Media Attacks Hillary Clinton’s Press Shop For Being A Press Shop
It’s hard out here for a reporter, believe you me. The democratization of media has been accompanied by political campaigns and press offices that are more defensive than a bartender at a Bill Cosby party. The result has been a move toward ever-increasing message control, and in particular, an over-reliance on “background” briefings and attributions. To hear reporters tell it this week, though, you would think that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign invented completely unnecessary anonymity for barely-useful boilerplate.
First, there was CNBC’s John Harwood with his cranky reporting on a Clinton campaign briefing last week that came with the added stipulation that none of the anonymous campaign officials be quoted directly, and with the added bonus of campaign officials who had little to say that was worth quoting. Ordinarily, a “background briefing” means you can quote the briefers directly, but must use the agreed-upon attribution. The briefing Harwood described doesn’t seem like it was worth attending except to complain about it. which makes you wonder why anyone would go to it. Stick a pin in that for now.