Reporters furious over the Clintons' ‘totalitarianism’

Of everything the Clintons have done over the years to frustrate reporters, it is not surprising that preventing them from doing their jobs has perhaps made journalists the most livid.


During a Clinton Global Initiative summit attended by flocks of reporters, many discovered that they were being tailed by Clinton minders to ensure that they did not conduct any unauthorized interviews. The impulse to follow reporters around, even to the bathrooms as was one reporter’s experience, in order to ensure the coverage of the CGI event didn’t deviate from the planned script sent some reporters into a tizzy. The result has been maybe the worst coverage CGI has ever received.

“[T]he episode also reflects the dark and, frankly, paranoid view the Clintons have toward the national media,” The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza wrote. “Put simply: Neither Hillary nor Bill Clinton likes the media or, increasingly, sees any positive use for them.”

How a campaign deals with the media is a direct result of how the candidate views the media. And the Clintons have as dim a view of the political press as any modern politicians. So you can imagine what a Clinton 2016 campaign will think of those tasked with covering it.

The Post’s media reporter Erik Wemple called this episode an example of the Clintons’ “bush-league security totalitarianism.”

He highlighted some of the most draconian measures imposed on the Fourth Estate:

• Reporters must be escorted to the restrooms. [New York Times reporter Amy] Chozick reports that her minder “waited outside the stall in the ladies’ room at the Sheraton Hotel, where the conference is held each year.”
• “Hordes of journalists,” notes Chozick, have ended up “cloistered” in a Sheraton basement.
• Barricades separate journalists from the lobby, where “actual guests enter.”
• Escorts are required “wherever we go, lest one of us with our yellow press badges wind up somewhere where attendants with an esteemed blue badge are milling around.”


Reporters’ frustrations with this event may be coloring their general impression of Hillary Clinton as a candidate. Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd seemed to suggest that this moment will have lasting damage on the Clinton brand because it is reflective of a negative trait commonly associated with Clintonian governance.

But Hot Air’s Karl had a different take:

His final point was the most salient:

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David Strom 6:40 PM | February 29, 2024