Writer Rebecca Traister: Hillary ‘Does Not Get the Benefit of Any Doubt’ From the Media

June 4th, 2016 3:37 PM

As many NewsBusters readers know, a fairly common talking point on the left is that Hillary (and Bill) Clinton have consistently gotten a raw deal from the national media. Unsurprisingly, New York Magazine’s Rebecca Traister raised the issue in an 8,200-word piece on Hillary and her campaign that appears in the magazine’s May 30 issue.

“If Clinton suffers from a kind of political PTSD that makes her overly cautious and scripted and closed-off, then its primary trigger is the press corps that trails her everywhere she goes. Clinton hates the press,” wrote Traister, who noted that the typical reporter covering Hillary’s campaign “is too young to remember the way Clinton was barbecued by the media from the beginning, labeled too radical, too feminist, too independent, too influential; dangerous, conniving, ugly and unfuckable. But it’s clear that even today she and her campaign feel that they can’t win with the press, that the story lines about her are already written.”

Traister acknowledged that Hillary “is a terrible actor and an awkward speaker, prone to badly phrased pronouncements that muddy, or even seem to reverse, her message…One of the biggest recent flubs from the Not Great Communicator was in Kentucky, when Clinton harkened back…to the good old days of her husband’s administration. But this time she suggested, carelessly, that she was going to put Bill ‘in charge of revitalizing the economy, because you know he knows how to do it.’”

But, observed Traister, when Hillary almost immediately sought to walk back the idea, the media wouldn’t cut her any slack (bolding added):

This is the price Clinton pays for not having a warmer, closer relationship with reporters: She does not get the benefit of any doubt; there is no elasticity of comprehension. She does not enjoy the goodwill that someone like Joe Biden — a king of misstatements, prone to offending entire nationalities — has earned, which permits him to get out of media-jail time and again.

Traister’s article contained plenty of non-media-related, strongly pro-Hillary material. For example: “Clinton is a master at identifying problems and coming up with plans to solve them. There is seemingly no crisis too small to escape her attention, no subject outside her wheelhouse. When she turns her energies onto bigger issues, her ability to see an interlocking set of concerns and her detailed knowledge about…everything can sound like a parody of female hypercompetence.” (Ellipsis in original.)