In their magazine, Politico’s Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman offered this latte-spit-take Joke of the Day headline: “What Is Hillary Clinton afraid of? If she doesn’t run, the single biggest factor holding her back will be the media.”
The story’s final quote is from a royal insider to Queen Hillary: “She wants to be president; she doesn’t want to run for president...The worst part of running for president for her, clearly, is dealing with the press.” Thrush and Haberman began with a poor-poor-Hillary flourish:
Over the 25 years Hillary Clinton has spent in the national spotlight, she’s been smeared and stereotyped, the subject of dozens of over-hyped or downright fictional stories and books alleging, among other things, that she is a lesbian, a Black Widow killer who offed Vincent Foster then led an unprecedented coverup, a pathological liar, a real estate swindler, a Commie, a harridan.
This is precisely how Team Clinton wants to dismiss the Hillary scandals: she somehow had no connection to the suicide of her law partner and close friend Vincent Foster (and especially her aides rifling through his office in the hours afterward) or the costly bailout of Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan (that backed the Clintons’ Whitewater real-estate failure). She somehow didn’t lie repeatedly about her husband’s adultery during the Lewinsky scandal.
So you throw in “commie” and “murderer” and “lesbian” and “harridan” to dismiss the conservative media and cover up all the real scandals and lies. The second part of that paragraph is the other lame complaint, the sexism rap:
Every aspect of her personal life has been ransacked; there’s no part of her 5-foot-7-inch body that hasn’t come under microscopic scrutiny, from her ankles to her neckline to her myopic blue eyes—not to mention the ever-changing parade of hairstyles that friends say reflects creative restlessness and enemies read as a symbol of somebody who doesn’t stand for anything.
Most of the coverage of her hair and pantsuits and fashion have been sympathetic -- and a bit of a sexist distraction for a First Lady pitched on the campaign trail as a two-for-one president special. The article is illustrated by a large collection of Hillary magazine cover stories. Except for an occasional Weekly Standard item, the covers (and stories inside) were overwhelmingly positive.
Politico's duo of sympathizers never address the avalanche of pro-Hillary pap she's received over the last 22 years. You could spend hours looking at the worst of it. See our Hillary-boosting highlights of 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2000.... yada yada yada.
Then look at how the defense team of Thrush & Haberman leave Benghazi out of Hillary's record: "Forget all that troubled history, and a Clinton run for president in 2016 seems like a no-brainer, an inevitable next step after the redemption of her past few years as a well-regarded, if not quite historic, secretary of state." Redemption?? How does Hillary have any right to complain about "reporters" like these?
The entire conflict-of-interest-a-palooza of appointing a Secretary of State with an ex-president husband running a global foundation that takes donations from foreign governments and multinational corporations was a wasteland of media boredom and obsequiousness. "The Clintons told us this would be ethical, and we believe them."
Finally, Politico isn't really dealing with the reality of Hillary's press clips, but rather her feelings about them. If they had an ounce of cynicism, they could see this as pre-spin, a demand for more softballs and happy talk. Instead, they play along that she's been victimized by a "rapacious" and "sexist" press corps:
If she doesn’t run, the single biggest factor holding her back will be the media, according to an informal survey of three dozen friends, allies and former aides interviewed for this article. As much as anything else, her ambivalence about the race, they told us, reflects her distaste for and apprehension of a rapacious, shallow and sometimes outright sexist national political press corps acting as enablers for her enemies on the right.
Clinton isn’t insane, and she’s not stupid. “When you get beat up so often, you just get very cautious,” says Mike McCurry, her husband’s former press secretary, who joined the White House team to find a first lady traumatized by the coverage of her failed Hillarycare initiative. “She [has] had a very practical view of the media. … ‘I have to be careful, I’m playing with fire.’”
When it comes to the "objective" national press, the fire has always been an easily directed gas burner she can turn on and off -- and a flamethrower to direct at that "vast right-wing conspiracy" that somehow caused her husband to cheat on her. What's "insane" is saying she has to fear Brian Williams or Diane Sawyer or..... George Stephanopoulos. NBC hired her daughter as a correspondent!
This is how Politico summed up: "Of course, there’s a chance Clinton really has finally mellowed out, that the new generation of reporters and editors has grown bored with the old fight (or too young to remember it), or that the pulverized, twitterized national media are now simply incapable of coalescing into a conspiratorial posse out to destroy her. And maybe, just maybe, Clinton is finally willing to really play the game."
Claiming the liberal media would ever be a "conspiratorial posse out to destroy her" isn't playing a game. It suggests she needs a drug test or a Breathalyzer. Conservative bloggers and media outlets? They're the only ones who would hold her accountable. Her paranoia there might be more understandable.