Bozell Blasts Liberals ‘Working the Refs’ Ahead of Debate Using the ‘Clinton Playbook’ of the 1990s

A day after the Media Research Center’s 2016 Gala, MRC president Brent Bozell dropped by Fox Business Network’s Cavuto: Coast to Coast to provide his predictions of the first presidential debate as well as slam the left for already “working the refs” using a page from “the Clinton playbook” dating back to the Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky scandals.

“Hillary Clinton is already just sort of pre-playing this a little — that the media will be responsible if it shows media bias and doesn't go tough on Donald Trump, that it’s intimidated by Trump, that maybe Lester Holt will be intimidated by Donald Trump just as they argue Matt Lauer was at an NBC town hall event,” host Neil Cavuto explained in the lead-in.

Bozell soon followed and ripped the left for trying to stack the deck for Clinton using an old strategy dating back to the 1990s and the Bill Clinton administration of playing about the media somehow being “so unfair” to them: 

They’re working the refs and this comes out of the Clinton playbook, from the Bill Clinton playbook and let’s face it, it was quite successful. They did it two or three times during Whitewater. They did it during the Monica Lewinsky situation where at a certain point Bill Clinton would take to a magazine like Rolling Stone and attack the press for being so unfair to him and it’s as if the press collectively got a memo and said we got to back off and they backed off and it worked every time so yeah, they are doing it preemptively now. 

“If she wins this debate, then it’s going to have — she’s going to do a victory lap with the press because the press will have declared her the winner whether she wins or not. If she clearly loses the debate in the eyes of the public, then they’re going to say, ah ha, it’s proof the media are out get us. So, either way, they’re going to use the press,” Bozell added.

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He also made a point to mention “a hidden little secret” that the Clinton campaign probably is not looking forward to the debate “because she is unlikable when she’s on television” going back to 2008 where “[t]he more you saw here, the less you liked her.”

Both Bozell and Cavuto agreed that a big key for Trump is to keep his base energized but stay vigilant for attacks by the media because “in all the debates during the primary season, the media treated him with kid gloves from the standpoint of being rather amused by what he was doing on stage and his supporters that grew and grew because they loved what he was doing on stage.”

Referring to the media, Bozell concluded:

[T]hey will come after him and they will come after him ferociously and these are people who call themselves the refs and what they are doing is throwing themselves right into the baseball game and they’re at the home plate and they’re swinging and they’re hitting the ball.

The transcript of Bozell’s appearance on FBN’s Cavuto: Coast to Coast from September 23 can be found below.

FBN’s Cavuto: Coast to Coast
September 23, 2016
12:17 p.m. Eastern

NEIL CAVUTO: Hillary Clinton is already just sort of pre-playing this a little — that the media will be responsible if it shows media bias and doesn't go tough on Donald Trump, that it’s intimidated by Trump, that maybe Lester Holt will be intimidated by Donald Trump just as they argue Matt Lauer was at an NBC town hall event. Again, that’s always in the eye of the beholder. A guy who watches this very closely is media critic Brent Bozell. What do you think, Brent, of what the Clinton folks are saying, right there, just that alone, suspicious of the media that might not do its job? 

BRENT BOZELL: They’re working the refs and this comes out of the Clinton playbook, from the Bill Clinton playbook and let’s face it, it was quite successful. They did it two or three times during Whitewater. They did it during the Monica Lewinsky situation where at a certain point Bill Clinton would take to a magazine like Rolling Stone and attack the press for being so unfair to him and it’s as if the press collectively got a memo and said we got to back off and they backed off and it worked every time so yeah, they are doing it preemptively now. You know, the attack on Matt Lauer, it was so silly. It was first time a reporter has asked a serious question of Hillary Clinton and they all went ballistic over that. So, yeah, they are working Lester Holt. If she wins this debate, then it’s going to have — she’s going to do a victory lap with the press because the press will have declared her the winner whether she wins or not. If she clearly loses the debate in the eyes of the public, then they’re going to say, ah ha, it’s proof the media are out get us. So, either way, they’re going to use the press.

CAVUTO: Alright they also might try the strategy of running out the clock. She’s got the national lead, forget — if you buy the Marist poll, she’s having trouble in battleground states, be that as it may. They’re going to prove maybe we know policy positions, we are steeped in this stuff. He will come back with some zingers but doesn't know what he's talking about and that will be fully evident in the debate and the media will pounce on that. What do you think of that?

BOZELL: Well clearly, there’s a hidden little secret. Hillary Clinton doesn't want to do this debate. Team Clinton doesn’t want to do it. Not because she can't debate, she is a good debater, she is smart, not that. It’s because she is unlikable when she’s on television. This goes back to 2008. The more you saw here, the less you liked her. You saw it on the book tour. Her numbers went straight down during her booktour, which is why — 

CAVUTO: But isn’t that — isn’t that Trump's problem, too? I mean, they’re both fairly unlikable. Is the goal to come out of the night being a little less unlikable than the other? 

BOZELL: Well, yeah but I think he can pull it off better because he can energize his base more than she can energize her base and I —  

CAVUTO: I think you just hit on it. It’s all about getting your base jazzed.

BOZELL: The problem with Donald Trump — 

CAVUTO: I think you just hit on it. Get your base jazzed.

BOZELL: Yeah, but I think the problem Donald Trump has got in this debate is that in all the debates during the primary season, the media treated him with kid gloves from the standpoint of being rather amused by what he was doing on stage and his supporters that grew and grew because they loved what he was doing on stage, the reality is everything changes because after this debate, no matter what he does, they will come after him and they will come after him ferociously and these are people who call themselves the refs and  what they are doing is throwing themselves right into the baseball game and they’re at the home plate and they’re swinging and they’re hitting the ball.

CAVUTO: And yet, you’re arguing that if she doesn't do well, she’s going to blame those refs and that media that’s been, by large, pretty kind to her and nonstop going after Trump. Of course, to hear the opposite from them —

BOZELL: And they’re going to say the questions were unfair to her. The questions were unfair to her and they were too fair to him. 

CAVUTO: Interesting. We’ll watch closely. Brent, good seeing you again, thank you. 

BOZELL: Thank you.

Tell the Truth 2016 Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Debates Media Bias Debate Double Standards Political Groups Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Political Scandals Fox Business Network Video Government & Press Brent Bozell Neil Cavuto Hillary Clinton Donald Trump

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