Saturday, May 9, 2015

Hillary Clinton has “no comment” so the media reports it, regularly

Sometimes the media can be funny even when it thinks it’s being serious. There’s a McClatchy Washington Bureau story in today’s The News & Observer about covering a subject without assistance from the subject of the story. In this case, the article is about former First Lady Hillary Clinton, her campaign for the 2016 Democratic Nomination for President of the United States, and her reluctance to talk to or answer questions from the media.

Though many political observers, not to mention the general public, would enjoy hearing from Hillary on a variety of subjects, it’s somewhat refreshing to see a major candidate shunning the media which prefers to ignore her rhetoric about her campaign issues to engage in flashy stories and questions about how she is running her campaign. In fact, many of the writers and reporters are just trying to make a name for themselves, to sell newspapers and to increase viewership. There's more to covering a campaign than covering the mechanics of the campaign. There's more to covering a campaign than discussing past transgressions by the candidate and her husband. In that story, written by Anita Kumar, about Hillary not answering media questions, there’s actually a really funny line.

Ms. Kumar sets up the funny line by discussing the availability of other candidates, all chasers of Hillary. She uses quotes from the past about Hillary’s relationship with the media. The former First Lady would prefer a “new relationship” with the media. Of course, she does. She wants a relationship that forgets the past and concentrates on the future if and when she is President. A politics professor at American University points out that reporters prefer to ask “gotcha” questions instead of policy queries and therefore the reason Hillary isn’t taking media questions.

The funny line of the article is this: Clinton’s campaign declined to comment for this story. Really? No comment about not talking to the media?!?!? Why was the campaign has to comment at all knowing the answer would be "no comment." That answer is not surprising, especially since this was a story about something other than issues, except for the issue of Clinton not answering questions from the media. While the public may expect to hear from the candidates on a regular basis, there are more ways to skin a cat than through media. She prefers to deal direct to the voters. 

If Clinton and her campaign will not engage the media, the media should quit covering the campaign. It really is that simple. The media should ignore the candidates that ignore the media. What Hillary and her campaign have to say is not that important at this point and the space in the newspapers and on the television could be used for more meaningful and more interesting subjects. But the media in general feels it must report her every move and that it is entitled to ask any question and will continue to press Hillary and her staff even if it is to receive “no comment” and issue another such story.
-------------------- word of the day
credence (noun) [kreed-ns] belief as to the truth of something

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