Hillary and the Media

In a piece for The New Republic released on Tuesday, Michael Crowley reports on the fear tactics employed by Hillary Clinton’s campaign team, particularly top communications strategist Howard Wolfson.

No political reporters were willing to go on the record for the piece, and one explained why: "They’re too smart. They’ll figure out who I am."

Said another: "They’re frightening! They don’t see [reporting] as a healthy part of the process. They view this as a ruthless kill-or-be killed game."

The story describes Sen. Clinton’s general contempt for the media, and the ruthless organization she has built to keep the press at bay.

Last week, at a forum at the Times building, Pat Healy, who covers Sen. Clinton for The Times, painted a similar picture of the Democratic frontrunner’s campaign. He said that Sen. Clinton had never forgiven him for his front-page story on the Clinton marriage last year, and added: "She cares a lot about everything — what’s on the blogs, what’s on page 1. She can be very critical."

Mr. Healy said that when he posts to the Times blog, he’ll get IMs from the campaign’s PR office demanding that words be changed. He also said that when the senator is displeased with a story, she’ll send out surrogates to act on her behalf. For instance, he said, he’ll get an early morning phone call from a person who used to be associated with the Clinton White House–and has no seeming connection now–objecting to certain things in a piece that ran that day.