An upcoming CNN documentary about Hillary Clinton has been canceled.
The show's director, Charles Ferguson, made the announcement at the Huffington Post two hours ago.
According to Ferguson, CNN had approached him about doing a documentary for the network in late 2012. After kicking around a number of subjects, they decided on Mrs. Clinton.
Ferguson was quickly given complete editorial control over the final version and a generous budget.
The day after the contract was signed, Ferguson received a message from Nick Merrill, Hillary Clinton's press secretary. He proceeded to interrogate the director who asked for an off-the-record, private conversation with Mrs. Clinton.
The request was denied.
Phillipe Reines, Hillary Clinton's media fixer, then interrogated various people at CNN expressing concern about alleged conflicts of interest generated because the film was a for-profit endeavor. Reines refused to speak to Ferguson about this opting instead to echo his allegations to Politico.
After the project was officially revealed to the public, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus sent a letter to CNN threatening to boycott the network's 2016 presidential debates if it went forward with the documentary.
This didn't surprise Ferguson. "What did surprise me was that, quietly and privately, prominent Democrats made it known both to CNN and to me that they weren't delighted with the film, either," he wrote.
Readers are advised that roughly a week after the project was revealed, prominent liberals at MSNBC complained about NBC's proposed mini-series about Mrs. Clinton. I immediately smelled a rat sensing that they were likely doing this with pressure from the Clintons.
But none of this deterred Ferguson and CNN who vowed to move forward with the project until the director attended a dinner with Bill Clinton in June.
Ferguson had an opportunity to speak privately with the former president:
I asked him about the financial crisis. He paused and then became even more soulful, thoughtful, passionate, and articulate. And then he proceeded to tell me the most amazing lies I've heard in quite a while.
For example, Mr. Clinton sorrowfully lamented his inability to stop the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which banned all regulation of private (OTC) derivatives trading, and thereby greatly worsened the crisis. Mr. Clinton said that he and Larry Summers had argued with Alan Greenspan, but couldn't budge him, and then Congress passed the law by a veto-proof supermajority, tying his hands. Well, actually, the reason that the law passed by that overwhelming margin was because of the Clinton Administration's strong advocacy, including Congressional testimony by Larry Summers and harsh public and private attacks on advocates of regulation by Summers and Robert Rubin.
Wow, I thought, this guy is a really good actor. And I also saw one reason why Hillary Clinton might not be thrilled about my movie.
As I've chronicled at NewsBusters in the past, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, along with the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, were largely to blame for the housing and credit bubbles that eventually led to the 2008 financial collapse.
Clinton, contrary to what he told Ferguson in June, was a strong proponent of both bills as was an overwhelming majority of Democrats.
But as the financial markets along with the economy collapsed in 2008, the media withheld this inconvenient truth from the public opting instead to blame it all on President George W. Bush and the Republican Party.
This assisted Barack Obama's ascendancy to the White House.
Now, as the Clintons try to get themselves back into the Oval Office, they most certainly don't want the truth about their involvement in that financial crisis to be broadcast.
As such, you can understand why they wouldn't want a documentary made that might include the facts.
But that wasn't the only lie Ferguson discovered:
I discovered others. In Arkansas, she joined the boards of Walmart and Tyson Foods. One of the largest donors to the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation is the government of Saudi Arabia. The Clintons' personal net worth now probably exceeds $200 million, and while earned legally, both the money's sources and the Clintons' public statements indicate a strong aversion to rocking boats or making powerful enemies...since Bill Clinton first became Governor of Arkansas, the cost of Presidential campaigns has gone from $66 million (both parties combined, in 1976) to an estimated $5 billion for 2016, when Hillary will run. So more than ever, the Clintons need money and the people who supply it.
And, because of the power the Clintons now wield, and how much greater this will be if she's elected in 2016, no one on either side of the aisle wanted to talk to Ferguson about them:
[W]hen I approached people for interviews, I discovered that nobody, and I mean nobody, was interested in helping me make this film. Not Democrats, not Republicans -- and certainly nobody who works with the Clintons, wants access to the Clintons, or dreams of a position in a Hillary Clinton administration. Not even journalists who want access, which can easily be taken away. I even sensed potential difficulty in licensing archival footage from CBN (Pat Robertson) and from Fox. After approaching well over a hundred people, only two persons who had ever dealt with Mrs. Clinton would agree to an on-camera interview, and I suspected that even they would back out.
"After painful reflection," Ferguson concluded, "I decided that I couldn't make a film of which I would be proud...It's a victory for the Clintons, and for the money machines that both political parties have now become. But I don't think that it's a victory for the media, or for the American people."
Actually, I somewhat disagree with Ferguson here: this is certainly not a victory for the American people, but likely is for the media.
They clearly want Hillary to be president, and burying information about her and her husband that could interfere with this is standard operating procedure.
It has been since he first threw his hat into the presidential ring in 1991.
Why should that change now?