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:
#Hillary, “You had it coming”. U MADE us beat U up. MADE us obsess over BS email. MADE us ignore policy. MADE us give Trump $2B free airtm. https://t.co/XRutjSv3JV
— 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.
Hey #Cilizza & media – CYA won’t distract fm ur crap coverage or motives:
The Insecure Male Behind #Hillary Hate https://t.co/R4kkxFCajK
— 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
#Hillary popularity will skyrocket now that she’s not running for office. US still cannot abide ambitious or powerful women.#DoubleStandard https://t.co/VR0HtSOvdo
— Anita Finlay (@AnitaFinlay) April 19, 2017
Thank you for this. The shaming of Hillary continues every time her name comes up in the media. I saw people trashing her on an article about an award she received this week. I wanted Hillary to be President more than anything. But sadly I sometimes find myself thinking at times that I’m glad she will be spared the misogyny that would have been thrown at her every day if she were in the White House. I just wish people would get off her back already. It hurts to see it.
You covered this well, Anita. The media was and is criminal in the way they treated and still treat Hillary. Listening to them, I felt like they had bound me and were trying to force me to buy their false attitudes about her, and prevent me from screaming out, “you are liars, all”!
I love this article! Thank you so much for writing it! You are absolutely right – the media played a major role in Trump winning. I waited forever for them to talk about what she wanted to do for our country as president, but they could not get past her ‘likability’ factor – a factor by which no other candidate in history was so judged. They failed the both our country and the American people by not reporting on Hillary’s campaign properly. By repeating the lies and trumped up charges, they created an atmosphere of distrust around her which played into the Russian propaganda. Meanwhile, they gave Bernie Sanders far better coverage when they were able to pull themselves away from Trump’s tweets. Hillary once said of Trump, “He can be baited by a tweet.” Well, our media is just as ignorant and immature.
The shame of this too is that they minimize Russia’s role in our election by blaming her and her campaign, and the very real danger Russia is posing interfering in our elections. Our media, like Trump himself, has become ‘Putin’s puppets’.
Ani, excellent article and considering that the hacking of the actual vote is being investigated in FL, PA, WI and NC she may have really won and by more than ANY MAN INCLUDING OBAMA. Doesn’t that just make us all swell up with pride?
Great article Anita. Take any of the titles of songs from the current smash musical, “HAMILTON” and just re-write the lyrics. “My Shot”- (I’m Not Throwing Away My Shot); “The Story of Tonight” “You’ll be Back”; “Helpless”; “Satisfied”; “Wait for It”;”Stay Alive”; “History Has its Eyes on You”; “What Comes Next”; “Take a Break”; “What’d I Miss”; “The Room Where it Happens”; “Say No to This”; “One Last Time”; “Washington on Your Side”; Hurricane” ;”Blow us All Away”; “Burn”; “It’s Quiet Uptown”. I think It will be a long-running hit! Get Your Tickets now!
Thank you for your eloquence Anita! I’m so disgusted with the media blaming Hillary for them having trashed her in every concievable way. Now they’re blaming her for trump instead of looking in the mirror. Reminds me of a wife beater who screams it’s her fault she’s being beaten. And the Bernie fans who drank the gop backed kool aid, who blame her while ignoring the fact that no Democrat had a chance to win after Russian interference. Despite all the clear misogyny and just downright pettiness, she came close enough to scare them. I believe this is behind the unabated attempts to vilify her.
Add in Bernie Sanders among those who should be shamed and ashamed.
I thank you for once again taking on the obsessed misogynistic Hillary haters. I had hoped the NYT had learned their lesson. WRONG!
I am so proud to be a Hillary voter and supporter…then and now. She is quite remarkable and I believe there’s a lot more she’ll accomplish on behalf of others in the future.
Supporting the Iraq war. Not reading the 92 page intelligence report on Iraq’s mythical WMD. Destroying Libya. “I urged him to bomb (Serbia in 1999),” she boasts.
Endorsing the sanctions against Iraq. Actively pursued regime change in Ukraine. Supporting the arming of al-Nusra Front (an al-Qaeda affiliate) and other extreme Islamists. Supporting the 1999 coup in Honduras.
Supporting her husband racist drug war and her husband’s infamous 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act (aka the “Crime Bill”) which disproportionately targeted people of color and led to the rise of the phenomenon that has come to be known as mass incarceration. homeowners “getting in over their heads” when it came to the subprime mortgage market.
But I bet you were ok with Bernie who actually VOTED FOR that crime Bill. Just one of the double standards.
Typical petty deflection of a blind partisan. You’re lack of concern for the female victims of Hillary’s war mongering is why I have zero respect for so called feminists who support her.
I have a thousand reasons for supporting her and don’t owe you an explanation. I certainly don’t have to “deflect” on my own website. Please take your behavior elsewhere. You are certainly entitled to support whom you choose, as am I.
Hillary Clinton has a very short list of things to be ashamed of. Donald Trump probably a much longer list.
However, the very short list was effective.
Accepting over 10 million dollars in Wall Street fees over a 24 month period of time while it appears, forgoing her physical fitness, from someone who champions healthcare, was just enough of an excuse for millions to either not vote, or vote for another candidate, not necessarily Trump.
However, without the second Comey letter to Congress and religious conservatives rallying their followers to vote for the next Supreme Court Justice rather than Trump, but do it by voting for Trump, was just as instrumental.
I think Hillary Clinton could still win in 2020, but not if she does not show off a physical fitness that millions of voters will relate to.
Alllen and Parnes who tried to write a book concerning mRS Clinton. They only should wish they were as smart as Hillary CLINTON. sINCE SHE WAS A YOUNG GIRL SHE BEGAN WORKING , VOLUNTEERING HELPING PEOPLE.