After 20 years of activist journalism at ABC, it was announced on Thursday that Cynthia McFadden is leaving the network for NBC. The Nightline co-anchor fawned over many Democratic politicians, but shows a particular affinity for Hillary Clinton.
Over the decades, McFadden has compared Clinton to Thomas Jefferson and praised her as a "rock star." On another occasion, she worried about the toll the 2008 campaign took on the Democrat: "There's never a night, when you go back to whatever hotel room, whatever city you're in that night, and crawl in a ball and say...this just hurts too much?'" With a 2016 candidacy looming, it's time to count down the top five worst examples of McFadden gushing over Clinton.
#5 Is Campaigning Too Hard?
Hillary Clinton: “You know, I don’t really care about any of the hits that people make on me. It’s, that’s fine. I can’t control it. They can say whatever they want.”
Correspondent Cynthia McFadden: “There’s never a night, when you go back to whatever hotel room, whatever city you’re in that night, and crawl in a ball and say, ‘I just, this just hurts too much?’”
— ABC’s Cynthia McFadden interviewing Hillary Clinton on Nightline, December 19, 2007.
#4 Tough Questions for Hillary
“Do you actually like campaigning?...I mean, people literally want to shake your hand....I asked the Senator if she’s better in person than on television. She says it’s what everybody tells her....You must scratch your head sometimes, though. I mean, either you’re too liberal, you’re not liberal enough....If you could pick an adjective that you hope people would use to describe you, what would it be?”
— Some of ABC Nightline co-anchor Cynthia McFadden’s questions to Hillary Clinton, from a September 7, 2006 profile in which McFadden spent a full day with Clinton.
#3 Just Like Jefferson!
“If, in the course of the next couple years it appears, as it does appear right now, that you might be the person who could actually break through that glass ceiling and become the first female president of this country, would you feel a certain obligation to seize that mantle?...As Jefferson looks over our shoulder, who I would only point out was Secretary of State who went on to become president."
— Co-anchor Cynthia McFadden to Hillary Clinton in an interview shown on ABC’s Nightline, January 29, 2013.
#2 Hillary Prefers 'Intimate Settings' and 'Soft Voices'
“[Hillary] Clinton relishes the chance to talk concretely about the real problems in real people’s lives....Clinton is greeted like a rock star by patrons at the Bob Evans restaurant...Unlike the stadium events where Barack Obama thrives, Clinton seems to prefer smaller, more intimate settings where her voice is softer and her message more personal....Senator Clinton was in her element, comfortable, she says, as head of the class, but not head of the pack.”
— ABC’s Cynthia McFadden on Nightline, February 28, 2008.
#1 Hollywood Hillary's 'Candlelight' Dinner With Bill
"As these things go, it was an almost a pitch-perfect day of campaigning. A Hollywood director could not have done better. Even the sunset obliged. And we couldn't help but think that maybe 'stay tuned' was a pretty good signoff for this day, after all...A final thought, a moment not caught on camera, by chance, we ended up in the same restaurant for dinner as the Clintons. They were down in the restaurant's garden, alone in the candlelight, a man who had been president and a woman who says she hasn't yet decided if she wants to be, eating dinner and laughing."
– ABC's Cynthia McFadden on the September 7, 2006 Nightline, recounting a day of following Hillary Clinton to various media events.