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The Same old same old
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Do we really want to put ourselves through another Clinton presidency and repeated incidents like this?
Early this summer, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign for president learned that the men’s magazine GQ was working on a story the campaign was sure to hate: an account of infighting in Hillaryland.

So Clinton’s aides pulled a page from the book of Hollywood publicists and offered GQ a stark choice: Kill the piece, or lose access to planned celebrity coverboy Bill Clinton.
Now, before we proceed, the assumption that is being made here is that this is true. And, frankly, knowing the Clinton's history, it is certainly more than plausible.

So did GQ stand on principle and decide that the people's "right to know" was more important than caving into threats of denying access?

Apparently not:
And the offending article by Atlantic Monthly staff writer Josh Green got the spike.

“I don’t really get into the inner workings of the magazine, but I can tell you that yes, we did kill a Hillary piece. We kill pieces all the time for a variety of reasons,” Nelson said in an e-mail to Politico.

He did not respond to follow-up questions. A Clinton campaign spokesman declined to comment.
So again we see political pressure brought to bear to spike a story which might be seen as negative to the Clinton campaign.

As Politico mentions, this isn't new or unique:
There’s nothing unusual about providing extra access to candidates to reporters seen as sympathetic, and cutting off those seen as hostile to a campaign.

The 2004 Bush campaign banned a New York Times reporter from Vice President Dick Cheney’s jet, and Sen. Barack Obama threatened to bar Fox News reporters from campaign travel.
But it is tiresome. Gutless journals more worried about access than accuracy. Who will now take anything that GQ writes about the Clinton campaign (or any campaign) seriously now that they've caved into that pressure?

The power of granting or denying access allows campaigns to exert enormous influence over what does or doesn't end up in the press (and is one of the reasons blogs are so useful). And the Clinton's seem to have more power to do that than anyone:
The Clinton campaign is unique in its ability to provide cash value to the media, and particularly the celebrity-driven precincts of television and magazines. Bill Clinton is a favorite cover figure, because his face is viewed within the magazine industry as one that can move product. (Indeed, Green’s own magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, ran as its October cover story “Bill Clinton’s campaign to save the world.”)

It’s a fact that gives the Clintons’ press aides a leverage more familiar to Hollywood publicists than even to her political rivals — less Mitt Romney and more Tom Cruise, whose publicists once required interviewers to sign a statement pledging not to write anything “derogatory” about the star.

The Clinton campaign has more sway with television networks than any rival. At the time Clinton launched her campaign, the networks’ hunger for interviews had her all over the morning and evening news broadcasts of every network — after her aides negotiated agreements limiting producers’ abilities to edit the interviews.

This past weekend, she pulled off another rare feat — sitting for interviews with all the major Sunday talk shows. In most cases, the Sunday shows will reject guests who have appeared on competing shows.
It is almost as if they are America's answer to royalty. And for the life of me I just don't get it.

Down with dynastic politics. Two Bushs is more than enough, and one Clinton is plenty for all time.
 
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Comments
Assuming Clinton is the Democratic nominee (quite certain, I’d say), this post demostrates the best shot the Republicans have of retaining the presidency. Does the country really want another Clinton presidency? To me, the most disheartening part of that possibility is the continuance of the mindless partisanship that began during Bill Clinton’s terms and has contiuned unabated through Bush’s terms. There seems little doubt that, if Hillary Clinton becomes president, we will endure yet more of this nonsense. Putting aside her merits or demerits as to qualifications for the job, this fact must be considered by the voters.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
"he continuance of the mindless partisanship that began during Bill Clinton’s terms"

You must be very young.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
The partisanship that began during the Clinton years was, I’d argue, quantitatively and even qualitatively different. In the past, there were limits, at least generally, for instance as to foreign policy. There was also much less personal rancor between the politicians themselves (e.g., Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan sharing beers). But as the policy differences receded with Clinton’s "Third Way", i.e. stealing Republican issues, partisanship ironically ascended as the predominant differentiator. Clinton used polls, of course, but he was mainly working from his gut and, since his policitcal instincts are second to none, he was generally right on target. Bush (presumably through Rove’s study of the Clintonistas) has continued this trend and even enhanced it. Hillary Clinton is not likely the one to curtail it; though who knows? Nixon went to China.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
I am just glad to see that this thing backfired. I don’t know what was in the article, but it cannot be a fraction as bad as the coverage she is getting now.
"It is almost as if they are America’s answer to royalty. And for the life of me I just don’t get it. Down with dynastic politics. Two Bushs is more than enough, and one Clinton is plenty for all time."- McQ
Here! Here! The King (and Queen) is (are)Dead! Long Live - um... Whatever! Somebody Else!
 
Written By: mw
URL: http://westanddivided.blogspot.com/
. In most cases, the Sunday shows will reject guests who have appeared on competing shows.

That tidbit, at least, is wrong. While I don’t remember any recent hattricks like this weekend, at least once a month, and sometimes every week for several weeks in a row, I’ll change from Meet the Repressed to This Week with Georgie-Porgie to find Georgie with the same politician I just saw with Timmy, and usually asking the same questions and getting the same answers.
 
Written By: kishnevi
URL: http://
So again we see political pressure brought to bear to spike a story which might be seen as negative to the Clinton campaign.
It wasn’t political pressure from what I can tell, it was commercial pressure, and positive commercial pressure at that. Kill the bad story and we’ll give you a Bill Clinton cover story. GQ didn’t have to do it, and weren’t coerced into doing it, it was a bottom line decision.

Good "capitalism", bad journalism.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://

 
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