Reporter explains the Clinton rules

Hillary Clinton accuses China of stealing US secrets

Jonathan Allen in Vox spells out what I’ve been trying to tell you for years: Yes, there really are different rules for covering the Clintons. Read the whole thing and prepare yourself for the next two years:

The Clinton rules are driven by reporters’ and editors’ desire to score the ultimate prize in contemporary journalism: the scoop that brings down Hillary Clinton and her family’s political empire. At least in that way, Republicans and the media have a common interest.

I understand these dynamics well, having co-written a book that demonstrated how Bill and Hillary Clinton used Hillary’s time at State to build the family political operation and set up for their fourth presidential campaign. That is to say, I’ve done a lot of research about the Clintons’ relationship with the media, and experienced it firsthand. As an author, I felt that I owed it to myself and the reader to report, investigate, and write with the same mix of curiosity, skepticism, rigor, and compassion that I would use with any other subject. I wanted to sell books, of course. But the easier way to do that — proven over time — is to write as though the Clintons are the purest form of evil. The same holds for daily reporting. Want to drive traffic to a website? Write something nasty about a Clinton, particularly Hillary.

As a reporter, I get sucked into playing by the Clinton rules. This is what I’ve seen in my colleagues, and in myself.

It’s long, so I’ll just give you the headings:

1) Everything, no matter how ludicrous-sounding, is worthy of a full investigation by federal agencies, Congress, the “vast right-wing conspiracy,” and mainstream media outlets.

2) Every allegation, no matter how ludicrous, is believable until it can be proven completely and utterly false. And even then, it keeps a life of its own in the conservative media world.

3) The media assumes that Clinton is acting in bad faith until there’s hard evidence otherwise.

4) Everything is newsworthy because the Clintons are the equivalent of America’s royal family.

5) Everything she does is fake and calculated for maximum political benefit.

I strongly urge you to go read the whole thing.

5 thoughts on “Reporter explains the Clinton rules

  1. Yes, this all fits with the evidence of decades. But I still don’t get why. The only thing that seems to explain it is pure, rank, bigoted, hatred of unapologetically smart women.

    But, I mean, really? The somewhat intelligent people pushing that crap never get tired of it? Never say ‘been there, done that’? Never think they’ll show their lack of bias by hunting some other victim? What the hell is going on here? Is Clinton Derangement Syndrome an actual psychiatric diagnosis? Is there anything at all besides plain old misogyny going on?

  2. The media thinks they are the only worthy arbiters of who should win elections. So if they don’t approve of you (and God knows, they’ve hated the Clintons for a long time), they’re going to keep pounding away. Plus, the NYT is pissed off that their Whitewater “scoop” turned to shit, so they’re going to try to find another one.

  3. First, not an HRC fan. Second, this is pure bullshit. The media hated that Clinton wasn’t “one of us” when Bill first took office. Bolstered by unlimited 1% dollars, they gotta keep after it cause reasons (none of which are legitimate). I don’t think it has anything to do with any “America’s royal family” crap. No such scrutiny is given to the Bush Crime Family, a corrupt bunch if ever there was one. Nope, the Clintons campaign on positivism and hope (even if they don’t necessarily embody it) and there’s nothing the press and their 1% owners hate more than hope.

  4. Yeah, true, they always hated Bill because he didn’t get a frontloader and dump cash straight from the Treasury to the 1%. (Close, what with NAFTA and all, but he did let some money reach the 99%.) And of course the platform Hillary ran on in 2008 was not as 1%-friendly as Obama’s and his hopium. I guess if you peddle hope, it has to be the right kind, the kind that won’t cost them one single red cent. If it does, they’ll make sure all the media they own keep pounding. Which probably isn’t that hard. Just give the reporters who write the “right” stories trips to important conferences, or whatever, and in minutes they’re probably all falling in line.

    I can kind of see that, although it seems too ordinary for the constance and persistence of viciousness directed at Clinton. (Thinking specifically of Hillary.) There are other people the 1% doesn’t like. But maybe the difference is none of them are as visible and successful as she is.

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