On the same day, CNN and NBC both dropped their plans to make movies about Hillary Clinton. Interestingly, it looks like a win both for the Clintons and for RNC chair Reince Priebus, who boldly told the two networks that they wouldn't be moderating any GOP presidential debates in 2015 or 2016 with those promotional films in the pipeline.
Apologies might be owed from The Wall Street Journal editorial page, which prematurely waved a white flag: "God grant Reince Priebus the serenity to accept liberal media bias. ... The Hollywood-media complex is going to line up hard behind Hillary's 2016 Presidential bid, and this is the first salvo. Mr. Priebus can't stop it, he can't even hope to contain it, so all he has done is open himself to complaints that he's acting as Lord Republican Media Censor."
The same charges of censorship aren't often lobbed at the Clintons, whose idea of "message discipline" doesn't just pertain to their own statements, but toward "discipline" of anyone who might damage their lifelong narrative of ambition.
Charles Ferguson, the leftist documentarian signed up by CNN Films, wrote a commentary for The Huffington Post explaining why he was canceling his movie. "When I approached people for interviews, I discovered that nobody, and I mean nobody, was interested in helping me make this film. Not Democrats, not Republicans -- and certainly nobody who works with the Clintons, wants access to the Clintons, or dreams of a position in a Hillary Clinton administration."
Then he added: "Not even journalists who want access, which can easily be taken away."
Ferguson's road to nowhere began with a Hillary Clinton functionary named Nick Merrill. "He interrogated me; at first I answered, but eventually I stopped." Hillary would not agree to an off-the-record conversation. Longtime aide Phillippe Reines "contacted various people at CNN, interrogated them, and expressed concern about alleged conflicts of interest generated because my film was a for-profit endeavor."
CNN declined to comment on this pressure campaign. Ferguson said he believed that Clinton aides tried to stonewall his attempts to persuade people to talk on camera. "They knew this wasn't a whitewash," he said. "And my very strong impression was that anything other than a whitewash is something they don't want to support."
Such is the power the Clintons wield over the national media.
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