It came as welcome news that Hillary Clinton “emerged from the woods” to speak at the recent Women In The World conference, inspiring the next generation of women leaders. Yet as always, she faces a special set of rules from shame-faced pundits anxious to obscure their grotesque election coverage. Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes have just penned a hatchet job (I won’t call it a book) blaming Hillary for her loss and painting her campaign as the antithesis of the unified effort it was. It appears Allen/Parnes give short shrift to the worst media coverage in history, a sophisticated Russian disinformation campaign focused on swing states, 25 years of GOP smear, and FBI Director Comey’s broadcast of an “investigation” invented by his rogue NY office 11 days before the election, which pulled the rug out from under what had from the beginning been a successful campaign.
Allen/Parnes work, therefore, strikes me as cynical exploitation. Two years ago Allen “confessed” the ridiculous rules for covering Clinton: that every cockeyed conspiracy, no matter how preposterous, had to be exhaustively investigated, continually and unfairly attaching controversy to Hillary’s name while mushrooming every negative Clinton meme to gargantuan proportion. In re this new “book”, by his own hand, Allen’s reputation precedes him.
This week, pundits and reporters were called on the carpet by Esquire’s brilliant Charles Pierce, who asked Will the New York Times Ever Fix Its Clinton Problem. In his article, he notes the unfair “Clinton Rules” likely used by Allen/Parnes, and especially used by the “paper of record” for nearly 25 years. I.e., NYT’s political desk was wont to blame Hillary for everything — including snowfall in winter:
“These events [of which she stood accused] were not only “remote and trivial.” They were, by and large, complete bullshit, inflated by Republicans and a willing and timid elite political press into a Questions Remain culture of faux-scandal that persisted through the entirety of the 2016 campaign. And it began long before the Times ran seven stories about James Comey’s release of his 11th hour letter to Congress on its front page.”
NYT’s Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman called his own paper on the carpet for this very sin. So when NYT lauds Allen/Parnes’ new effort, I can’t help but look at it with a jaundiced eye, regardless of the reporters’ ability to cover other subjects. As Allen has himself admitted “Clinton Rules” of media coverage take precedence over fairness or fact.
Mr. Pierce also states “the Comey story blotted out the sun,” clearly taking issue with reporters/writers who minimized its devastating impact.
But bashing Hillary for attention is nothing new. Even journalists who might otherwise appreciate her trailblazing record cannot resist censuring her. The day after Clinton’s 2.9 million popular vote win and Electoral College loss last November, Slate.com’s Michelle Goldberg wrote of the election as evidence of America’s unrelenting hatred of women. Five months later, Goldberg shared the words of those who want Hillary to hug the cactus and “reflect” in shame on her “shocking” loss. Ms. Goldberg’s preliminary assessment of misogyny as a core culprit was correct. But even she was not immune to second guessing Hillary’s campaign when she stated: “It could have been so different. And Clinton has to carry the burden of knowing that if she’d done things differently, it might have been.”
While Ms. Goldberg took issue with CNN’s Timothy Stanley who tells Hillary to wear a hair shirt: [“It’s soon for her to return to the public eye, given her responsibility for allowing Trump to become president…She needs to pause and reflect.”], we all have to pause and reflect on what Hillary is “could have done differently.” The bottom line is nothing less than perfection would do.
Yes, I am a broken record.
If you don’t like the truth, stop reading here.
The woman won more votes than any white male in history. What happened in this election was unprecedented.
Have you ever seen any losing male candidate so disrespected for winning the popular vote by nearly 3 million? Reporters are ripping her apart with glee and inexplicable schadenfreude against a public servant who has helped millions. Tell me again how misogyny is dead. If it were, women would have more than 19% representation is Congress. Tom Perez, our new DNC Chair wouldn’t be out on a “unity tour” with old white male Bernie Sanders who is more than happy to negotiate away women’s reproductive rights by making nice with pro-life candidates.
Media operatives who wish to bury the truth of 2016 ensure a repeat of the same the next time any woman steps to the plate. But perhaps that is the method to their cruel madness.
Hillary Clinton ran one of the gutsiest campaigns on record, taking on the NRA, touting specific criminal justice reform, immigration reform, building the economy, making college (much) more affordable, uniquely offering a full-throated defense of women’s choice and touting the need for women to have an equal seat at the table as not just “fair” policy but as a boost to families and America’s prosperity as a whole. She was progressive and inclusive, with Pulitzer Prize winning Politifact rating her the most honest politician running in the primaries and general election in 2016.
Courtesy Gallup – here is a word cloud of media election coverage of Hillary vs. Trump, further countering the press’ self-serving Hillary blame-game:
Get the picture?
So, tell us, what is Hillary supposed to be “ashamed” of?:
She is supposed to be ashamed that networks elevated Donald Trump with $2 BILLION of free air time to boost him and their ratings, while trashing her for 600+ days over nothing burger emails.
She is supposed to be ashamed that the media deliberately ignored both her many speeches on the economy and policy papers on other vital issues.
She answered their every question. What could she have done differently?
She is supposed to be ashamed of the Clinton Foundation that has literally saved millions of lives while the press bashed this top rated organization over “optics”.
She and the Clinton Foundation touted their good works. What could she have done differently?
She is supposed to be ashamed that Vladimir Putin used every nefarious method possible to help elect Donald Trump.
She is supposed to be ashamed that SHE DID NOT WARN US. (NYT’s Maggie Haberman said this.) (I. Can’t Even.)
Hence, my facetious tweet:
— Anita Finlay (@AnitaFinlay) April 18, 2017
In multiple speeches and in debates seen by 80 million voters, Hillary called Trump a “Putin Puppet” TO HIS FACE, and she elaborated as to why this was so.
What could she have done differently?
Anyone offering any book or article commentary that wants to shame/blame Hillary Clinton and her campaign staff without acknowledging unprecedented attacks, both foreign and domestic, should take a seat.
— Anita Finlay (@AnitaFinlay) April 18, 2017
LOL, good one.
Hillary is watching with a smile as her detractors implode one by one. The story of her life. https://t.co/ifGvPrdu47
— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) April 21, 2017
— Anita Finlay (@AnitaFinlay) April 19, 2017