Problems with the Coverage of "Hillary's Hit List"
President Obama later admitted that he pleaded with Hillary to stay on after 2012. That must have frosted the bananas of alleged political Judas #1, John Kerry, who had coveted the Secretary of State job since 2008. And now we have none other than Senator Claire McCaskill offering a very early endorsement of the woman she had rejected five years earlier. The Clinton brand isn't over just yet, apparently.
It is comical to note how Secretary Clinton has remained above the fray amidst the gyrations of those she supposedly wants to "hit." But by all means, let's keep touting her 'vengeful nature' in order to distract from the causes she champions. Let's keep truncating and misrepresenting her actual words in order to bash her.
There is also a dishonest meme in Conservative circles that Hillary Clinton receives glowing press coverage designed to set her up for a Presidential win in 2016. Nothing could be further from the truth, as evidenced by the very "Hillary Hit List "article from a liberal publication that Conservatives are now using to bash her.
The positive coverage Clinton received came in the latter half of 2012, when Democrats and President Obama's journalist/pundit fans were working to get him re-elected by trumpeting the “War on Women.” Beleaguered by a bad economy and persistent high unemployment, President Obama's prospects for a second term were in doubt. He desperately needed the votes of women to close the deal. Therefore, said media operatives were not going to run the risk of angering 51% of the electorate since Hillary Clinton was, by far, the most popular person in Obama’s cabinet and had been voted America’s most admired woman for 18 out of the last 21 years. The usual suspects did not dare to insult her, fearing a backlash from the very voters they were working to woo on President Obama’s behalf.
Now that we are all looking to 2016, however, and the buzz about a prospective Clinton candidacy gets louder by the day, the tone has changed. In 2013, we had The New Yorker’s Amy Davidson (hardly a bastion of right wing thinking), complaining 'aren’t we done with the Clinton’s' and what is Hillary going to do with her hair? Liberal-leaning media is just as dishonest about their past Hillary coverage, maintaining they showed no sexist bias against her.
Secretary Clinton, silent about her political future, gets endless advice from pundits on how to "correct her course," on her must-do 2016 platform and how she must update her "look" in order to be acceptable. Do they have any idea what her policy platform will be, should she run? No. So what needs correcting? Then again, most spin-meisters didn't pay attention to her detailed policy prescriptions last time, with The New York Times and reporters like Carl Bernstein focusing instead on her ankles and "cackle."
Former Clinton campaign adviser Peter Daou just offered a helpful 10-point list of the stereotyped, lazy attacks that are already being leveled, in which the implications of the "Hillary Hit List" meme fit comfortably, portraying her as conniving, disingenuous, and overly ambitious (who in the heck running for president is not ambitious?). Another attack is that she "represents the past." An ageist dog whistle to be sure. These negative characterizations are designed to focus on appearance, not accomplishment. Personality, not policy.
The "Hillary hit list" allegations are convenient in distracting from an opposing politician's real problems. There is a feeding frenzy by a corporate owned media to define this woman, continuing our negative brainwashing against her. Since the bulk of them were in favor of the election of both Presidents Bush and Obama, their negativity toward Hillary Clinton makes me suspicious, and renders her that much more appealing.
Anita Finlay is the author of Dirty Words on Clean Skin, a shocking exposé deconstructing the biased media coverage that derailed Hillary's 2008 campaign and the sexism still plaguing women who dare to lead. Available in print and Kindle editions on Amazon. #1 on Women in Politics books for 16 weeks.
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