Your Liberal Media

[Content Note: Misogyny.]

Chris Cillizza has written a piece for the Washington Post entitled: "The Clinton team is following reporters to the bathroom. Here's why that matters."

The piece starts with an anecdote about a reporter being accompanied to the restroom by a press aide at the Clinton Global Initiative, about which Cillizza writes: "Yes, this may be an extreme example." Indeed. It is also a single example. Which makes the headline implying that reporters being followed into bathrooms in multiple contexts deeply dishonest.

But it doesn't matter, anyway. Because Cillizza's piece is not about concern for a reporter whose privacy or freedom to report may have been compromised. It's about concern trolling Clinton over her distrust of the media, that faux concern masking what is a preemptive justification for the press' appalling treatment of potential candidate Hillary Clinton.
[T]he press strictures at the Clinton Global Initiative are the stuff of legend. But, the episode also reflects the dark and, frankly, paranoid view the Clintons have toward the national media. Put simply: Neither Hillary nor Bill Clinton likes the media or, increasingly, sees any positive use for them.
(Gee, I wonder why that might be.)
"If a policymaker is a political leader and is covered primarily by the political press, there is a craving that borders on addictive to have a storyline," Bill Clinton said in a speech at Georgetown University back in April. "And then once people settle on the storyline, there is a craving that borders on blindness to shoehorn every fact, every development, every thing that happens into the story line, even if it's not the story."

That view, according to a terrific story by Politico's Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman over the summer, informs and impacts the Clintons' thinking on a 2016 bid. Write the duo: "As much as anything else, her ambivalence about the race, [Clinton sources] told us, reflects her distaste for and apprehension of a rapacious, shallow and sometimes outright sexist national political press corps acting as enablers for her enemies on the right."

It also colors how the media is treated during the long runup to Clinton's now-expected bid. While Chozick's experience may be on the extreme end of the spectrum, reporters who have spent any amount of time on the trail with the Clintons -- including during their recent trip to Sen. Tom Harkin's Steak Fry -- describe a candidate and an operation that always assumes the worst of the press horde and acts accordingly.
Pout. They aren't nice to the media. And thus we get to the real point of this story: The Clintons had better start being nicer to the press, if they don't want the press to tank Hillary Clinton's candidacy before it even begins.
In theory, Clinton is, of course, a candidate -- assuming she is a candidate -- who needs the political press as little as any person seeking the presidency in modern memory. ...And yet, any objective analysis of the 2008 primary campaign would conclude that the remarkably adversarial relationship between the Clinton campaign and the media hurt her chances.

...Regardless of who was to blame, by the end of the campaign, reporters -- including me -- and the Clinton operation were at each others' throats daily and often more than daily.

...Clintonworld promised a different approach to the press in 2016. ...They understood, they insisted, that while Clinton was very well defined to most voters, there was an entire generation of younger people -- who, not for nothing, were a pillar of Obama's electoral success -- who knew little about the former Secretary of State other than her famous name and would use the media coverage of her to form their opinions. The early returns on those pledges don't look promising.

...[T]he Clintons have as dim a view of the political press as any modern politicians. So you can imagine what a Clinton 2016 campaign will think of those tasked with covering it.
There are a lot of reasons why US political and news media is garbage, but chief among them is that a number of Beltway journalists think it's okay to jettison accurate and fair journalism if a candidate doesn't sufficiently pander to them.

This story should be utterly appalling to all of us, in what it reveals about the people tasked with covering our elections. Cillizza openly acknowledges that a contentious relationship with the media—never mind if there are decades of justifiable reasons for that contention—will result in shitty coverage. "The remarkably adversarial relationship between the Clinton campaign and the media hurt her chances." Which might merely be a commentary on the flow of information, if it hadn't been preceded by asides about "how the media is treated" by people who assume "the worst of the press horde."

One of the perfect, bitter ironies of this piece is that is was penned by a man who once joked, in a professional capacity, that, if you were having a beer with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, she'd be drinking "Mad Bitch" beer.

After complaints, the video series was axed, and Cillizza shared the lessons he'd learned:
What did I learn from doing Mouthpiece? That I am not funny on camera (this will not be a revelation to many of you), that name-calling is never the stuff of good comedy, and that the sort of straight, inside dope reporting I pride myself on made for a somewhat discordant marriage with the sort of satire Mouthpiece aimed to create.
Apparently, not engaging in rank misogyny against the Secretary of State of the United States was not among the wisdom he'd gleaned from the experience.

So I suppose we can expect more of that, when comes time for the revenge after Hillary Clinton fails to demonstrate sufficient deference to people who routinely treat her like a piece of shit.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus