Hillary Clinton’s Media Veto

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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It’s becoming increasingly obvious that the presstitutes of the mainstream media are pretty much passing on the Wikileaks John Podesta emails, leaving it up to independent websites and bloggers to cover what would ordinarily be headline news.  One such story that has gone untold, for the most part, is the story about Hillary Clinton’s relationship with the New York Times.  

During the summer of 2015, Hillary Clinton spent time with New York Times reporter, Mark Leibovich.  In the article, “Re-Re-Re-Reintroducing Hillary Clinton” published on July 15, 2015, Mr. Leibovich opens with this paragraph:

“In early July, after much back and forth with the campaign and reluctance on my part, I decided to take the campaign up on its offer of an off-the-record conversation with Clinton. I figured I would use the opportunity at Bretton Woods to ask Clinton directly for an interview or at least to let me do part of our conversation on the record. She chose the latter. The setup was consistent with a general sense pervading this campaign that Clinton is stepping very carefully. It was also, for better or worse, who Hillary Clinton is. She is true to herself that way, I suppose. The recent fashion of candidates fetishizing their willingness to let it rip and ‘‘tell it like it is’’ can be a cheap and tiresome pose, too, even if journalists find it more congenial to their purposes.

The irony in the author’s comment that “for better or worse”, this is who Hillary Clinton really is is rather stunning given the events that transpired before the story was published.

Here’s another quote from the story:

A few minutes before my meeting with Hillary Clinton on the Fourth of July, during my drive to the Mount Washington hotel in Bretton Woods, N.H., where she was staying, I passed a moose near the side of the road. At first I thought it was fake, one of those life-size cutouts that you sometimes see of big land mammals or, on occasion, famous politicians. But the specimen proved to be real and spectacular, antlers and all. I had never seen a moose before. It was thrilling, and I felt compelled to tell Clinton about it within seconds of my arrival. ‘‘Oh, really? Wow,’’ Clinton exclaimed with a big smile as she poured herself a cup of coffee. She might have been humoring me, but still seemed genuinely excited by my sighting and seized on it as a point of connection.

We were meeting in an old conference room of the grand hotel, which is perhaps best known to history as the site of the Bretton Woods Conference, a gathering of delegates from 44 countries to regulate the international financial system after World War II. Clinton and I sat at the same table where the agreement that established the International Monetary Fund was signed in 1944. As a former first lady, senator and secretary of state, Clinton was of course no stranger to such heady sites of statecraft. But what we started talking about was the moose. She had seen a few in her day, she told me. ‘‘I’ve eaten moose, too,’’ she said. ‘‘I’ve had moose stew.’’

Clinton explained that during college she worked one summer in Alaska, washing dishes at a resort. She was 21, and her energy and freedom felt limitless; she took long hikes in the midnight sun. ‘‘The guides told us the most dangerous animals in the park — more than the grizzlies, because the grizzlies will basically ignore you — were the moose,’’ she said. Natives knew to keep their distance. But the moose were all over, impossible to miss. ‘‘Oh, I mean like, between you and me,’’ Clinton said, and I thought for a second she was about to tell me something conspiratorial (‘‘between you and me’’), but in fact she was simply describing how close she had been to a moose, roughly the same distance as we were sitting from each other there at the birthplace of the I.M.F.”

Now that we have that background, let’s look at the story behind the story.  According to an email released by Wikileaks, dated July 7, 2015 from the desk of Jennifer Palmieri, Director of Communications for the 2016 Clinton presidential campaign, there is more to what Ms. Clinton said about her experience with a moose.  In fact, here’s what she really said to Mr. Liebovich:

SEC. HILLARY CLINTON:* I’ve eaten moose, too. I’ve had moose stew. 

*NEW YORK TIMES:* Really? 

*SEC. HILLARY CLINTON:* Yeah, in Alaska, moose stew.  So that’s why I always got a big kick out of Sarah Palin with all of her, “We’re cooking up some moose stew here.” (Laughter.) 

*SEC. HILLARY CLINTON:* And I’d get up and I’d wash the dishes.  But then, you know, it’s like 2:30 in the morning, what are you going to do? So we’d go for a hike. And we would hike up these — you know, these sort of foothills of the mountains. And the guides told us the most dangerous animal in the park, more than the grizzlies, because the grizzlies will basically ignore you, were the moose. (my bold)

After his time spent with Ms. Clinton, on behalf of the New York Times, Mr. Leibovich contacted the Hillary Clinton campaign, requesting an option to use the “moose story”, presumably including the “Sarah Palin” reference.  Here’s what Ms. Palmeiri had to say in response:

My apologies for the delay. I finally had to get her in person. Fine to use the moose, but appreciate leaving the mention of Sarah Palin out.”

There goes that “for better or worse”.  Apparently, once Ms. Clinton had a chance to rethink her candid comment about Sarah Palin, she felt that it didn’t match with her public persona.

After talking to Ms. Clinton, the Palin reference was out.  

Additionally, this was left out of Mr. Leibovich’s story:

“…and gay rights has moved much faster than women’s rights or civil rights, which is an interesting phenomenon somebody in the future will unpack.”

It would be interesting to know what context that comment was given in, wouldn’t it?

Apparently, the New York Times is an unabashed water-carrier for Hillary Clinton 2016 as you can see here:

hillary clinton’s media veto

America’s foremost liberal newspaper.went so far as to allow the Clinton campaign to veto comments that she made on the record to a New York Times reporter as you can see in this line from Ms. Palmieri:

Uh, I thought you told me that you wanted us to pick.”

In other words, Ms. Palmieri believed that Hillary Clinton had the ultimate choice of what appeared in the New York Times article being written by Mr. Leibovich.

As we all know, if the press wants to get access to the halls of power, they have to “play nice” and, if they don’t, they find themselves shut out of the next big story.  That threat hangs over the media like a sharpened axe in the hands of an executioner.  As we are learning, nothing in the Clinton campaign is spontaneous; as I’ve posted here, anything that is released to the press is vetted by multiple staff members.  It’s no wonder that Americans’ trust in the media is at all-time lows.  Additionally, it’s interesting to see how little coverage this email received in the mainstream media; most of the coverage was by non-mainstream median outlets and the blogosphere.

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