Should the media start punishing Hillary for not taking questions from the press?
How bad has it gotten? This bad:
That’s not an answer, that’s a head pat. It’s time to play hardball, says Jonah Goldberg:
Sure, they mention how she isn’t taking questions. But they also say things like “Clinton took questions from voters” and “Clinton met with small businessmen to talk about the economy” and then they let her get her soundbites in. I can see the case, as a matter of journalistic ethics, for letting her get her message out. Though such ethics are often selectively applied to Republicans the press hates.
But why peddle the fiction that she is having authentic conversations with Iowans?
When president Bush was selective about who he took questions from, the press ate him alive for it. And Bush was far more open to the press than Hillary’s being (and he was the president). And Hillary is running unopposed which makes the press’s role much more important. Why not err on the side of the truth, particularly when the truth hurts? Every meeting with pre-selected human props should be described that way. Every “event” should be reported in hostile — and more accurate! — terms. “Mrs. Clinton held another scripted and staged event today where volunteers asked pre-arranged safe questions the scandal-plagued candidate was prepared to answer…”
No, say Iowahawk and Sean Davis. It’s time to pull the plug:
Hillary’s campaign hacks sent around talking points yesterday noting that she’s taken plenty of questions from the pre-selected “authentic American” Hillary fans she’s been meeting with during her daily simulacrums of interaction with the voting public. Just within the past hour, she got her very first question about the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, a hot topic especially on the left, where progressives are treating it as a litmus test of her own progressivism. That question was asked, though, not by a reporter but by an “authentic American” who naturally didn’t follow up. Which explains why she was allowed to get away with an answer as lame as this:
She said later that she might take a few questions from the media later today. They’d better have some good ones ready given all the public complaining lately about her hiding; fortunately there’s no shortage of material.
I like the “blackout” idea, but the problem is that it’s hard to enforce. If big media reporters decide collectively to walk away rather than cover some pre-scripted campaign roundtable garbage, an enterprising local affiliate will defy the boycott send someone down to her photo op and end up with an exclusive. If there’s even one defector, the whole scheme falls apart. On the other hand, watch the clip below and tell me how any self-respecting reporter could continue to cover her charade of “meeting the public” when she’s this arrogant and condescending about avoiding difficult questions. I don’t fault her for ducking them — the more the public hears from her in unscripted settings, the more they’re reminded how underwhelming a candidate she is — but I do fault them at this point for not driving a harder bargain about getting her to take the sort of questions that every Republican in the field is already taking daily. Let’s at least pretend to have a campaign this year instead of a coronation, even though we all understand by now that “Hillary Clinton is more of a brand than a person and that no amount of hard questions or dug-up dirt will dissuade voters from accepting that brand.
Update: Four years of this arrogant nonsense? Or eight?
Answering a question from the press [about Sid Blumenthal], Clinton chuckled. “I have many, many old friends,” she said. “I’m going to keep talking to my old friends no matter who they are.”
Update: If a blackout doesn’t work, writes Sean Davis, then the media should move to Plan B:
If that doesn’t work, then you don’t just continue the blackout. You replace the column space, the pixels, the TV time that you would’ve spent on Hillary’s campaign events with wall-to-wall coverage of Hillary’s scandals. What happened to the e-mails? Why was Hillary paying a nutcake war profiteer who’d already been banned by the White House to give her advice on foreign policy? Why did Hillary approve a massive uranium boondoggle for one of her tax-exempt group’s biggest donors? Why did Hillary refuse to disclose millions in donations she received from foreign governments while she was serving as the U.S. Secretary of State?
It wouldn’t take long. Maybe a few days. But by blacking out coverage of her campaign and replacing it with coverage of the myriad ongoing Clinton cash and corruption scandals, the Hillary campaign would quickly change its tune. Getting deprived of positive media oxygen is one thing. Having that oxygen used to fan the flames of scandal night after night is another thing entirely. Her campaign couldn’t survive a month with that kind of coverage, let alone another year and a half.