CNN Cancels Hillary Clinton Documentary

A planned documentary about Hillary Clinton that had aroused much controversy among Republicans will not be going forward:

CNN is canceling a documentary about Hillary Rodham Clinton after its director withdrew because of push back from the potential 2016 presidential candidate’s inner circle and the Republican National Committee.

Director Charles Ferguson wrote in a Huffington Post article that he decided not to go forward because “nobody, and I mean nobody, was interested in helping me make this film. Not Democrats, not Republicans — and certainly nobody who works with the Clintons, wants access to the Clintons or dreams of a position in a Hillary Clinton administration.”

CNN said in a statement that Ferguson “has informed us that he is not moving forward with his documentary about Hillary Clinton. Charles is an Academy Award-winning director who CNN Films was excited to be working with, but we understand and respect his decision.” CNN said it “won’t seek other partners and are not proceeding with the film.”

Ferguson specifically cited being “interrogated” by Clinton aide Nick Merrill. He also said that Philippe Reines, a longtime Clinton adviser, “contacted various people at CNN, interrogated them and expressed concern about alleged conflicts of interest generated because my film was a for-profit endeavor.”

The filmmaker also cited the RNC’s decision to withhold CNN as a potential debate sponsor in 2016 if it went ahead with the project.

This comes just weeks after NBC bailed on its Hillary documentary, and likely means that the RNC will withdraw its objection to Republican Primary debates hosted by either of these networks.

FILED UNDER: Hillary Clinton, Politicians, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. James Pearce says:

    Ferguson should make a doc about Ted Cruz. I’m sure he’ll find lots of takers.

  2. al-Ameda says:

    This comes just weeks after NBC bailed on its Hillary documentary, and likely means that the RNC will withdraw its objection to Republican Primary debates hosted by either of these networks.

    As usual, the so-called “main stream media” is completely cowed by conservative opposition. Didn’t take long for CNN to cave in, did it? CNN is spineless.

    Actually, most of the mainline media is intimidated by the conservative movement – on the Sunday opinion shows Conservatives are often given the last word, no follow-up questions, constant “both sides do it” observations. It’s pathetic, but it’s been going on since the Reagan years.

  3. @al-Ameda:

    Did you note the part of the quoted article indicating that the director was facing resistance to the idea of a documentary from the Clinton camp?

  4. rachel says:

    Director Charles Ferguson wrote in a Huffington Post article that he decided not to go forward because “nobody, and I mean nobody, was interested in helping me make this film.

    I know at least one person who wasn’t interested in watching it either.

  5. Gustopher says:

    I believe this was one of the Houre Republicans’ demands for the continuing resolution…

  6. James Pearce says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Did you note the part of the quoted article indicating that the director was facing resistance to the idea of a documentary from the Clinton camp?

    Indeed, my takeaway was that it was the Clinton people that put the kibosh on this one.

    The RNC’s threat was idle and toothless. Their best bet was to let the doc run and bitch about it later.

    Only the steel hand of Clinton loyalists could shut down the production.

  7. al-Ameda says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Did you note the part of the quoted article indicating that the director was facing resistance to the idea of a documentary from the Clinton camp?

    Yes I did Doug, and I assumed this was enough to give him cover for the capitulation that was going to made for “business reasons,” as brought up many times previously:

    The filmmaker also cited the RNC’s decision to withhold CNN as a potential debate sponsor in 2016 if it went ahead with the project.

    CNN was intimidated into backtracking, primarily by conservatives and perhaps by the Clintons who didn’t want this thing to be an ongoing irritant.

  8. Pinky says:

    I think a Hillary Clinton documentary would have been terrible for her politically. It would have covered – the Rose Law Firm years, the times she was on a dais near important family law reformers, the “marriage”, the two years she didn’t pass health care and the six she didn’t do much of anything, her sudden interest in moving to New York, her Senate record (packed with even more not-doing-anything), her time overseeing the Muslim Brotherhood Spring…yeah, all the highlights of her career. I’m reminded of Bored of the Rings: no one was sure where Aragorn was during the battle, but he must have been doing something heroic.

  9. Pinky says:

    @al-Ameda: This is where your partisanship takes on traits of mental illness.

    From your comment:

    CNN was intimidated into backtracking, primarily by conservatives and perhaps by the Clintons who didn’t want this thing to be an ongoing irritant.

    From the Huffpo article:

    “Next came David Brock, who published an open letter on his highly partisan Democratic website Media Matters, in which he endorsed the Republican National Committee’s position, repeating Reines’ conflict of interest allegations and suggesting that my documentary would revive old, discredited Clinton scandal stories. Coming from Mr. Brock, this was rather amusing….When Brock published his letter about my film, I got in touch with several prominent Democrats who knew Hillary Clinton. I told them that this campaign against the film and against CNN was counterproductive. They conveyed this message to Mrs. Clinton personally, along with my request to speak with her. The answer that came back was, basically, over my dead body.”

    Read the rest. Then, after reading consider the facts as if this weren’t about politics, and tell me you’d still hold the “mostly the Republicans’ fault” position.

  10. Gavrilo says:

    @al-Ameda:

    The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy hates Hillary Clinton because she’s black.

  11. An Interesed Party says:

    It would have covered – the Rose Law Firm years, the times she was on a dais near important family law reformers, the “marriage”, the two years she didn’t pass health care and the six she didn’t do much of anything, her sudden interest in moving to New York, her Senate record (packed with even more not-doing-anything), her time overseeing the Muslim Brotherhood Spring…yeah, all the highlights of her career.

    And yet, despite all of that, she still has a better chance to become the next president rather than any of the Republican contenders…which tells you a lot more about the GOP than it does about her…

    The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy hates Hillary Clinton because she’s black a liberal woman.

    Happy to be of help…

  12. al-Ameda says:

    @Pinky:
    This is where your partisanship demonstrates traits of mental illness:

    It would have covered – the Rose Law Firm years, the times she was on a dais near important family law reformers, the “marriage”, the two years she didn’t pass health care and the six she didn’t do much of anything, her sudden interest in moving to New York, her Senate record (packed with even more not-doing-anything), her time overseeing the Muslim Brotherhood Spring…yeah, all the highlights of her career.

    Rose Law Firm (nothing), her “marriage” (nothing), failure to pass her health care reform (nothing), suddenly deciding to move to New York (nothing), Muslim Brotherhood (just say it “Benghazi” …. nothing) EVERYTHING the murder of Vince Foster in there.

  13. al-Ameda says:

    @Gavrilo:

    The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy hates Hillary Clinton because she’s black.

    She is? Actually, they hate her because she’s a Clinton.

  14. wr says:

    @Pinky: “the “marriage”, ”

    Congratulations. You are now firmly ensconced on my “permanently ignore anything he says” roster.

  15. An Interested Party says:

    It is interesting that someone who would put quotation marks around the Clinton’s marriage would go on to write about someone else’s partisanship taking on the traits of mental illness…I’m sure the irony is completely lost on this person…

  16. Pinky says:

    Sigh. I put the word in quotes because I didn’t want to flesh out this whole thing. I realize that I gave the wrong impression by doing so.

    If I must flesh it out, I must.

    It’s very difficult to talk about the Clinton marriage without talking about Bill’s excesses. There’s almost no way to do a documentary about the two without making Bill look terrible, without being unflattering to Hillary. You step too far one way and you’re whitewashing it; you step too far the other and you’re being tawdry. Remember when her book came out? There was no coverage of anything except what she had to say about Monica. Bill may be highly-regarded these days, but if you do a day-by-day look at his presidency, it’s going to be brutal. The fact is, I was about to type “blow-by-blow biography” without any pun intended, but that’s the thing, when you go back over it, it’s horribly embarrassing. Unless you’re a partisan who sees the whole thing as a witchhunt (and there’s no value in doing a biography for them to watch).

  17. bill says:

    @Pinky: it depends on who wrote it- they could just sugar coat everything she does wrong and give her a pass because HER HUSBAND CHEATED ON HER……that’s about all anyone cares about her- that she was supposed to be the “co=president” back in the 90’s until we all grew sick of her trying to enact “hillarycare’- plus she’s just an irritating person. don’t get me started on the “reverse-carpet bagger” stuff, but then again, ny’ers will vote for anything weird these days.

  18. grumpy realist says:

    @Pinky: I agree. Hillary didn’t want it because the possibility of this turning into a stinking fish was just too high.

    Now she gets to sit back and give off an aura of quiet rationality (particularly in comparison to people like Ted Cruz.)

    I never liked Hillary’s “triangulation” policies, but have to admit she’s a damn good politician. Especially if she can run on a platform of reforming “Obamacare” into “Hillarycare.”

    Which will REALLY send the idiots on the far right into constant screaming.

  19. An Interested Party says:

    …plus she’s just an irritating person.

    No doubt she’ll be even more irritating to you when she is addressed as “Madam President”…

  20. bill says:

    @An Interested Party: like that’ll happen. nothing on the other valid points….as usual?

  21. An Interested Party says:

    like that’ll happen.

    I’m sure you thought the same thing about the election and reelection of the current president…

    nothing on the other valid points…

    Oh but that is the point…the hot air blown by you and people like you will not stop Clinton from becoming president if she runs…