Brian Fitzpatrick

After Hillary Clinton lost the January 3 Iowa caucuses, she  made “improving likeability” a central campaign strategy, as U.S. News & World Report revealed on January 11.*  All of the questions listed in this parody are the exact queries subsequently asked of Clinton by the cited journalists and TV show hosts.

The following memo was leaked to the Media Research Center by an executive at a prominent news organization.  The memo, addressed to the heads of several major media outlets, was written on the stationery of a leading Presidential candidate. 

From the desk of HRC

This memo has been written to inform you that We believe you are failing to deliver the services you promised during the conference call of January 4, 2008. 

As you no doubt recall, We announced during the January 4 conference that Our campaign is mounting a major effort, the Humanizing Initiative, to convince the American people that We are warm, humble, vulnerable, down-to-earth and above all, likeable.   You agreed to comply with the Humanizing Initiative by providing acquiescent interviewers and camera crews. We agreed that once in office We would show Our gratitude by extending leniency on any misunderstandings you have with the IRS, providing perks like tickets to White House galas, and destroying certain embarrassing FBI files. 

Your work has not risen to Our expectations.  Pay close attention to Our assessments.

Access Hollywood/NBC, January 7-8.

Congratulations for being first out of the gate, just in time for the New Hampshire primary.  We found your interviewer, Maria Menounos, to be sufficiently deferential.  Showing Us apologizing for being two hours late gave Us a compelling appearance of humility, and teasing the interview with “Hillary tackles tough questions” was delightfully droll.  We were able to press all the right emotional buttons thanks to Menounos’s carefully crafted questions:

  • “You’re not made of steel!  You have feelings!”
  • “Do you feel in any way betrayed by women?”
  • “After a hard day like that, do you ever call Bill on a cell phone and just – want to complain?”
  • “Do you have, like, regular woman problems?  Are you obsessed with weight, like we are, or like looks?”
  • “Do you watch any reality shows?”

Unfortunately, your camera work was simply unacceptable.  At one point your cameraman lingered on Our face while Our head was tilted back, giving Us a distinctly imperious air.  Why did your editors fail to snip, snip the undesirable footage?

Newsweek, January 21 edition.

Brian Fitzpatrick

Brian Fitzpatrick, a writer, editor, and commentator on political and cultural issues, is the Senior Editor at Media Research Center’s Culture & Media Institute.

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