Steve Roberts of U.S. News suggested a new method of dismissing the "conservative canard" of liberal bias on Sunday's Late Edition on CNN. "The two people in Washington who hate the political press the most are Bill and Hillary Clinton, which is a reflection of the fact that the coverage has been pretty tough on them."
But other than doing the cruel work of reciting her nine-point deficit in the latest poll, the press have hardly earned the hatred. Last week, all the networks publicized her staged CBS appearance on David Letterman's Late Show. "The very serious candidate for the New York Senate was funny," CBS's Diana Olick raved. No one asked the question: When is she going to do serious interviews with real journalists instead of sending out aides?
Hillary's Hate. Yesterday morning, Hillary agreed to a radio interview on Buffalo radio station WGR, and host Tom Bauerle asked: "Mrs. Clinton, you're going to hate me, you were on television last night talking about your relationship with the President, Bill Clinton. Have you ever been sexually unfaithful to him and specifically the stories about you and Vince Foster. Any truth in those?"
Hillary replied: "I do hate you for that, because you know, those questions I think are really out of bounds, and everybody who knows me knows the answers to those questions." When Bauerle asked, "Is the answer no," she answered: "Well yes, of course it's no, but it's an inappropriate question."
While ABC and NBC skipped the exchange last night, CBS got angry. Bob Schieffer complained the interview "underlines just how rough modern politics has become, says Washington Post media writer Howard Kurtz." Kurtz called the quiz "completely salacious, appalling, and shouldn't be part of what we call journalism." Schieffer testily concluded: "There is an old saying among reporters that there are no bad questions, just bad answers. But today even some veteran reporters are shaking their heads and wondering what will someone ask next?"
CBS ignored Bauerle asking Hillary if she used drugs, "rough politics" they tried out on George W. Bush. CBS didn't explore Hillary's own standards, such as her asking in 1992: "Why does the press shy away from investigating rumors about George Bush's extramarital life?"
Slumming with Sharpton. Then there's Hillary's Monday meeting with racist demagogue Al Sharpton, best known for falsely accusing white men of raping black teen Tawana Brawley, later exposed as a hoax. Sharpton has also been cozy with anti-Semitic blacks, and on Monday an associate ran down Jews while Hillary and Sharpton were in another room. CBS and NBC totally ignored the meeting. On CNN's Inside Politics, Maria Hinojosa gave it positive spin: "Mrs. Clinton even shared the stage with Reverend Al Sharpton, once the controversial outsider, now the consummate African-American insider."
On ABC Tuesday, Good Morning America co-host Charles Gibson interviewed Sharpton and former New York Mayor David Dinkins. He asked Dinkins: "You sit next to Reverend Sharpton, and I don't know whether he would accept the characterization of himself as somewhat controversial, but does she cost herself Jewish votes, white votes, by coming to meet with him?" If Steve Roberts were right, all the media would be asking that. - Tim Graham