Clinton email leaks show campaign's close cooperation, collusion with media
Two examples from the Wikileaks email dump from the account of Clinton campaign manager John Podesta show the shocking level of cooperation and deference paid by the media to the Clinton campaign.
First, New York Times reporter and CNBC anchor John Harwood sent an email giving the Clinton campaign advice on how to deal with other GOP candidates in the race while gloating about how he provoked Donald Trump at a debate that he moderated.
In a December 2015 email to Podesta, Harwood bragged about his much-criticized debate performance in which he asked Trump “Let’s be honest, is this a comic book version of a presidential campaign?”
Harwood titled the email “I imagine…” and continued the sentence in the body of the email, writing, “…that Obama feels some (sad) vindication at this demonstration of his years-long point about the opposition party veering off the rails.”
“I certainly am feeling that way with respect to how I questioned Trump at our debate,” Harwood continued.
In May of 2015, early on in the Republican primary process, Harwood sent Podesta an email telling him to “watch out” for Dr. Ben Carson.”
The subject line of that email read, “Watch out.” “Ben Carson could give you real trouble in a general,” Harwood warned.
Harwood added to the email three news clips on Carson from a recent interview Harwood had conducted with him.
Earlier WikiLeaks releases showed Harwood lavishing praise on Hillary Clinton in emails to Clinton campaign staffers.
Why is Harwood still employed? If he really wants to work for the Clinton campaign, he can drop the pretense of being a responsible journalist and go full-on Hillary-lover. A shocking display of partisanship by Harwood.
Also, a reporter for the New York Times gave the Clinton campaign veto power over quotes that were to appear in a fluff profile piece.
Hillary Clinton spent time in summer 2015 with The New York Times reporter Mark Leibovich and made a crack about 2008 Republican presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
But the remark didn’t make it into the long profile. Leibovich agreed to give the Clinton campaign veto power over the statements she made.
The revelation comes in Part III of a massive email release from WikiLeaks.
Leibovich evidently gave the campaign the ability to ax quotes as part of a deal for access.
Danielle Rhoades Ha, vice president of communications for the Times, defended the arrangement. “We were transparent with our readers and disclosed the arrangement in the story,” she wrote in an email.
In the 42nd paragraph of the 54-paragraph story, Leibochich explained the deal: “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.”
But the disclosure did not exactly specify Clinton and her team would be allowed to determine, retroactively, which parts of the conversation were on or off the record.
Leibovich emailed campaign Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri on July 7, 2015, to try to lobby for a batch of quotes.
"These exchanges were pretty interesting ... would love the option to use," he wrote.
The Palin shot came during a discussion between Clinton and Leibovich in which the Democratic candidate for president discussed having eaten moose stew in Alaska. "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,'" she said.
But Palmieri told Lebovich that Clinton did not want the Palin quote to appear, and it did not. Instead, the passage in a story titled "Re-Re-Re-Reintroducing Hillary Clinton," read: "She had seen a few in her day, she told me. 'I've eaten moose, too,' she said. 'I've had moose stew.'"
The Clinton camp also objected to using a quote in which the candidate said that "gay rights has moved much faster than women's rights or civil rights, which is an interesting phenomenon somebody in the future will unpack."
Needless to say, it's a huge advantage when a candidate gets to write her own profile piece in a major media outlet like the Times.
The Times should be charging the Clinton campaign ad space for all the fawning attention and support they give them while Harwood should be paid for his advice. They're not even pretending to be objective anymore and the FEC should investigate the Times and other outlets for making in kind donations to the Clinton presidential campaign.
More on the newest emails here.