News & Politics

WikiLeaks: The Adventures of Hillary's Biggest Media Lapdog

WikiLeaks: The Adventures of Hillary's Biggest Media Lapdog
Moderator John Harwood speaks during the CNBC Republican presidential debate at the University of Colorado, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Leaked emails have established CNBC/New York Times reporter John Harwood to be Hillary Clinton’s greatest media lapdog. He has been in frequent contact with her campaign throughout the 2016 presidential election process, flattering Hillary,  offering encouraging words regarding EmailGate, and offering campaign advice.

Harwood even emailed Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta in September of 2015 to ask him what questions he should ask former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. “What should I ask Jeb in Speakeasy interview tomorrow?” he asked Podesta in the email.

The bootlicker, however, got off on the wrong foot with the campaign in May of 2015 after he wrote a tongue-in-cheek article at CNBC that gently poked fun at the campaign.

In the article, “How’s Hillary Doing? Wish We Could Tell You,” Harwood expressed mild disappointment in the campaign after it held a press briefing at their Brooklyn office which offered reporters nothing new or of interest.

Podesta immediately shot Harwood a brief and frosty message which seemed to threaten his access to the campaign: “Won’t waste your time again,” he wrote 29 minutes after the article was posted online.

Harwood quickly fired off a panicked email to Clinton’s director of communications, Jennifer Palmeri: “Is he kidding?” he wrote.

“No, he is not joking. He and I are both put off by your piece,” Palmeri snapped back.

The briefing was just meant to help give context to the press for how we are thinking about the race and how summer is likely to go. Never intended for it to be newsmaking event. We thought it would be helpful and you turned it into another hit piece on how our campaign interacts with the press. Seemed like a cheap shot. And odd coming from you.

Harwood tried to explain his momentary lapse in a subsequent email.

I don’t take cheap shots at Hillary Clinton or anybody else. But this wasn’t a shot of any kind. It was humor. I was poking fun at a campaign ritual. I didn’t expect big news either.

Did you notice I didn’t ask a single question in the briefing? I don’t really care where her announcement will take or whether Charlotte will be onstage or when she’ll take her vacation or how many rallies she’ll have.

I knew that the stuff I care about – most importantly what she plans to do on the economy – was not going to yield answers now. You’ve told me that and I believe you.

I just thought it was funny to go through the ground rules jazz and have all these reporters firing questions and scribbling notes with Fox live truck parked outside with few definitive answers about anything.

Did it matter? No.

Have you heard me complaining on any media about how Hillary is campaigning or interacting with the press? No.

Do I participate in the whole Politico-style meme/narrative bullshit conversation along these lines? No. But when my bosses asked me to write what I learned, humor seemed more honest and appropriate than anything else.

The value of the event, to me, was seeing you guys.

The fact that this groveling brown-noser was chosen to be one of the moderators of a GOP primary debate is nothing short of a disgrace. The debate — which aired on October 28, 2015 —  is widely regarded as the most ridiculously biased debate of the 2016 primary season.

Here is an example of Harwood taking a definite “cheap shot” at Trump:

The obvious bias of the moderators inspired Ted Cruz to hammer them with this memorable broadside:

Fast-forward a couple of months,  and the Clinton camp seemed to consider Harwood to be an annoying nuisance who wouldn’t stop bothering them with repeated requests for Clinton to appear on his low-rated web-interview show:

“John, we cannot make Speakeasy work next week. If you can do an economically focused interview on MSNBC we can make that work, but can’t do  Speakeasy or CNBC next week due to our intense schedule,” Deputy Communications Director Kristina Schake wrote to Harwood on January 15, 2016.

Harwood went over her head and complained to her boss Podesta: “This is incredibly disappointing,” Harwood griped.  “If you can help make it work the following week I’d really appreciate it.”

Podesta emailed Schake asking for the background on the matter.

“Jen asked me to handle because he was bothering her so much,” she wrote back.

We don’t want us to do Speakeasy (his web interview show) right now because the audience is too small. We offered John an interview with him on MSNBC since he also works for them, but he declined. He only wants Speakeasy, and then CNBC.

Talked to Jen and we don’t have time for those right now because they aren’t our targets because the reach is too small. He is hounding me to get an interview but I can’t make it work when we are trying to get bigger interviews on the schedule.

Harwood remains to this day one of Queen Hillary’s most loyal lapdogs.