Hillary Clinton: ‘They Were Never Going to Let Me Be President’

A longtime "Hillary Beat" reporter ruminates on what she and her candidate could have done differently in 2016.

Amy Chozick, who covered Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 presidential campaign for the NYT, has a weird retrospective titled ‘They Were Never Going to Let Me Be President.’ The headline comes from this anecdote early in the piece:

Robby Mook, the drained and deflated campaign manager, told his boss she was going to lose. She didn’t seem all that surprised.

“I knew it. I knew this would happen to me,” she said, now within a couple of inches of Mr. Mook’s ashen face. “They were never going to let me be president.”

Chozick had been on the “Hillary Beat” since July 2013 so,

I figured that if anyone knew whom Mrs. Clinton was referring to with that insidious “they” that, like some invisible army of adversaries (real and imagined), wielded its collective power and caused her to lose the most winnable presidential election in modern history, it was me.

They were the vast-right wing conspiracy. They were the patriarchy that could never let an ambitious former first lady finally shatter “that highest, hardest glass ceiling.” They were the people of Wisconsin and James Comey. They were white suburban women who would rather vote for a man who bragged about sexual assault than a woman who seemed an affront to who they were.

And yes, they were political reporters (“big egos and no brains,” she called us) hounding her about her emails and transfixed by the spectacle of the first reality TV show candidate.

It’s dizzying to realize that without even knowing it, you’ve ended up on the wrong side of history. Months after the election, every time I heard the words “Russia” and “collude,” this realization swirled in my head, enveloping everything.

From there, the feature turns into a parallel narrative. On the on hand, there are the reporters who allowed huge stories about Donald Trump that would have destroyed any other candidate to be constantly overshadowed by conveniently leaked stories about Clinton. On the other, we have a reluctant campaigner just ready for the whole thing to be over with.

Of the leaked Goldman Sachs speeches that Wikileaks pushed roughly half an hour after the “Access Hollywood” tape surfaced,

But it wasn’t a scoop. It was more like a bank heist.

Editors and reporters huddled to discuss how to handle the emails. Everyone agreed that since the emails were already out there — and of importance to voters — it was The Times’s job to “confirm” and “contextualize” them. I didn’t argue that it appeared the emails were stolen by a hostile foreign government that had staged an attack on our electoral system. I didn’t push to hold off on publishing them until we could have a less harried discussion. I didn’t raise the possibility that we’d become puppets in Vladimir Putin’s master plan. I chose the byline.

In December, after the election, my colleagues in Washington wrote a Pulitzer-winning article about how the Russians had pulled off the perfect hack. I was on the F train on my way to the newsroom when I read it. I had no new assignment yet and still existed in a kind of postelection fog that took months to lift. I must’ve read this line 15 times: “Every major publication, including The Times, published multiple stories citing the D.N.C. and Podesta emails posted by WikiLeaks, becoming a de facto instrument of Russian intelligence.”

The problems with this part of the narrative are manifold.

First, while we still don’t—and may never—know the extent to which Russian espionage influenced the outcome of the election, we were aware in real time that there was Russian interference. American intelligence agencies publicly acknowledged that it was happening, President Obama noted it numerous times, Clinton constantly harped on it, and it was mentioned regularly even in the presidential debates.

Second, while I had serious heartburn with the reporting on stolen and classified materials (including Trump tax records), the reality was that there was no way not to report on them once they were publicly available. If the NYT had refused to report on them, someone would have. Even if all the prestige outlets did, the other campaign teams and their media apparatus would have publicized them.

Third, while the timing of the leaks was convenient enough for the Trump campaign that we’ve put a special counsel and a massive team of investigators on the case to see whether there was collusion, it’s hardly the case that the various Trump scandals—including the “Access Hollywood” tape—were papered over. They received massive scrutiny and were presumed by most analysts, myself included, to be so bad for Trump that the Republican Party would have to find a way to replace him on the ticket. It just turned out that not enough Trump supporters found any of it disqualifying.

The belated insights into Clinton’s campaign, then, are ultimately more interesting than the journalistic navel-gazing.

The Bernie Bros and Mr. Trump’s Twitter trolls had called me a donkey-faced whore and a Hillary shill, but nothing hurt worse than my own colleagues calling me a de facto instrument of Russian intelligence. The worst part was, they were right.

A few weeks before Election Day, I was stuck in my cubicle poring over John Podesta’s emails. I wanted to be on the road. “I just feel like the election isn’t happening in my cubicle,” I said. “But it’s over,” an editor replied, reminding me that the Times’s Upshot election model gave Mrs. Clinton a 93 percent chance of winning. The ominous “they” who would keep the glass ceiling intact didn’t look that powerful then.

Until the last day on the road, though, it never really felt like a winning campaign. Not that I thought Mr. Trump would win. I believed in the data. Yet I couldn’t shake the nagging sensation that no matter how many people I’d met in black churches and union halls and high school gyms around the country who told Hillary Clinton their problems, no matter how many women chanted, “Deal me in!” in unison, she wouldn’t win.

[…]

It was the painful logic always at work for her: She was expected to project the iron of a commander in chief, the warmth of a best girlfriend and the charisma of a drinking buddy. And if she had somehow done all of that, there would still be some essential quality she lacked, in many people’s minds, because we simply had no template for a female president. The long-suffering feminist heroine would make history not in a festooned lovefest but in a dreary, mechanical slog.

By late fall, the traveling press — called “the Girls on the Bus” since on any given day, of our cohort of about 20 regular reporters, as many as 18 of us were women — were calling it Hillary’s Death March to Victory.

She went through the motions. “Hello [insert swing-state city here]!”

She did a whole riff on making lists. “I have a plan for just about everything,” she said. “You know, maybe this is a woman thing. We make lists, right? I love making lists. And then I love crossing things off!”

If I had to identify a single unifying force behind Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, it was her obvious desire to get the whole thing over with. “This election is 10 days away,” she said at a rally in Des Moines. “Eleven, but we’re more than halfway through today.”

When I started covering Mrs. Clinton in 2007 for The Wall Street Journal, she’d been a hands-on senator constantly in touch with her upstate constituents. But by her second campaign, she seemed like Rip Van Winkle, awake again after her stint as secretary of state to find a vastly different country. She’d missed the rise of the Tea Party. She’d missed the Occupy Wall Street movement and the rage over health care and bank bailouts and the 1 percent.

What’s odd is that we’re just getting these insights now that Chozick has written a new memoir of her time spent covering Clinton’s two campaigns. Looking back at the NYT archives, though, we get a different story. Her last piece before election night, ”Hillary Clinton Feels the Love on Her Campaign’s Last Day,” was positively upbeat. A few days earlier, we had “Hillary Clinton Presses Her Advantage Over a Struggling Donald Trump” and “Hillary Clinton, Mocking and Taunting in Debate, Turns the Tormentor.” In between were various features looking back at events that shaped Clinton into the person she was.

Yet Chozick seems to feel she didn’t do enough to help her get elected.

Hillary Clinton has settled into a surreal life of speaking at women’s conferences. I’ve started to see the “they” she spoke about on election night differently.

They were Facebook algorithms and data breaches. They were Fake News drummed up by Vladimir Putin’s digital army. They were shadowy hackers who stole her campaign chairman’s emails hoping to weaken our democracy with Mr. Podesta’s risotto recipe. And they were The Times and me and all the other journalists who covered those stolen emails.

Of course, these outside forces wouldn’t have mattered or weighed so heavily on me, on the country, had Hillary Clinton, her campaign and her longtime aides — the same box of broken toys who’d enabled all of her worst instincts since the 1990s — not let the election get so close in the first place. The Russians, after all, didn’t hack into her calendar and delete the Wisconsin rallies.

I never told anyone this, but one time when I’d been visiting the Brooklyn campaign headquarters I found an iPhone in the women’s restroom. I wasn’t sure, but it seemed to belong to Mr. Podesta’s assistant because when I picked it up, a flood of calendar alerts for him popped up. I placed it on the sink counter, went into the stall, came out and washed my hands. I left the phone sitting there, worried that if I turned it in, even touched it again, aides would think I had snooped. This seemed a violation that would at best get my invitation to the headquarters rescinded and at worst get me booted off the beat for unethical behavior.

I can’t explain why, in the heat of breaking news, I thought covering John Podesta’s hacked emails was any different.

In the abstract, I agree with the notion that the NYT shouldn’t have reprinted Podesta’s stolen emails. In reality, though, the notion that they wouldn’t report on them once they were public is absurd.

The whole piece is surreal. Granting that being the “Hillary Beat” reporter is an odd sort of access journalism that is bound to create emotional bonds, the job is to give readers without such access insights into the candidate and the campaign they wouldn’t otherwise have. In exchange for candid access, such a reporter should absolutely give the candidate a certain amount of privacy—not printing every damaging statement made during the fatigue and frustration of a long, grinding campaign. At the same time, though, even in sports reporting, there’s supposed to be no cheering in the press box.

It’s not the job of beat reporters to help the candidates they’re covering win elections. Even when they’re running against Donald Trump.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Media
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Chozick seems to feel she didn’t do enough to help her get elected.

    If Chozick thought it was her job to help Hillary Clinton get elected, then she should have gone to work for the campaign or become a pro-Hillary talking head on cable news or an opinion piece writer.

    She was none of these things. The was a reporter for what likes to refer to itself as “the paper of record.” As such it was her job to report on the campaign, good or bad, helpful or unhelpful. The fact that she seems to view her role differently, even in hindsight, is concerning from the point of view of journalistic ethics and should cause anyone reading her in the future to question her objectivity.




    13



    4
  2. Ben Wolf says:

    What I get from the piece is a strange apolitical focus on the identities of Clinton as a feminist leader and Chozick as a woman who should have done more to help another woman. And I say it’s strange because when running for political office one should put the politics first, assuming, of course, that either of them understood the goal was to win. This sort of retrospective makes more apparent that for Clinton and her admirers, awareness of America’s unique social dynamics was lacking.

    Instead, Chozick speaks of being “on the wrong side of history”, as though it has some pre-ordained direction and one need only ride the wave to victory. It’s a thoroughly Marxist idea from committed capitalists, and nicely illustrates the doublethink which characterizes the broken brains of America’s ruling class.




    8



    0
  3. drj says:

    Yet Chozick seems to feel she didn’t do enough to help her get elected.

    The text from Chozick’s piece you cite, does not support what you are saying about her. At all.

    What Chozick does say, is that she and her colleagues should not have let themselves be used by Wikileaks/Russian intelligence. That’s not too much to expect from responsible journalists, I’d argue.

    In the abstract, I agree with the notion that the NYT shouldn’t have reprinted Podesta’s stolen emails. In reality, though, the notion that they wouldn’t report on them once they were public is absurd.

    They could have reported on them if there were some actual scandals being revealed.

    Sed non.




    9



    2
  4. CSK says:

    This reminds me a bit of the Michael Dukakis campaign, when a reporter for the Boston Globe stated that she felt her most important job as a journalist was to help Dukakis get elected president. It was a startlingly blunt admission.




    4



    0
  5. James Joyner says:

    @drj: I’ve read the whole piece. It’s a really weird lament that she’s somehow responsible for the candidate who should have won not winning. It’s not about process so much as outcome.




    4



    1
  6. CSK says:

    @James Joyner:

    It takes a very high degree of self-regard for someone to think that she alone determined the outcome of a presidential race.




    6



    0
  7. drj says:

    @James Joyner:

    But it actually is about process. What you dismiss as “journalistic navel-gazing” is the very core of Chozick’s piece. And for good reason:

    Editors and reporters huddled to discuss how to handle the emails. Everyone agreed that since the emails were already out there — and of importance to voters — it was The Times’s job to “confirm” and “contextualize” them. I didn’t argue that it appeared the emails were stolen by a hostile foreign government that had staged an attack on our electoral system. I didn’t push to hold off on publishing them until we could have a less harried discussion. I didn’t raise the possibility that we’d become puppets in Vladimir Putin’s master plan. I chose the byline. […]

    The Bernie Bros and Mr. Trump’s Twitter trolls had called me a donkey-faced whore and a Hillary shill, but nothing hurt worse than my own colleagues calling me a de facto instrument of Russian intelligence. The worst part was, they were right.

    In other words, the NYT carried water for Russian intelligence; and, by doing so, put its thumb on the scale to the detriment of one particular candidate.

    I think we all can agree that it would be a good thing if they wouldn’t do this a second time.




    15



    1
  8. Eric Florack says:

    @Doug Mataconis: absolutely.
    And she was working for what paper, again?




    2



    3
  9. Eric Florack says:

    And by the way, here we have more of the group of people that cheated Bernie Sanders out of a primary victory, complaining about the unfairness of the loss of their candidate.

    Just let that sink in for a little while




    4



    11
  10. @Eric Florack:

    And what say you of the “reporters” at Fox “News” Channel?




    9



    2
  11. I think a major take-away from the 2016 campaign is that charges of bias miss that main bias that drives all reporters: the story.

    Trump was covered like a novelty act who drove up ratings, because that was the story.

    Clinton’s server, and then the material hacked from the DNC (which were not the same thing) was the story.




    8



    2
  12. Eric Florack says:

    @Doug Mataconis: balance.@Doug Mataconis: the only one going the other direction.

    Let’s Lose for once and all the solution of impartiality. It never existed




    1



    4
  13. Andy says:

    Wikileaks has been a known Russian front operation for a very long time. That they deal with purloined information that’s damaging to western governments in general, and the US in particular, is also not new. The NYT and other news organizations used their information in many stories going back well before this campaign and have vigorously defended their decision to do so. Why should they act any differently when it came the 2016 campaign?

    If we’re going to have a standard where major media outlets don’t report on or promote selectively leaked and illegally obtained information from foreign organizations tied to and supported by unfriendly foreign governments, then let us at least apply that standard evenly and not selectively.

    Personally, I don’t think that’s possible. The news is news, the NYT and the media is a business, and they can’t and shouldn’t ignore newsworthy information, regardless of source, but they should be a lot better about characterizing the sources they use and be much more cognizant of when they are being played.




    4



    0
  14. James Joyner says:

    @drj:

    In other words, the NYT carried water for Russian intelligence; and, by doing so, put its thumb on the scale to the detriment of one particular candidate.

    I think we all can agree that it would be a good thing if they wouldn’t do this a second time.

    To conclude that the NYT “carried the water for Russian intelligence” in reporting on the hacked information is tantamount to saying they aid and abet terrorists when they publicize their attacks. In both cases, they’re doing exactly what the bad guys want. In both cases, they’re also doing their job.

    There were plenty of reports of Russian hacking during the campaign. But we really didn’t know that much—as best I can tell, anyway—until weeks and months later—at which point Russia wanted credit for interfering in our election, thus causing more turmoil.

    As @Steven L. Taylor notes above, the NYT, like the rest of the mass media, was guilty of chasing interesting stories rather than providing a balanced narrative of what’s going on. But, really, that’s what newspapers, daily newscasts, and the like do. I really don’t want the daily newspaper putting their thumbs on the scale in order to get the “right” outcome.




    5



    2
  15. James Joyner says:

    @Andy: Yeah, that’s what I’ve come around to as well. I don’t think they should be aiding and abetting criminals by partnering with them in publishing stolen materials, whether it’s Wikileaks or hacked emails. But, once it’s out there, they can’t be in the business of ignoring real news.




    1



    1
  16. Steve F says:

    There were undoubtedly many who voted against Ms Clinton because she was a woman. There were just as many, perhaps more, that only voted for her because she was a woman. The bottom line was she was not a likable candidate that had as much personal baggage as Mr Trump.

    I think back to how harshly a vastly qualified Mitt Romney was portrayed by the media and the savage insults he endured. “They” were never going to let him be President. He accepted the results and went home. When will Mrs Clinton and her supporters do the same?




    4



    4
  17. James Pearce says:

    It’s not the job of beat reporters to help the candidates they’re covering win elections. Even when they’re running against Donald Trump.

    It seems to me that if there was more appetite for “objective” journalism, we’d have more of it.

    Also, “They were never going to let me be president.” This is one of the things that irks me so much about Clinton. Always at the mercy of the oppressive “they” who control everything, including presumably themselves.




    6



    3
  18. Stormy Dragon says:

    @drj:

    In other words, the NYT carried water for Russian intelligence; and, by doing so, put its thumb on the scale to the detriment of one particular candidate.

    Everything the NYT published was true. I’m kind of disturbed by your suggestion that journalists have a positive duty to conceal aspects of the truth that don’t benefit the right people.




    4



    1
  19. drj says:

    To conclude that the NYT “carried the water for Russian intelligence” in reporting on the hacked information is tantamount to saying they aid and abet terrorists when they publicize their attacks. In both cases, they’re doing exactly what the bad guys want. In both cases, they’re also doing their job.

    No, it isn’t. Not even by a long shot. They (the media) created a narrative out of exactly nothing. We got to learn of Podesta’s risotto recipe FFS.

    Compare and contrast: a terrorist attack isn’t nothing.

    Moreover – and this is important – the NYT never acknowledged they got their information from a bunch of Russian stooges. They never wondered why they didn’t get their grimy paws on a bunch of hacked RNC emails. (The GRU didn’t feel like hacking the RNC, really?)

    I could say a whole lot of other stuff about why your comparison fails, but the simple truth is that you dislike Clinton and it’s clouding your judgement. (You’re even reading things in Chozick’s piece that just aren’t there.)

    Admittedly, there are a whole bunch of good reasons to dislike Clinton, but that doesn’t negate the fact that she was treated extremely unfairly by the media.

    Maybe it’s just because of systematic rather than personal factors as @Steven L. Taylor points out, but treated unfairly she was.




    5



    1
  20. @Eric Florack:

    Nonsense. Fox “News” is nothing but a propaganda machine for the Republican Party and the Trump Administration.

    The New York Times, on the other hand, was the source for some of the most damaging things published about Clinton both before and during the 2016 campaign. You wouldn’t know about the email server, the handling of classified information, or the issues regarding ties between donors to the Clinton Foundation and entities with business before the State Department were it not for the reporting of reporters for the Times.

    That doesn’t sound like pro-Clinton bias to me, and it would only be so to someone who basis their political opinions on what they hear from Limbaugh, Hannity, and Levin, and from obviously biased “news” sources such as FNC and Breitbart.

    If you had even the slightest degree of intellectual honesty you would admit that there’s simply no way you can equate the Times and those right-wing cesspools.




    14



    3
  21. Lounsbury says:

    @James Pearce:

    Also, “They were never going to let me be president.” This is one of the things that irks me so much about Clinton. Always at the mercy of the oppressive “they” who control everything, including presumably themselves.

    Yes indeed.
    One can grant that there was skulldugery and Russian interference, etc. and yet still see that a major contributor to Clinton’s lost was just this – she really was a very mediocre public politician (a competent administrator one can allow easily, and for the daily work of a Presidency doubtless capable) with completely rubbish instincts and a lack of a real public charm.
    The attitudes embedded in the “never would allow me” are part of the problem relative to the lack of a good public charm / persona. One can allow a certain disadvantage arising from being a woman, but come on now, there are charming women politicians. Clinton was and is not, nor was she able to be self-critical to develop the skills to play it.
    Ideology aside, that’s just bad public politicking skills.




    4



    0
  22. Lounsbury says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    If you had even the slightest degree of intellectual honesty

    If…




    1



    0
  23. drj says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    I’m kind of disturbed by your suggestion that journalists have a positive duty to conceal aspects of the truth that don’t benefit the right people.

    To state the obvious: that’s not my suggestion at all.

    First, if there was anything resembling a real scandal in the DNC’s emails, journalists obviously should report on it. But there wasn’t, so there wasn’t any reason to keep dwelling on these emails.

    Second, responsible journalists should be aware of and – if necessary – report on the provenance of their info. (“Why exactly is my shady source telling me this?) And, of course, journalists should serve their readers, not their sources. (They actually teach that in journalism school.)

    In other words, there could have been responsible reporting on the DNC’s emails, but there wasn’t.




    7



    2
  24. george says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Everything the NYT published was true. I’m kind of disturbed by your suggestion that journalists have a positive duty to conceal aspects of the truth that don’t benefit the right people.

    And in fact its exactly the suspicion that that is what is happening which has created so much cynicism against the press among both the left and right wings since the Vietnam war. Everything from Chomsky’s “Manufacturing Consent” to the right wing’s rants against main stream media (which never seems to include Fox for some reason) shows how little the political wings have trusted media for many years.

    It kind of reminds me of the Catholic Church’s response to Galileo – they admitted he was right, but they felt people weren’t ready to hear it, so it had to be suppressed. And of course once it came out anyway people distrusted them more than ever – once you’re caught in the act of suppressing what’s known its very hard to regain people’s trust.

    People who think they know what’s best for others are almost never liked or trusted.

    In any case, I doubt the NYT made much difference. The people who voted for Trump weren’t reading it anyway (they’d long since stopped trusting it and the post – in fact, the best thing the Times could have done to hurt Trump among those people is to endorse him), and the people who read it were going to vote for Clinton no matter what was said simply because Trump was an obvious disaster (my own opinion of course). The days when the Times could sway an election are long gone.




    1



    1
  25. Mikey says:

    @george:

    In any case, I doubt the NYT made much difference. The people who voted for Trump weren’t reading it anyway (they’d long since stopped trusting it and the post – in fact, the best thing the Times could have done to hurt Trump among those people is to endorse him), and the people who read it were going to vote for Clinton no matter what was said simply because Trump was an obvious disaster (my own opinion of course). The days when the Times could sway an election are long gone.

    Are you asserting only those who actually read the NYT will learn of what is reported there?

    This is not remotely close to true, as we saw during the 2016 campaign. Stories that broke in the NYT were all over every other media and opinion outlet within minutes, and anything even remotely detrimental to Clinton went immediately to the top of Drudge and Breitbart, and was breathlessly reported on Fox News.




    4



    0
  26. gVOR08 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Happened to read a paragraph in “Russian Roulette” last night noting that for most of the electorate they were the same thing, Hillary email, Podesta email, DNC email, DCCC email, all the same story. Hillary, email, bad.

    The book also noted that when the intelligence agencies issued their joint statement that the Russians were interfering later in the day the Access Hollwood story broke, burying the Russia story. Then, by incredible coincidence, Wikileaks released the first set of Podesta emails late that afternoon, largely burying Russia and half burying the Access Hollywood story. A literally incredible coincidence.




    3



    0
  27. Todd says:

    Hillary Clinton was never going to be President (she was 0-2, after starting as a “sure thing” both times).

    The fact that she and her supporters still think is has more to do with “they” than “her” is a huge part of the reason she lost, both times.

    Okay, bring on the “thumbs down” now 🙂




    8



    0
  28. grumpy realist says:

    @Todd: As I’ve said before, the female who will be elected POTUS is going to be someone with a squeaky-clean reputation, a huge amount of charisma, a soft voice, and the ability to drive her enemies into self-sabotaging themselves. A female Obama, in other words.

    Hillary came off like a U.S. version of Theresa May, complete with nasty little scandals hung around her stinking up the place. Also the robotic characteristics. (There’s a reason Theresa May has been nicknamed “The Maybot”.)




    4



    0
  29. Leonard says:

    @Lounsbury: I don’t know about “competent administrator”. The campaign made so many bad decisions – she couldn’t have been everywhere at once making all of them. She surrounded herself with speech writers, press people, and GOTV staff capable of losing Michigan.




    3



    1
  30. Todd says:

    @grumpy realist: Yes, I’ve always thought the contrast with President Obama was instructive. It was obvious to anybody that Barack Obama was a black man, and would become the first black President if elected, but for the most part, that wasn’t a big part of his campaign (how he “sold” himself) … or at least it didn’t “feel” like it was.

    With Hillary Clinton, although it was obvious that she’s a woman, and we all know we’ve never had a woman President yet, it often seemed as though her campaign felt the need to constantly remind everybody that she was running to be the first woman President. She had her eye a bit too much on future history books. Scheduling her election night party in a room with a big glass ceiling was a perfect example of this phenomena (as was the decision to devote campaign resources to places like Arizona in the final weeks before the election, in apparent hopes of running up the electoral college victory margin).




    3



    1
  31. gVOR08 says:

    In a comment on the NYT article I thanked Ms. Chozick. She’s the only person from NYT I’ve seen recognize that they got played by Russians and by Republicans. Like @drj: I see no evidence in her piece that she thought she should support Hillary. But she, and the NYT had an obligation to the truth and to fairness. They failed. How many column feet did they spend on non-scandals at the Clinton Foundation? How many inches on the real scandals at the Trump Foundation? They’ve known for years Michael Cohen was dirty. Did they mention it during the campaign? How much print did they spend on non-scandals in DNC and Podesta emails compared to reporting on how they were stolen, by who, and why?




    9



    0
  32. James Pearce says:

    @Todd:

    Okay, bring on the “thumbs down” now

    No way. That’s a thumbs up for sure.

    I’m still scratching my head over why “I’m with her” wasn’t “I’m with you.”




    5



    1
  33. Eric Florack says:

    @Doug Mataconis: if it wasn’t pro-clinton, why was this supposedly reporter working for them? The fact of the matter is the New York Times always leans left. I wonder if the name Walter duranty means anything to you




    0



    3
  34. george says:

    @Mikey:

    Which of those stories wouldn’t have been discovered if not for the NYT? The DNC leaks? Clinton’s email controversy? Podesta’s email? I can’t think of a single one. Nor I can picture Fox refusing to run a story detrimental to Clinton simply because the NYT refused to cover it.

    And even if say Fox refused to run the DNC email leak because they decided only to cover stories the NYT covered (I can’t imagine the circumstances, but perhaps that’s just a limited imagination on my part), a thousand smaller websites would have immediately picked it up – which is how most people get their information now. The NYT as gatekeeper of what news is fit to publish is gone – something as many leftists as rightists are happy about.




    0



    1
  35. @gVOR08:

    Happened to read a paragraph in “Russian Roulette” last night noting that for most of the electorate they were the same thing, Hillary email, Podesta email, DNC email, DCCC email, all the same story. Hillary, email, bad.

    I think this was very much true: I suspect a lot of voters think, to this day, that the Russians hacked HRC’s server to get the Podesta e-mails. Part of that is the fault of the press, and part of that is the fault of voters who really only pay so much attention.




    2



    0
  36. al-Ameda says:

    @grumpy realist:

    As I’ve said before, the female who will be elected POTUS is going to be someone with a squeaky-clean reputation, a huge amount of charisma, a soft voice, and the ability to drive her enemies into self-sabotaging themselves. A female Obama, in other words.

    Nikki Haley is the most likely one right now.




    2



    1
  37. Mikey says:

    @george: You’re missing my point. NYT had the “scoop” but that doesn’t mean they can keep the story to themselves. You seemed to be saying the NYT wasn’t consequential because Trump voters don’t read it, but they saw what the NYT published anyway. They just saw it on Drudge and Breitbart.




    1



    0
  38. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @al-Ameda: I would hope for somebody more competent than Nikki Haley, but I’ve thought for a long time that the first female President would more likely be a Republican than a Democrat. I wish Republicans were better at leadership for this very reason.




    3



    0
  39. An Interested Party says:

    …the female who will be elected POTUS is going to be someone with a…soft voice…

    Indeed, god forbid that such a female would have a “shrill” voice…

    …the first female President would more likely be a Republican than a Democrat.

    I remember back in the day there was talk that the first black President would be a Republican, for many of the same reasons…we saw how that turned out…




    1



    0
  40. gVOR08 says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’nint cracker: It would, I think, be easier for a Republican woman to be elected. In the general. But first she has to be nominated by Republicans.




    1



    0
  41. george says:

    @Mikey:

    Sure, but my point is that whether or not the NYT reported it, the stories would come out a day or two later.

    The reason I don’t think the NYT (or Fox) are particularly influential is that they’re just preaching to the converted, and there doesn’t really seem to be any news source out there which is accepted across the political spectrum. In fact, there doesn’t even seem to be any accepted by even one wing of the spectrum. Many progressives (as opposed to liberals) hate the NYT, many fiscal conservatives hate fox.

    Its not only that the 5% of the population interested in politics (most don’t give 10 minutes thought to who to vote for, and in fact 40% don’t bother voting at all) live in echo chambers, but they’re living in increasingly narrower chambers. The divide between Clinton and Sanders supporters is an example, the divide between Trump and McCain supports is another. 95% of the population will still vote for whoever they’ve always voted for, but they now often strongly disagree with their party’s candidate even while voting for them (no different to them than cheering for say the Patriots even if you think Tom Brady was guilty of deflating footballs – its your team, you cheer for them right or wrong.

    A lot of this is thanks to the Internet; you can find support for any opinion you want on it – look at all the fun “flat-earth” websites, that are now being taken seriously by some. There’s no common core of accepted news sources anymore, which means sources like the NYT which used to set the tone and limits of what was real news have drastically reduced influence outside of its own echo chamber.




    0



    0
  42. Grewgills says:

    @george:

    The reason I don’t think the NYT (or Fox) are particularly influential is that they’re just preaching to the converted

    People on the right less often read the NYT and people on the left less often watch Fox. However, when story critical of someone on the left is reported on in the NYT, part of the story in the right wing media is that it was reported by the NYT or WaPo. That gives it more weight there that ‘even the left wing NYT’ is reporting this. The same can be said of Fox breaking something negative about someone on the right, assuming that happens.




    0



    0
  43. gVOR08 says:

    I fear this thread is too old to expect many people to read this, but for the record late today Adam Silverman at Balloon Juice laid out at length and in detail how NYT screwed up the original Hillary email story. Much of it is based on the analysis by Margaret Sullivan, then NYT’s Public Editor. You’ll note that NYT has decided to no longer have anyone in this or a similar position. Silverman wrote a five point summary of his longer and more detailed argument. Emphasis mine.

    The New York Times wrote an inaccurate story with a completely misleading headline that framed all future reporting on this issue and which also further framed Secretary Clinton as criminal in her behavior as Secretary of State.
    — As a result the New York Times blew the larger story, which is that US governmental IT is so bad and lagging, not to mention insecure, that utilizing a private server was both not prohibited according to the rules in place at the time that Secretary Clinton became Secretary of State, and that it still isn’t much better.
    — That the real political question, if there really was one, was about political calculus and optics. As in should Secretary Clinton have been considering the potential future political optics when deciding to go with the personal server if she was still considering running for President again in the future?*
    — Reporters, both at the New York Times and other newspapers, networks, and/or platforms DID NOT then and DO NOT now understand classification, classification issues, nor the classification review that occurs when a FOIA request is made!
    Political reporters did not realize then, and still do not realize now, that they were being manipulated to achieve the aims of Judicial Watch in an attempt to achieve Judicial Watch’s political goals in regard to both Secretary Clinton and the 2016 election.

    FTFNYT




    2



    0