Accuracy in Media

Yahoo calls it “The Hillary Book That’s ‘Going to Piss Off’ Both Sides,” but a new book by Amy Chozick, a reporter for the New York Times, and the various reviews of it, show how disconnected the mainstream media remains from what happened in 2016.

The title itself: “Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns and one Intact Glass Ceiling,” shows where Chozick went with a large portion of the book apparently – to casting the men around Hillary Clinton as largely responsible for her undoing in the 2016 presidential election.

“They were never going to let me be president,” she quotes the candidate as saying when Robby Mook, her campaign manager, informed her she had lost the race.

This is a book – and these are reviews – that seriously make the case Donald Trump was elected president because of the help he received from the press, particularly the New York Times.

“There was a wide feeling among Hillary supporters both during and after the election that the Times – and the broader media ecosystem – played a role in Donald Trump’s upset win,” Yahoo’s Rachel Combe wrote. “Hillary-ites and some media watchers protested that the Times gave too many column inches to ‘scandals’ like Hillary using a private email address at the State Department, and failed properly to investigate Trump’s Russia ties, business dealings and sexual-assault allegations.”

Chozick, the Yahoo story states, “wrote her book with these criticisms in mind, attempting to offer a mea culpa wherever she thought one was due.”

Mea culpas included regrets over a story she did about “Clinton press flacks escorting her to the bathroom at the Clinton Global Initiative” and the paper’s mining of the Wikileaks emails “which, after all, had been stolen by a foreign adversary,” to produce stories about division in the Democratic Party, Chelsea Clinton’s takeover of the Clinton Foundation, and fundraising.

She also thought the coverage of campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails “turned journalists into ‘puppets’ of Russian President Vladimir Putin,” according to Carlos Lozado’s review of Chozick’s book in the Washington Post.

It wasn’t just the Times’ decision – Chozick produced six stories off the emails, along with lots of regret.

“Like, oh s–t,” she wrote. “I did the thing that a hostile government wanted me to do. If Hillary lost, you wanted her to lose because of mistakes she made or because of voters’ whims. You didn’t want any candidate to lose because of a hostile government interfering in an election.”

But make no mistake, Chozick did not want Hillary to lose. At the first Hillary rally she covered, she stood and applauded with the crowd until a fellow reporter said, “What the hell are you doing?” She admitted she cried when she filed her story on Hillary losing.

She craved attention from Clinton and became frustrated when the candidate would push past the almost-all-female gaggle of reporters covering her to talk to Ed Henry or other attractive men with whom Chozick said Hillary liked to flirt.

“I still wanted, more than anything, for Hillary to see me as a fair reporter,” Chozick wrote in the book. “She really, really hates me,” she tells her husband on the phone from Iowa. “The less I interacted with Hillary, the greater her imperial hold on my brain became.”

Also in the book, she writes, “Ours was destined to be an impossible, tortured, and unrelentingly tense relationship weighed down by old grudges and fresh grievances. To Hillary, I was a big ego with no brain and no amount of cordial small talk could make up for the bad blood between her world and mine.”

Looking back, Chozick says the “unifying force” behind Clinton’s candidacy was “to get the whole thing over with” and that her “only clear vision of the presidency seemed to be herself in it.”

Hillary had “berated our pea-size political brains for being uninterested in policy. Now, Trump had made her as devoid of substance as he was.”

So, he was devoid of substance, but Clinton just wanted to get the whole thing over with, and her only vision of the presidency was her in it.

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