There is nothing funny about Hillary Clinton 'roping' the press in N.H.

David Zurawik: another great moment in the imperial candidacy of Hillary Clinton.

I am not going to get cosmic about this, but Hillary Clinton’s rope trick during an Independence Day parade in Gorham, N.H., needs to at least be noted and condemned on this blog.

Last month, I wrote about Clinton’s campaign denying access to David Martosko, political editor of The Daily Mail, even though he was a designated print pool reporter for the day. I called 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 outrageous.

So, where does corralling reporters behind a moving rope line at an Independence Day parade rank with that? What part of keeping the press behind a rope line that keeps pushing them back says democracy to you?

Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Clinton said in a statement issued by the campaign that the rope was an attempt to "accommodate the press, allow her to greet voters, and allow the press to be right there in the parade."

Right. And make sure the distance is such that questions cannot be called out to her, because everyone knows how open she is to answering questions from the press. That insult-your-intelligence explanation typifies the Clinton campaign’s attitude to the press.

Can you imagine if she is in the White House? President Obama has already made huge gains in taking all but total control of White House imagery from press photographers. You think she is going to be any less imperious once she actually has the power to change the rules of access unless the press pushes back hard right now?

Kudos to the campaign reporters who did report what happened with some detail and edge. Here's a tweet from from Maggie Haberman of the New York Times that gives a nice sense of how the press was roped.  But I was disappointed to see how lightly this was treated on some of the Sunday morning cable and network public affairs shows.

I get the sense some reporters don’t want to be seen as whining. As I said in June, we need to whine, scream and pitch a fit. The press needs to make every effort it can to try and make sure voters understand that it is not just disrespect for the press, it is disrespect for democracy that Hillary Clinton's campaign exhibits with acts like this.

A good start would be for the anchors and show hosts at the networks and cable news channels to show some leadership and denounce such attempts to bring the press to heel.

Yeah, right, and I’ll bet ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, who contributed $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation and failed to disclose it on air, will be the one leading that charge.

Or maybe CNN's Jake Tapper could lead the charge.

Oh, stupid me, I forgot how Tapper was listed as a "speaker" at a June event of the Clinton Global Initiative and then wasn't after the Stephananopoulos contribution came to light. But he was still rewarded with a Bill Clinton interview as he launched his CNN Sunday morning show.

I loved the way the the CNN and CGI logos were given equal billing on the screen to the point where they all but merged. CNN is supposed to stand for news. What does CGI stand for?

OK, how about the "NewsHour" on PBS taking up the issue on behalf of the press - isn't that supposed to be the one national public broadcasting source of TV news?

Darn, co-anchor Judy Woodruff gave the Clinton Foundation $250 as well, and then, had the nerve to complain when the PBS ombudsman ever-so-gently criticized her for it.

How could the ombudsman not understand the righteousness of supporting all things Clinton even as America's royal couple and daughter scorn, insult and now try to corral the press.

 

 

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