A few months ago, I happened to run across a blog written by Noel Sheppard of NewsBusters.org. It concerned a reporter from ABC News and her cozy relationship with Hillary Clinton.
Kate Snow was assigned to follow Clinton during the Democratic primary in New Hampshire. And, as reporters often do on the campaign trail, she began to develop a friendly relationship with the presidential candidate, one that developed into a growing admiration of the ambitious Senator from New York.
Sheppard wrote an article about Snow that alarmed me. In it, he describes Snow’s depiction of Clinton on CNN’s Reliable Sources news program as nothing more than a campaign appearance for the candidate.
Here are some of Kate Snow’s words from her television appearance after the Hillary Clinton “crying episode” in New Hampshire:
Kate Snow: “Not only did I think it was a big moment, Howie, I was actually sitting down at that moment that she, her voice sort of choked at one moment, and I shot up out of my seat, because, in the room, when you were that close to her, you could feel it. You could feel that there was something that had clicked off. That something had changed. And she was showing true emotion.”
“So, for all of the pundits out there who weren't in the room who have been speculating about maybe it was fake, maybe she was pretending to cry and choke up, I was in the room. That was not pretend. I mean, she, there was a real emotion that was starting to come out. So, it did catch all of us. And, I looked over at Pat Healy, Patrick Healy, who's a reporter for the New York Times, and the two of us immediately exchanged glances like, "Oh my gosh, are you hearing this? This is something that we're witnessing." Because, normally, Hillary Clinton, I think anyone would tell you, she stops herself if she starts to feel, you know, she starts to show a little emotion, she'll sort of do that thing that women do where we stop ourselves from crying. You know, you sort of back off a little bit. And she didn't do that. She, she went with it. She allowed some of her feelings to show in a way that she hasn't before.”
Hillary Clinton may have been very sincere and completely geniune during this emotional moment. But, in the description above, is Kate Snow a fan or a reporter in telling us what ocurred?
Kate added to her description during the program: “They will tell you, people that are close to her will tell you that this is the real Hillary Clinton. That she often, she often keeps to herself, she often doesn't show publicly, but she let it show.”
The next question is pretty obvious: HOW DOES KATE KNOW THIS? Is she simply repeating what the Clinton campaign told her?
Not enough to convince you that she's drinking the Arkansas cool-aid? Kate Snow from the same TV appearance:
“I was just going to say, what you're talking about right now, is almost precisely what Bill Clinton has been saying, particularly in the last few days on talk radio. He's been bringing this up again and again. He thinks the press is giving essentially a free ride to Barack Obama. He thinks that we haven't been scrutinizing his record, particularly when it comes to some of the statements he's made about Iraq and the Iraq war. Bill Clinton has been saying, you know, until he's blue in the face that we're not looking hard enough for inconsistencies in statements that Barack Obama has made.”
As a very young man of 31, George Stephanopoulos got his first big start when he was hand picked by Bill Clinton to be the de-facto Press Secretary in 1992 (even though the official title belonged to Dee Dee Myers). He was promoted to Senior Advisor on Policy and Strategy and spent the next four years building up his resume as a capable Clinton stalwart. Along with ABC commentator Donna Brazile, who helped elect Clinton, Stephanopoulos served proudly in those early years before the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Does George feel any loyalty to the Clintons for helping him develop his career as anchor of his own national news program, This Week with George Stephanopoulos? Is it not human for George to, at the very least, treat Hillary’s impossible attempt to make it back to the White House with some degree of fondness? Was that fondness and loyalty on display during the debate in Pennsylvania when Senator Barack Obama was peppered with 30 minutes of useless questions having nothing to do with policy?
Let’s take another look at some of the half hour volley of questions posed by Stephanopoulos and ABC to Obama during this debate:
“Senator Obama, I have a question, and I want to know if you believe in the American flag. I am not questioning your patriotism, but all our servicemen, policemen and EMS wear the flag. I want to know why you don't.”