The pro-Clinton public relations efforts that the mainstream media backs undermine efforts to resist to Donald Trump and hinder the Democratic Party’s ability to recoup its losses. Nothing helps Trump and Republicans more than treating the Clintons as spokespersons for the Democratic Party, yet this is what the mainstream media enables in their uncritical reporting of every public appearance or tweet made by Hillary Clinton. Chelsea and Bill Clinton also receive similar celebrity-esque coverage.
On July 5, Hillary Clinton tweeted back at the GOP, which pointed out that she admitted Obamacare was flawed. Several news outlets, including the New York Daily News, Mic, Huffington Post, Newsweek, and Business Insider covered the tweet exchange, calling it an “epic tweet.” This type of pro-Clinton reporting is still widely employed by several mainstream media outlets. By doing so, they rehabilitate the Clinton’s brand by excusing her loss and rebuild the case for the Democratic Party to avoid reforms. For the last decade, the party’s structure has depended on her becoming president, and the party’s leadership and allies in the media don’t intend to amend this strategy.
On July 2, Hillary Clinton attended a Broadway show. Like other appearances she has made at shows since her loss to Donald Trump, including “Sunset Boulevard,” “In Transit” and “The Color Purple,” the audience gave her a standing ovation. It’s notable that she was not received in this manner during her campaign. Her few rallies were poorly attended, and she more often opted for lavish closed-door fundraisers with wealthy donors and celebrities. Outside these fundraisers, Hillary Clinton was met with resistance, from the young black woman who famously protested her $500-a-plate fundraiser inquiring about her 1990s use of the phrase “super-predator” to protests outside George Clooney’s fundraiser and white noise being blared out of a fundraiser in Colorado to prohibit reporters from hearing her speech. At Broadway shows, she is warmly received by the upper middle class and the mainstream media blasts out pro-Clinton coverage effectively serving as press releases.
The Huffington Post reported, “Theater goes nuts as Hillary Clinton appears in the audience.” Newsweek reported, “Hillary Clinton still receives popular vote…at NYC theater anyway.” The Hill posted a video of the audience cheering. Hello Giggles and Uproxx also reported her appearance in uncritical press release-like articles. The Washington Post reported the occasion and speculated whether her poll numbers would be better than Trump’s. The Post noted that Clinton’s popularity has decreased since the election.
Despite the Clintons‘ unpopularity on both the right and the left, the mainstream media and wealthy elites have eagerly jumped to rebuild the former first family’s image. On July 3, The Atlantic published an interview with Girls Who Code CEO and Founder Reshma Saujani framed around Hillary Clinton being her mentor.
The Clintons and their allies in the media are trying rehabilitate the Clinton brand to a point where a return to politics would be feasible. Even if the Clintons ultimately don’t entertain another run for office, the Clintons will likely be the hangover the Democratic Party will suffer from for years to come.