Hillary Clinton

Journalists Described Hillary Clinton's Speech as 'Muscular'—Because Her Team Blackmailed Them

How can we believe that the media is fairly covering the Clinton campaign?

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Clinton
MSNBC

When Hillary Clinton's public relations team says, "jump," the media asks, "how high?"

That's the undeniable takeaway from this Gawker piece, which proves beyond any doubt that at least one prominent journalist—and probably more—traded favorable coverage for early access to Clinton's speeches. They even allowed a Clinton staffer to dictate exactly what would appear in the finished articles.

In 2009, Marc Ambinder, formerly a contributing editor of The Atlantic, emailed Clinton spokesperson Philippe Reines for an advance copy of the speech the then-secretary of state planned to make at a Council on Foreign Relations event. Reines emailed back with a few conditions: Ambinder had to describe the speech as "muscular," and he had to take a dismissive view of the seating positions of some of her rivals. Reines also wrote: "Don't say you were blackmailed!"

Ambinder emailed back "got it." He complied fully. Here was the first paragraph of his article about the speech (emphasis Gawker's):

When you think of President Obama's foreign policy, think of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. That's the message behind a muscular speech that Clinton is set to deliver today to the Council on Foreign Relations. The staging gives a clue to its purpose: seated in front of Clinton, subordinate to Clinton, in the first row, will be three potentially rival power centers: envoys Richard Holbrooke and George Mitchell, and National Security Council senior director Dennis Ross.

Gawker notes that POLITICO's Mike Allen also used the word "muscular," and is known to have promised favorable coverage of Chelsea Clinton.

Ambinder, who is now editor-at-large of The Week, defended himself weakly before finally admitting, "It made me uncomfortable then, and it makes me uncomfortable today." That's putting the matter too mildly—it should make him feel deeply ashamed. Mere discomfort is not enough for someone who knowingly and brazenly compromised his ethical obligations as a journalist.

Opinion writers are entitled to have biases, but there's a fundamental difference between writing a pro-Clinton piece and writing a piece that was literally dictated by Clinton's staff. A journalist who does the latter isn't even a journalist: he's a propagandist masquerading as a legitimate news source.

I wonder how many other writers with broken ethical compasses are shilling for Clinton—under the guise of actual journalism—even as we speak.

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  1. I wonder how many other writers with broken ethical compasses are shilling for Clinton?under the guise of actual journalism?even as we speak.

    You mean besides every reason writer?

    1. You can’t pay your rent in DC without $hill bucks.

    2. Libertarians don’t have an ethical compass to start with.

      1. I have one. It points towards fun.

          1. “Oh, Frank, seriously, I have such a raging clue right now, I think we better follow it.”

            1. And I would’ve gotten away with it if it weren’t for those meddling boners!

            2. “Oh, God, I shot clue goo all over the place!”

    3. Wait, now I’m confused. I thought they were feeling the Bern? Which is it?

      I can’t keep track of who this den of COZMOZ is shilling for.

    4. If Reason is shilling for Hillary, those Koch brothers are even more evil than the Left paints them.

    5. Greg Sargeant. He’s a big, big, big, YUGE Hillary Shill

    6. How could that possibly said of the writer of this piece?

  2. I, for one, am shocked, shocked, that the Hillary campaign and members of the media are acting unethically and in collaboration!

    1. Your winnings sir.

      1. well played

    2. I wouldn’t call it blackmail–blackmail implies that Ambinder didn’t actually want to write the article as scripted to him and the Clinton machine threatened to hurt him somehow if he didn’t. It was more like quid pro quo from a media hack.

  3. When I think of Hillary Clinton, I definitely think about muscle over here.

    1. She can crimp a schedule 40 lead pipe with her kegels.

      1. So her queefs are quite muscular

  4. Why wouldHow can we believe that the media is fairly covering the Clinton campaign?

    FTFY

  5. I wonder how many other writers with broken ethical compasses are shilling for Clinton?under the guise of actual journalism?even as we speak.

    Most of them?

  6. Well, it’s a bit of a dilemma for the media. If they don’t have access, they aren’t competitive. If they aren’t competitive, they don’t have a gig.

    But realistically, this situation is as damning to the “free market” in general as it is to the media specifically. If your competitors are profiting from unethical behavior, you’re pretty much forced to behave likewise or be forced our of business. Who’s in a position to challenge the unethical behavior? And what are their incentives for doing so?

    1. “Who’s in a position to challenge the unethical behavior?”

      Gawker.

      And if fuckin’ Gawker can do it, I think others are capable too.

      1. How fucking pathetic is it that Gawker seems to be the only left-wing site to call out Hillary on this bullshit and actually hold her feet to the fire on anything?

        1. is Gawker a Bernie-supporting site?

          /conspiracy……or not.

          If Gawker is doing it on principle, then that’s great.

          1. Hamilton Nolan and a lot of the Gawker editors are Marxists. They are attacking Hillary purely for political reasons, which is pretty much why they do anything.

    2. But realistically, this situation is as damning to the “free market” in general as it is to the media specifically. If your competitors are profiting from unethical behavior, you’re pretty much forced to behave likewise or be forced our of business. Who’s in a position to challenge the unethical behavior? And what are their incentives for doing so?

      If there is so little demand for “ethical behavior” that you’re “forced out of the market” then the whole media is just Kabuki theater since the “election” is going to be a sham. And if you’re “forced to behave likewise”, then you weren’t really ethical to begin with…

      Honestly, what you’re saying makes about as much sense as saying that no statutory minimum wage means “a race to the bottom”.

      1. Making sense is not this person’s strong suit.

  7. You know who else published propaganda disguised as legitimate news?

    1. Captain Planet?

    2. Chris Mortensen?

      1. I would never wish throat cancer on anothet human being. Then I heard Mortenson had it and I thought, “Wishes do come true.”

      2. Chris Matthews?

    3. Dan Rather?

    4. U2. The correct answer is U2.

      1. Exactly. Beat me to it.

    5. Peter Jennings?

    6. Walter Cronkite?

    7. Huey Lewis?

  8. Speaking of Hill-press, MSNBC flailing for Hillary:

    http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/ber…..g-retreats

    Note considerable collateral damage in hit-piece by clumsily staining whole DSCC. The potential to mint new enemies and lose another narrative with this is stupid and short-sighted. Definitely a Shrillary plant.

    1. “During his 10 years on the Senate, Bernie Sanders has been a regular presence at luxurious Democratic fundraising retreats, according to more than a half-dozen lobbyists, donors and former Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee staff members with whom he attended the events.”

      Look, no old guy can turn down a prime rib special. Especially when it’s free prime rib

      1. I picture Bernie as the guy stuffing dinner rolls in his pockets for later when he thinks no one is looking.

      2. I bet he complains about it even if it’s free.

        1. Taunted by the little Goldman Sachs monogram stamped into each little roll as it goes down the hatch.

    2. I’m almost getting to the point where I’m actually rooting for Sanders. Say what you will about him, he believes his pants go on his head.

  9. It makes me uncomfortable too, Marc.

  10. Hmm…if a media organization actively coordinates with a campaign, are their articles then considered in-kind contributions? I realize that the specific example here happened back in 2009 before the campaign started, but it seems extremely unlikely that the same thing isn’t happening now.

    1. This is why current missing/hidden email scandal is still so much better than alternative – for so many interested parties.

    2. I don’t know if it’s considered in-kind contributions, but it’s hard to call it “blackmail” when the media organization willingly goes along with it. If The Atlantic really wanted a good story, they could have said to hell with the boring old CFR speech and run with the attempted blackmail story. (Not that it would have implicated Her Hillaryness, it would have been just some junior staffer making a poor decision/misunderstood attempt at humor whom Comrade Hillary would be sadly disappointed in if she had only known.)

    3. This is why Citizen’s United must be overturned. We can’t have wealthy private donors outbidding politicians for journalists’ services.

  11. Another teacher having sex with a student. She looks pretty haggard for 37.

    http://nbc4i.com/2016/02/09/li…..-year-old/

    1. Girls don’t get much sleep in Licking County ?

      1. It’s all that meth.

    2. Burnt tears and mascara at a life thrown away are low-point for anyone in looks department.

      Glue eyebrows back on, clean her up, pep-talk and twelve pack of Natty Lite later should be good to go.

      1. Did Crusty Juggler hijack your account?

    3. I live here in Licking County and that’s what we call a Newark Barbie (the county seat is Newark… not Barbie.)

  12. Muscular Christianity anyone?

    http://bit.ly/1PjFLGR

    1. I thought that was called Straight Edge.

  13. In 2009, Marc Ambinder, formerly a contributing editor of The Atlantic, emailed Clinton spokesperson Philippe Reines for an advance copy of the speech the then-secretary of state planned to make at a Council on Foreign Relations event. Reines emailed back with a few conditions: Ambinder had to describe the speech as “muscular,” and he had to take a dismissive view of the seating positions of some of her rivals. Reines also wrote: “Don’t say you were blackmailed!”

    Ambinder emailed back “got it.” He complied fully. Here was the first paragraph of his article about the speech (emphasis Gawker’s):

    Whooooooaaaaah.

    1. The system is rigged! To borrow a term from a certain Native named Elizabeth.

  14. OT: SCOTUS blocks Obama’s EPA clean power regulations

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday delivered a major blow to President Barack Obama by blocking federal regulations to curb carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, the centerpiece of his administration’s strategy to combat climate change.

    On a 5-4 vote, the court granted a request made by 27 states and various companies and business groups to block the administration’s Clean Power Plan. The move means the regulations will not be in effect while litigation continues over their legality.

    A U.S. appeals court in Washington had turned away a similar request on Jan. 21.

    1. I’m really not looking forward to having to hearing lefty-types bitch about this for the next, oh, forever.

      1. P.S. what’s the over/under on how long it takes until some outlet runs a headline describing this as “the Citizens United of Climate Change”?

    2. The fact that the ambitious carbon control plan had been developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency may well have contributed to skepticism among some of the Justices about that agency’s arguments for avoiding a delay.

      The operators had accused the administration of trying to itself up as a national energy czar, managing the entire electric-generating economy from Washington. The states who challenged the plan contended that the overall plan amounted to a serious intrusion into their right as sovereign powers over industry inside their borders.

      While the five orders contained no explanation for the postponement, it seemed apparent that five Justices ? the minimum number needed to take such action ? found the challengers’ protests more convincing at this stage than the government’s attempt at giving assurances.

      Only the votes of the four dissenting Justices were revealed in the orders ? Stephen G. Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. That lineup meant, then, that the order had the approval of Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justices Samuel A. Alito, Jr., Anthony M. Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. (They were not mentioned in the orders, but the orders had to have their support.)

      1. HuffPo sucks ass.

  15. When you think of President Obama’s foreign policy, think of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. That’s the message behind a muscular speech that Clinton is set to deliver today to the Council on Foreign Relations. The staging gives a clue to its purpose: seated in front of Clinton, subordinate to Clinton, in the first row, will be three potentially rival power centers: envoys Richard Holbrooke and George Mitchell, and National Security Council senior director Dennis Ross.

    Hmm, maybe I’m being to hard on Ambinder. He didn’t say “And I wasn’t blackmailed” in there. Maybe he is his own man.

    1. Ambinder, who is now editor-at-large of The Week, defended himself weakly before finally admitting, “It made me uncomfortable then, and it makes me uncomfortable today.”

      Man, this is really awful. Like 11 on the Richter scale awful.

      1. Paul, you do realize that this is probably massively widespread and has been going on for years if not decades, right? Like, this guy is just the first dipshit to really get caught and fail to sweep it under the rug?

        1. I’m guessing that the Reporters for Faux News reporting on Bush II kept that shit under tighter wraps if they did it because I’m guessing there would be demands for firing and long trenchant ethics reporting on NPR about it.

          I’m also not as cynical as you. I still assume when I read biased, favorable coverage about Hillary Clinton in the ‘lamestream’ media, that they didn’t have to do anything in return for it.

          1. You might want to get more cynical, Paul, if only for your sanity’s sake. I have a feeling a lot worse is coming down the pike very soon.

          2. I don’t even think they like her at this point

            1. What difference does it make?

      2. You know who else made themselves uncomfortable?

  16. The media is mostly controlled by elite members of the democrat socialist party. And most reporters are members of the democrat socialist party.

  17. Benghazi! Email server! Congressional hearings! Impeachment!

    1. Fake Scandals. Get with the pogrom.

      1. Not fake! The FBI will provide damning evidence of ‘indecent exposure in the presence of government intellectual property of a sensitive nature’ on the 18th hearing on the email server which is scheduled for July 2017. (My sources tell me – though in the interest of full disclosure I was required to use the word ‘damning’.)

        1. The phrase “too clever by half” was invented for people like you.

      2. UBS, Russian Uranium deal…

  18. This video is racist because had that been in actual track, the blacks guys still would have won.

    The Unequal Opportunity Race

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016…..tcmp=hpbt2

  19. Hey Reason!

    The mobile “swipe to switch articles” function sucks!

      1. He clearly meant to swype “fucking sucks.”

        1. Wouldn’t. Stopped using six months ago, never looked back.

          1. I love it, but I do a lot of texting and driving. Yeah, yeah, bring the hate, but I can do it without looking. And one handed.

            1. The trick is to have the phone above the steering wheel, like me. I also have 100% thumb muscle memory of the iPhone keyboard.

              /humble brag

              1. New Mexico penalizes texting and driving, sadly. It’s funny to look around at all of the drivers surreptitiously looking at their laps. Not so funny being stuck at a turn signal because the dipshit up front didn’t move in time.

                1. Not so funny being stuck at a turn signal because the dipshit up front didn’t move in time.

                  Um, honk. Also, I road tripped through White Sands last summer. Cool shit.

            2. That’s not texting.

      2. Don’t judge me.

  20. Did anybody actually think this type of behavior was not going on?

  21. OT, but I just got off the phone with the government, the CA Department of Industrial Relations.

    Widget: I recently completed work on public works project where I programmed some computers. I am the owner of the company and I did the all the work myself. I have no employees. The general contractor is asking me to provide certified payroll before releasing my payment. Am I required to do this?

    Government: I think so, but let me check.

    Time: 10 minutes pass.

    Government: Yes, you do.

    Widget: The certified payroll form is asking what my job classification is. Do you know the correct term for this?

    Government: No, you would have to look that up on our web site.

    Widget: I am looking at it right now. There is roofer, metal worker, pipe fitter, but no programmer.

    Government: Then you would have to call the issuing agency and ask them.

    Widget: I can do that, but I’m not sure why they would know.

    Time: 10 seconds of silence.

    Widget: The form also asks me for my contractors license. I don’t have a contractors licence. Is that required?

    Government: Yes.

    Widget: So what type of contractors license do I need to program a computer?

    Government: I don’t know, you will have to ask the issuing agency.

    Widget: The form also asks me for my Class-C drivers licence number. I don’t have a Class-C drivers license. Is that required.

    Government: Yes. No. I don’t know. You will have to ask the issuing agency that.

    Widget: OK, thanks.

    1. That’s reminiscent of a conversation I witnessed on a jobsite today.

      Inspector : The rise and run of the stairs are not to code. You’ll have to fix them.

      Contractor: OK, what are the correct specifications for them.

      Inspector: I won’t tell you that. It’s only my job to tell you that it’s wrong

    2. So it went relatively well then.

    3. I recently completed work on public works project

      Btw, your first mistake is here. Just saying.

      1. I do need to eat at least once a day. This was for a water district. I could sell my services, and have, to big pharma, big beer, and big oil. There’s not much difference.

        I have also tried small business manufactures. Meet four-fingered Fred who has a drawer full of 3.5 diskettes labelled “Latest Program”.

        1. Meet four-fingered Fred who has a drawer full of 3.5 diskettes labelled “Latest Program”.

          Stop going through my stuff.

        2. Small business also has wonderfully small budgets. (Take it from a creative director running a virtual agency on the side)

    4. You thanked him?!

      1. Without the slightest hint of irony or sarcasm. It stings more that way.

  22. This practice is fully excusable. The media is so oppositional to Democrats, as evidenced by their occasionally asking critical questions about Democratic policy, that Hillary’s people had to take understandable measures to ensure she gets a fair hearing. Because the media is in the pocket of the rich elites running the GOP.

  23. How was this shit head blackmailed? It looks to me like he readily agreed to give the app each positive coverage in return for seeing it early. That is not blackmail. That is corruption.

    1. Yeah, I’m not seeing blackmail either. Journalist in the pocket of Democratic politician. This is about the least shocking news of the day.

      1. Hey, man, it’s fine, after getting cornered about it years later he admits to being uncomfortable with it.

        1. He never actually apologized. And this after he was caught. He is a total hack shithead. What the hell is the matter with Robby that causes him to try and excuse it and pretend he is some kind of victim?

          1. it’s the journo version of the thin blue line. It exists in most professions.

      2. Hell, at least he got some material advantage out of being a court eunuch. That makes him smarter than most of his profession.

    2. Yeah, this seems more like collusion than blackmail.

    3. I agree, I don’t see any blackmail here, I see a couple of reporters who enthusiastically became part of the campaign.

      This is like those gangster movies where the mob lawyer can either remain ethical and provide his clients with a rigorous defense, or he starts getting involved in scores.

      Once he starts getting involved in scores, now he’s just another gangster and as such is no longer off-limits.

    4. The “blackmail bit comes from:
      Reines also wrote: “Don’t say you were blackmailed!”

      But, yeah, It’s clearly not blackmail.

      1. The “access” whining is what gets me. These elected positions are public posts; in theory, they work for us and the press is supposed to be our conduit.

  24. We’ve also got David Brock and Media Matters acting as part of the Clinton campaign, despite their 501(c)(3) status. I’m sure the IRS will be right on that….

    1. Media Matters is a defacto government agency. They were writing op-eds for the FCC chairman. And this is a group that thinks it speaks ‘truth to power’.

      1. This is how one “speaks to power”… is by WORSHIPPING power!

        Scienfoology Song? GAWD = Government Almighty’s Wrath Delivers

        Government loves me, This I know,
        For the Government tells me so,
        Little ones to GAWD belong,
        We are weak, but GAWD is strong!
        Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
        Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
        Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
        My Nannies tell me so!

        GAWD does love me, yes indeed,
        Keeps me safe, and gives me feed,
        Shelters me from bad drugs and weed,
        And gives me all that I might need!
        Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
        Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
        Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
        My Nannies tell me so!

        DEA, CIA, KGB,
        Our protectors, they will be,
        FBI, TSA, and FDA,
        With us, astride us, in every way!
        Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
        Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
        Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
        My Nannies tell me so!

    2. Apologies, the group was Free Press, not Media Matters.

      1. Same diff….

  25. When asked if the exchange was typical of the magazine’s reporting and editing process, a spokesperson for The Atlantic told Gawker: “No, this is not typical, and it goes against our standards.”

    …to get caught. Damn FOIA comes back around to bite us in the ass.

  26. Shows it’s impossible to say anything about Hillary that’s both complimentary & true.

  27. “Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.”
    — J Goebbels

  28. I am shocked. I’m not being sarcastic. I’m proud I can still be shocked. More people should be by this behavior.

    1. You’re proud to reveal yourself as hopelessly naive?

  29. gee, it’s almost as if the media is full of Democrat Party operatives!

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    All we need is a mobile or PC with a very good internet connection. There are many applications by which we can enjoy videos, our missed programs, live streaming etc.

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