As we keep telling you, the problem continues to be the media. In response to the recent Politico story that said the press is "primed" to take down Hillary Clinton, Eric Boehlert of Media Matters wrote:
Eight years later during the 2008 primary season, the Washington Post's Dana Milbank conceded, "The press will savage [Clinton] no matter what." He characterized Clinton's relationship with the press as "poisonous" and "venomous," and announced journalists simply "dislike" her.
Both those instances seemed liked brief glimpses where a couple of pundits let slip a campaign press bus secret. This election cycle, the fact that the press can't stand Clinton, and that her press coverage suffers because of it, is treated as common knowledge.
On that basis alone, I'm sympathetic to her candidacy. There must be something good about a candidate the suck-up Beltway media hates that much! (Remember how they savaged Al Gore?)
Note that in recent weeks, some in the media have tried to rationalize Clinton's relentlessly hostile press coverage by claiming it's her fault because she ignores the press. Does Clinton's reluctance to engage with the campaign press represent a legitimate point of media contention? It does. Does it explain the media's desire to "take down" the candidate? It does not.The argument is that the press is ticked off that Clinton's ignoring them, with the implicit suggestion being that if she granted journalists more access, naturally her coverage would improve. But the chronology doesn't add up.
Note that last summer, Clinton spent several weeks immersed in media interviews, granting extraordinary access. Clinton's book tour included interviews on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News, PBS, and NPR, which combined lasted for more than three hours and 45 minutes, according to a Media Matters tabulation.
And how did the press treat Clinton when she answered dozens and dozens of media questions? The pressattacked her relentlessly and announced her answers to their questions were all wrong. As the supposed "gaffes" rolled out, delighted pundits spent weeks typing up stories about Clinton's allegedly disastrous summer outreach. The commentary largely centered on theater criticism: She was "rusty," "testy," and had veered off-script! (Plus, she was way too wealthy.) Clinton was deemed guilty of bad optics for weeks by the chattering class. So the argument today that journalists are being tough on Clinton because she avoids the press doesn't hold water. Journalists were being extremely tough on Clinton last summer when she was engaging with the press on a daily basis.
It seems no matter what approach Clinton takes, the press has agreed upon a plan: take her down.
Again: It's important that we don't fall for this. Even if you don't plan to support her in the primary, we have to insist that the media be held accountable for their insinuations and outright lies about a Democratic candidate. Right now, they're still ignoring Bernie Sanders, but I assure you that the minute he looks like a viable threat, that will change. Don't let them get away with it.