Liberal Bias On Full View As GQ Lets Hillary Spike Negative Article

Discussion in 'Politics' started by AAAintheBeltway, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. Clinton campaign kills negative story

    By: Ben Smith
    Sep 24, 2007 03:43 PM EST
    Updated: September 24, 2007 09:39 PM EST

    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.

    Despite internal protests, GQ editor Jim Nelson met the Clinton campaign’s demands, which had been delivered by Bill Clinton’s spokesman, Jay Carson, several sources familiar with the conversations said.

    GQ writer George Saunders traveled with Clinton to Africa in July, and Clinton is slated to appear on the cover of GQ’s December issue, in which it traditionally names a “Man of the Year,” according magazine industry sources.

    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.

    The campaign’s transaction with GQ opens a curtain on the Clinton campaign’s hard-nosed media strategy, which is far closer in its unromantic view of the press to the campaigns of George W. Bush than to that of Bill Clinton’s free-wheeling 1992 campaign.

    There’s little left to chance. Hillary Clinton may have an unparalleled campaign “war room” — but there aren’t any documentary film-makers wandering around this one, and lovers of the D.A. Pennebaker film “The War Room” can rest assured they aren’t getting a sequel.

    The spiked GQ story also shows how the Clinton campaign has been able to use its access to the most important commodity in media — celebrity, and in fact two bona fide celebrities — to shape not just what gets written about the candidate, but also what doesn’t.

    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 a retreat of the sort GQ is alleged to have made is unusual, particularly as part of what sources described as a barely veiled transaction of editorial leverage for access.

    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.

    Clinton’s team is also unusually aggressive in moving to smother potentially damaging storylines, as last spring when Wolfson and other aides took aim at an unflattering book by writers Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta Jr.

    GQ describes itself as “the definitive guide to fashion and grooming,” but also has a history of carrying groundbreaking reporting and long-form writing.

    This presidential cycle, it has commissioned pieces from well-regarded Washington magazine writers on the presidential candidates, including a piece by Ryan Lizza, now of the New Yorker, on Barack Obama.

    Green was not a particular favorite of the Clinton campaign, however. He took the assignment from GQ not long after finishing an unflattering 13,000-word profile in the November 2006 Atlantic Monthly, which concluded that the junior Senator from New York is, more or less, a timid, calculating pol.

    “Today Clinton offers no big ideas, no crusading causes — by her own tacit admission, no evidence of bravery in the service of a larger ideal. Instead, her Senate record is an assemblage of many, many small gains.

    Her real accomplishment in the Senate has been to rehabilitate the image and political career of Hillary Rodham Clinton. Impressive though that has been in its particulars, it makes for a rather thin claim on the presidency. Senator Clinton has plenty to talk about, but she doesn’t have much to say,” he wrote.

    The next spring, according to people with the story and sources Green spoke to, he spent digging into the tensions within Hillary Clinton’s campaign — widely speculated about among reporters, but at the same time notoriously difficult to report from a political circle known for keeping internal disputes inside the family.

    In particular, a source familiar with Green’s story said, he had focused on internal criticism of the campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle.

    Green had also asked questions about the pay package of the campaign’s communications director, Howard Wolfson, who is technically a consultant and left a lucrative communications practice in New York City to take the job, and whose compensation is the subject of speculation within the campaign. (Speculation about Wolfson’s compensation, sources said, was not in Green’s final GQ draft.)

    Green approached the Clinton campaign to discuss the details of the story, which he described to Wolfson over dinner at a downtown Washington, D.C. restaurant, a source familiar with the conversations said.

    Soon after that, Carson, who is now Hillary Clinton’s traveling press secretary, told GQ that the former president would not cooperate with Saunders’ planned profile if Green’s piece ran.

    Green declined to comment on the fate of his story, referring questions to GQ and to Carson. Carson declined to comment on his discussions with GQ.

    Green and GQ’s features editor, Joel Lovell, argued for rebuffing the Clinton campaigns demands, sources said, but Nelson made the final call to kill the story.

    Saunders, the Syracuse novelist who is writing the Clinton story for GQ, declined to discuss his story, citing GQ policy.

    He told the Syracuse Post-Standard in July that he was planning to travel with the former president to tour Clinton Foundation projects in Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi and South Africa and said he’d voted for Bill Clinton twice.

    “It seems like [Clinton’s] gift, one of his gifts, is everybody likes him and knows him, so he can get people in a room and make things happen,” Saunders told the Syracuse paper. “I just like the idea that at this elderly stage of life, you can go and get your doors blown off.”

    Asked by Politico if he was interested in hearing how his access to Clinton was procured, he demurred.

    “I don’t think I want to know,” he said.
  2. If bush did it, it would be called media savvy!

    p.s. the US media is controlled by about 7 tightly held conglomerates.

    Look closely, they are not "liberals", rather they play a paid and supporting role in the trillion dollar arms/pharma/oil/war industries.

    Get with the program.

    This is no free election. The neo cons/global banking elite ARE NOT going to let some free candidate get in.

    Why: someone has to control the trillion dollar arms/pharma/oil/war industries.
    And the fed.

    they don't just let anyone do that, ya know.

    THIS IS BUSINESS. Not a fluffy democratic paradise.

    Once you start looking at all the events/"coincidences" that we are fed using that point of reference, things finally start to make sense.
  3. Hmmmm, who is to blame?

    A political animal trying to manipulate the press in their favor, or the rag that backs down when the big dogs bare their teeth?

    Bottom line, it was a business/financial decision, which is what the press is ultimately about in a capitalistic society.

    As long as the press is about capitalism and making a buck first and foremost, it is never, ever a free press.
  4. I don't "blame" Clinton but it is illustrative of the Clintons' trademark hardball style. I think GQ should stick to fashion pieces in the future. Why would anyone give any credence to anything they published since they have acknowledged that they trade favorable coverage for access? Not that that really distinguished them from the NYT or Time or Newsweek or the Washington Post. None of them is about to publish anything even slighty critical of the Clintons.

    It is not inevitable that journalists prostitute themselves. I am relatively confident that these liberal rags wouldn't do it for a conservative. So they do have some standards. What they lack is integrity, which means they are basically irrelevant.
  5. achilles28


    Props to TorontoTrader for the great post.

    BUsh traded access for publicity his ENTIRE term.

    Its shameful that either party engages in this type of yellow-journaliasm. Which is exactly what it is.

    Its even more shameful the so-called "free press" has sold their souls for ratings.

    The Government and Media are now one and the same.

    There is no such thing as a Free Press in America.
  6. Arnie


    The Clintons (and DEMs, too) have bigger worries...........

    Hillary Clinton 'could cost Democrats dear'
    By Toby Harnden in Washington
    Last Updated: 2:23pm BST 26/09/2007

    A leaked Democratic poll has suggested that Hillary Clinton, the frontrunner in the race for the party's presidential nomination, could lose the 2008 election because of her "very polarised image".

    Full coverage: US Elections 2008
    The survey by the Democratic pollsters Lake Research indicated that both Mrs Clinton and Barack Obama, second in the race, trailed Rudy Giuliani, the Republican front runner, in 31 swing congressional districts.

    Former President Bill Clinton whispers to his wife Senator Hillary Clinton
    The private memo, leaked to The Washington Post, painted what researchers described as a "sobering picture" for Democrats who believe that President George W Bush's disastrous favourability numbers almost guarantee they will capture the White House next year.

    All polls show that Democrats are much more popular than Republicans. But when the names of individual candidates are used, the gap narrows considerably.

    "The images of the two early [Democratic] favourites are part of the problem," the memo said.

    The leaked poll found that Mr Giuliani, a centrist Republican with liberal stances on issues such as abortion and gay rights, leads Mrs Clinton by 49 per cent to 39 per cent in the swing districts.

    The former New York mayor enjoyed a much slimmer lead of just one per cent over Mr Obama. It has long been known that Mrs Clinton has "high negatives" among voters but the assessment of Mr Obama that his "image is soft, and one-fifth of voters do not gave a firm impression of him" was a surprise.

    The poll found that Mrs Clinton, in particular, could damage the chances of congressional Democratic candidates on the ballot. The sensitivity of the issue was underlined by the reluctance of Democrats to discuss the survey.

    "We're not commenting on this poll," said Daniel Gotoff, co-author of the memo accompanying the Lake Research poll. "It was leaked and obviously not by us."


    But Andy Arnold, a Democratic chairman in Greenville, South Carolina - a key primary state - said: "I'd be a little bit dishonest if I didn't admit that in some parts of the country, and probably my own, having Hillary Clinton at the top of the ticket will have some impact further down.

    "People have that concern and are voicing it. The thing with Hillary is that most people have their minds made up. There's a fundamentalist crowd who have an inordinate obsession with things sexual and what happened [during Bill Clinton's administration] played into that."

    He added, however, that "whoever we nominate, the right-wing attack machine will make them into the devil by November 2008".

    Frank Luntz, a leading Republican pollster, said: "This poll reveals what grassroots Democrats have been concerned about. Hillary is their choice ideologically but not necessarily politically and they're afraid she could lose.

    "Democrats want to win more than anything else and they will compromise on policy to achieve electability." Mrs Clinton, he said, prompted a series of perceptions that could damage her.

    "She never admits she's wrong. There's a lack of candour and a harshness to her. She doesn't have any of the typical challenges of a female candidate but that is in itself a challenge.

    "She doesn't show heart. People see her as strong and a fighter, someone who is qualified and can get things done but she's missing that personal element, that emotional connection.

    "Rudy does better among independents than Hillary does and in the end the candidate that gets the majority of independents wins the election."

  7. GQ publishers are complete idiots: Bill Clinton is such an old story, so who would care if GC didn't get to fawn all over him in a future issue, whereas a story about Hillary's campaign, one not constantly sucking up to her, as the rest of the media does, would be so refreshing. Says alot about GC readers, sad.