NBC’s Chuck Todd is the latest lefty reporter to vent his frustration with the Clinton Coronation Project:
Journalists complaining about getting more access to political candidates is nothing new, but the escalating tensions between the press and the Clinton campaign expose what we think could end up looking like a big strategic blunder for the Democratic candidate. Clinton, staffed by plenty of White House alums, is essentially running as a presidential incumbent, except without a day job. By trying to play by the same set of rules that govern the White House press corps (background briefings, tightly regulated pool coverage, and very limited questions to the principal), Team Clinton is playing into the exact narrative they’ve pledged to avoid – appearing to hold a coronation, not a contest. If the media feels as if Clinton has the attitude that her campaign is above press accountability, the coverage is going to reflect that. And by the way, this isn’t just about playing nice with reporters and bringing donuts to the back of the campaign bus. It’s about treating the process with respect. [emphasis added]
That last line contains enough creamy, delicious schadenfreude to fill the insides of a million political Twinkies, coming as it does from the chief political correspondent of the network which may have done more than any other to delegitimize network TV news*.
Really then, Todd’s complaint is more personal; it’s that He Himself (and others like him) aren’t being given their due. These complaints aren’t about respect for some “process” which is largely a matter of customs which are no older than I am. These complaints are about the Big Name Stars not being given Their Access after carrying so much water for the Clintons going back a quarter of a century. Todd’s complaint, really, is that the other hand isn’t washing the one, that Hillary Clinton (who belongs in jail) isn’t scratching his back after he scratched hers.
If Todd and the rest of the Whiner Brigade were serious about getting access to Clinton, they’d ignore her in return. There’s no reason actual networks need to provide real coverage to a campaign and a candidate which are so clearly fake. So put the water down, stop scratching her back — and see how quickly Clinton comes around.
And even if she doesn’t, I’m damn certain that Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders would prove to be far more appreciative — and isn’t that what counts?
*On reflection, I’d give that honor to ABC for hiring George Stephanopoulos right out of the White House almost 20 years ago. But I’d say the NBC News/NBC TV/MSNBC continuum has done more than any other network to politicize TV network news, if you’ll allow me to split that hair.