Saturday, April 21, 2018

They were never going to cover Hillary's plans

I have no intention of buying or reading Amy Chozick's account of her 10 years following Hillary Clinton. I have my own 10 years archived here. The excerpt in yesterday's New York Times provides an interesting insight, for what that is worth, to how the campaign was covered in the media.

While it is perhaps laudable that Chozick takes some responsibility for the effect of reportage on the election outcome, she seems to have missed the most important fault. Emphasis below is mine. From the article:
They were never going to let me be president.”
She did a whole riff on making lists. “I have a plan for just about everything,” she said. “You know, maybe this is a woman thing. We make lists, right? I love making lists. And then I love crossing things off!”
And they were The Times and me and all the other journalists who covered those stolen emails.
It was not only eternally and ever the emails or the failure to ascribe importance to the source (Wikileaks) of the leaked DNC and Podesta emails. It was the abdication of the primary duty of a campaign reporter: to inform the public of the plans.

Yes, Hillary did have a plan for just about everything. They were good plans. Unfortunately, like blueprints, plans are not especially sexy or exciting. That those plans got shunted off into dusty corners of office cubicles (Amy's and others') is, I would argue, the single most significant failure of reportage in the campaign.

As mea culpas go, meh. More a Greek apologia. Chozick writes, "She went through the motions." No! She did the homework! You dropped the ball. The ball was those plans.

Hillary Clinton, flanked by Bill Clinton, left, and Tim Kaine, giving her concession speech in Manhattan the day after Election Day in 2016. Credit Ruth Fremson/The New York Times.