Last week, while doing some cardio at the gym, I looked up at the TV monitor to see CNN’s Rick Sanchez anchor a seemingly lengthy segment about how Republican Presidential contender John McCain handled someone describing New York’s junior Senator and Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton as a “bitch.” Given the attention Sanchez was devoting to the topic, I assumed a McCain aide had so described the former First Lady.
Only later would I learn this reporter was hyping the Arizona Senator’s failure to rebuke a woman who asked him “How do we beat the bitch?” I wonder if CNN has ever devoted as much time to a top Democrat’s failure to rebuke someone who asked a question using equally colorful language to describe the President of the United States.
I mean, they’re making an issue not something a Republican candidate said, not even something one of his staffers said, but of a question a voter asked.
Combined with Wolf Blitzer’s kid-glove treatment of Mrs. Clinton in the last Democratic presidential debate and the network’s booking two pro-Clinton “analysts” (Including one who has worked on her current campaign) to provide post-debate analysis, Sanchez’s hyping of the story is just another example of CNN showing unusual sensivity to Mrs. Clinton. No wonder some claim CNN stands for the Clinton News Network.
I would daresay I’m not the only one asking whether or not Rick Sanchez hyped this story at the behest of the Clinton campaign. After all, it would make it look like the former First Lady’s opponents were attacking her personally. Mrs. Clinton and her team label all criticism as personal attacks. Â It’s the crux of her strategy, discrediting her critics while making her appear sympathetic (you know, the one subject to such awful innuendo).
Perhaps, she recalls that she only recovered from her dismal polling numbers as First Lady (the highest negatives of any First Lady since pollsters started asking Americans their opinion of the president’s spouse) when the news broke that her husband was involved with a White House intern. People felt sorry for her. I guess she thinks gaining public sympathy is the key to higher approval.
Whatever the case, CNN has been made a mountain of a molehill. And while that network may try to shield Mrs. Clinton from tough questions at the same time that it provides favorable coverage of her campaign, new media will make it easier for others to criticize the network’s bias, criticism more difficult to level back when her husband was in office.
The more the Clintons try to spin, the more people will become aware of the spin. That, in turn, will continually remind people about the Clintons’ methods of media manipulation. And further cement Mrs. Clinton’s negatives.
Mrs. Clinton just can’t manipulate he media the way her husband did in his first campaign — and throughout his two terms in office. And it’s not just his personality. It’s also how the media has changed.
Kudos to John McCain for standing up to the media and refusing to apologize for someone else’s remark. It’s nice to see this one-time “media darling” take on the media. It’s a good sign that as president, he’ll show such fortitude in standing up to America’s adversaries.
And such fortitude is helping allay some of my doubts about the Arizona Senator’s presidential bid.