For the past three weeks, all we have heard about is how many days it has been since Hillary Clinton held a press conference. The drumbeat has been relentless, consuming reporters on social media on a daily basis. On cable news, innumerable segments from everyone from Andrea Mitchell to Rachel Maddow to Wolf Blitzer were run complaining that Hillary isn't holding a press conference.
There was even a countdown clock. And as it turns out, that countdown came directly from the Republican National Committee, as Ashleigh Banfield admitted in her intro to a discussion with Jeff Zeleny about "the cough," which is the topic of today's huddle.
Turning to Zeleny, Banfield said, "Jeff, we get these e-mails from the RNC doing a countdown of how many days it has been since Secretary Clinton has held a news conference...We are at 276."
"Do these [impromptu Q&As] count towards that or is she trying to offset the fact she hasn't been doing business press conferences?," Banfield asked.
No, really. That happened. It's in the video at the top. So the RNC kicks an email out with a press release every day which does not tout their candidate, but instead complains about how many days it's been since Hillary Clinton held a press conference, and cable news dutifully parrots it as if it's a thing. Because as press, if they didn't feel ignored before, the RNC has enabled them to feel aggrieved.
Let me inject some perspective.
It has been 174 days since Merrick Garland was nominated to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died 205 days ago, but no cable news network has put up a countdown clock for that, nor devoted much more than a passing mention of it over the past several weeks.
No cable news network has complained that the American people are not being served by a politically motivated and cynical Republican leadership in the Senate actively blocking the process of government from going forward.
No, instead they're nattering about whether questions on a plane means the countdown clock to a press conference should be reset.
Perhaps someone could assist the producers at CNN with some email filters so they don't determine their content based upon spam emails from the RNC?
Of course, then there's this.