Hillary Clinton thinks Democrats lack power in media. She envies the right’s alleged “long game” success at “really influenc[ing] the thinking of Americans.” This is a delusion far beyond what a public figure of her stature should be capable of conjuring.
Clinton’s assertion comes to us a courtesy of a new Hollywood Reporter interview set to promote Hulu’s forthcoming documentary, “Hillary.” Note that we’ve already encountered two ironies, in that Clinton is bemoaning the left’s lack of influence in media to a liberal publication, while promoting a hagiography from a liberal streaming outlet. (The documentary will premiere at Sundance, by the way.)
“How can the left combat Fox News?” wondered THR’s editor. Clinton answered a much broader question in response. “It’s really a shame that all the people who support progressive politics and policies haven’t understood that that’s exactly the right question to ask,” she began.
We do have some well-off people who support Democratic candidates, there’s no doubt about that, but they’ve never bought a TV station. They’ve never gobbled up radio stations. They’ve never created newspapers in local communities to put out propaganda. That’s all been done not just by Murdoch and Fox, but by Sinclair and by the Koch brothers and by so many others who have played a long game about how we really influence the thinking of Americans.
Fox News is powerful, no doubt, as is the Wall Street Journal. Conservatives (and genuine leftists) at scrappy new media outlets have had some real success undercutting the corporate media too.
But to really address Clinton’s point—which would be a waste of time had it not been made by a former secretary of state, first lady, and winner of the popular vote—we can actually set the issue of ownership aside. Whether or not TV and radio stations and local newspapers are owned by partisan Democrats (often they are), those outlets overwhelmingly favor Democrats and any suggestion otherwise is unthinkably stupid.
It’s especially stupid from a woman who won 57 of the top 100 newspapers’ endorsements while her Republican opponent won two. Among those 57 endorsements were plenty of local papers, in addition to the powerful, national heavyweights.
As Hulu and THR themselves are proof, the left’s support in media is not isolated to the political press. (See here, for just one example.) The media machine, operated largely by cultural progressives isolated in coastal enclaves, is liberal. That is a fact.
To be clear, the corporate media’s cultural progressivism is an ideology that benefits most Democratic politicians and causes, but not all of them, all of the time. While the mainstream media is far kinder to Bernie Sanders than to Ted Cruz, it’s less kind to Sanders than Clinton. (Or Elizabeth Warren, as CNN so capably demonstrated.) The corporate media machine promotes corporate interests. Kind of like Hillary Clinton.
Just one answer prior to Clinton’s bizarre lament about the media, she called President Trump’s exaggerations about the crowd size at his inauguration “delusional.” She also called them lies. And I think that’s the difference between them at this point. Trump may not actually believe all of his hyperbole. Clinton, however, seems increasingly convinced her own strange worldview is reality.
It’s sad, really, and something a person of her experience and intellect should be above. Advisors would be wise to remove sour grapes from Clinton’s diet as quickly as possible to avoid further embarrassment.