Hillary Clinton told a crowd of journalists that she wants a new beginning in her relations with the press. Then, to prove her sincerity she entertained questions for 20 minutes.
Just kidding. Clinton did talk of a new beginning, but she took no questions, according to the National Journal.
The assemblage of hard-nosed reporters was clearly put off by Clinton’s unwillingness to take questions. Accordingly, Clinton received only polite applause when she finished her remarks.
Just kidding. Charmed by Clinton’s one-liners (almost certainly written by someone else), the journalists gave her a standing ovation.
In her remarks, Clinton offered the reporters tough love, or something. She called on them to focus on “serious” and “substantive” journalism going forward.
Translation: Don’t burden my presidential campaign by discussing anything that goes to my character or integrity.
Name the Republican politician who would get a standing ovation from journalists having just, in effect, criticized them for being insufficiently serious and substantive.
Clinton has received well-deserved criticism from a few journalists for her use, exclusively, of a private email account to transact State Department business, a violation of the rules. But by and large, the mainstream media continues to run interference for her.
It does so, for example, by pretending that Clinton differs significantly from Elizabeth Warren and other leftists on substantive issues. In this way, it can present Clinton as essentially a moderate — a characterization that, if it sticks, will undoubtedly help her in the 2016 general election.
Today’s Washington Post features a story called (in the paper edition) “Clinton: Problems aren’t fixed in ideological bunkers.” In the article, Ann Gearan lends credence to Clinton’s self-serving claim that she’s a pragmatic problem-solver who wants to “reach across [ideological] divides and come up with some solutions.”
Yet, the only issue Gearan cites as to which separation exists between Clinton and her party’s left wing is free trade. That’s not nothing, but neither is it anything to build a religion around.
One can build a religion around income inequality. In fact, radicals have done so for decades.
In her speech decrying “ideological bunkers,” Clinton “came back repeatedly to the issue of income inequality that is the touchstone of her own party’s left flank,” as Gearan reports to her credit. But this reporting comes deep into her story. The headline and the opening paragraphs reinforce the image of Clinton, the moderate problem solver, based on a speech that, in substance, promotes leftist orthodoxy.
This kind of reporting is worth thousands of standing ovations. But to me, the standing ovation is a tip-off that Clinton will receive thousands of instances of this kind of reporting.