Reporters on the campaign trail certainly don’t need my help in trying to do their jobs. But the press does need to show solidarity in pushing back hard against the imperial candidacy of Hillary Clinton. So, for my part, here goes.
Clinton’s campaign denied access Monday to David Martosko, political editor of The Daily Mail, even though he was a designated print pool reporter for the day. The phony, smarmy answers from her press representatives and the use of the Secret Service in blocking his entrance to events to the point of denying use of a bathroom are outrageous. (Read about it here.)
That happened within hours of Clinton’s army of surrogates and spokespersons saying yet again how the candidate was going to embark on a new effort toward better press relations. It's utterly unacceptable.
If the candidate can’t control her antipathy to the press now, what do you think it is going to be like if she wins the White House? It will be President Obama’s 2009 war on Fox News on steroids - and amphetamines - and any outlet that criticizes her will be fair game.
There’s a history of unbridled contempt for the press with the Clintons, and yet way too many so-called journalists keep coming back like George-Stephanopoulos lapdogs licking and kissing the hand that slaps them down every chance it gets.
I cannot tell you how disappointed I was Sunday to see Jake Tapper sitting there on his “State of the Union” debut with Bill Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative brand all over the CNN screen.
(Note in this video the way the CNN and CGI logos are mixed on the screen throughout. Why would CNN, which stands for cable news, risk polluting its brand with the controversial Clinton Foundation logo that way?)
Tapper is one of the few cable news journalists I have genuinely admired going back to 2009 during the war on Fox when he was one of the only mainstream journalists to join me in criticizing Obama for thinking the executive branch had the right to determine what is or isn’t a legitimate news organization. And here he is compromised by this arrangement with the Clintons as the show is barely launched.
He and CNN should have just said no to Bill Clinton and CGI given Hillary Clinton's candidacy and all the accounts lately of the foundation not reporting contributions while taking whopping checks from entities that were doing business before the State Department while Hillary Clinton was running it.
That isn’t about philanthropy. That’s about transparency – or, in the case of the Clintons, perhaps, the lack of it.
And Candidate Clinton declines to sit down for a sustained interview and answer serious questions about any of it, while her campaign bullies those who dare to criticize her.
At least Richard Nixon and Barack Obama waited until they won the White House before taking on imperial ways.
The press needs to make every effort it can to make sure voters understand that it is not just disrespect for the press, it’s disrespect for democracy that Hillary Clinton's campaign exhibits on a regular basis. If her campaign aides want to portray that as whining by the press, let us whine on and on.
What happened Monday with Martosko was not the exception. It was the norm, and it needs to be denounced in the strongest possible terms by everyone who believes in a free and vital press giving citizens the kind of information they need to cast informed votes.