomented right-wing legends---except I’m hearing them from people on the left. The sense that where there’s smoke there must be fire---when the reality was nothing but Richard Mellon Scaife with a smoke machine---is very much out there, still.
Unfortunately, that underlying Foxification of perceptions marries all too well with the tendency of some---only some---Sanders supporters to assume that any skepticism about their hero’s proposals or prospects must reflect personal corruption. Something like that was probably inevitable in a campaign whose premise is that everything is rigged by the oligarchy, but it interacts with the vague perception, the product of all those years of right-wing smearing, that there’s a lot of Clinton dirt.
Even among those who don’t believe in the phony scandals, there is, as there was in 2008, a desire for someone new, who they imagine won’t bring out all that ugliness. But of course they’re wrong: if Sanders is the nominee, it will take around 30 seconds before Fox News is nonstop coverage of the terrible things he supposedly did when younger.
Don’t say there’s nothing there: a propaganda machine that could turn John Kerry into a coward can turn a nice guy from Brooklyn into a monstrously flawed specimen of humanity in no time at all...
See also this.