The ability of the Clintons to get by on things that would send Republicans to political exile — or jail — is simply a wonder to behold. But you would think that at some point the political press would start acting like the economic guild I’ve always thought it to be. Clinton is trying — and so far succeeding — to demonstrate that the traveling political press corps is inconsequential and rather pathetic. As Jim notes below, they’ve gotten 13 questions in, and most of them are rather sad. Normally, when a politician tries to break the media’s food bowl, the media defends itself. Instead, I keep watching broadcasts that treat her gingerly. 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 . . .”
I understand the press is liberal, but they also have a very high opinion of themselves. The Clinton campaign is making fools of them. It’s time for some payback.