On Sunday, one mainstream media reporter accused Hillary Clinton’s campaign of feeding talking points to handpicked reporters that will later congeal into favorable conventional wisdom about her campaign.
On CNN’s Reliable Sources, Hunter Walker, the Business Insider politics editor who broke the story about Clinton’s weekend announcement and did not attend any of the off-the-record dinners that Clinton’s advisers hosted, said he does not report from D.C. and, “I feel like that kind of keeps me away from some of the group think you can get when you’re sitting in a group being fed talking points and sort of agreeing on them over pasta.”
Clinton’s advisers reportedly wined and dined mainstream media elites in Washington, D.C. and New York on Thursday and Friday ahead of her Sunday campaign announcement.
“I do think in my experience that there’s a lot of reporters who communicate in packs,” Walker said. “People in America wonder why this conventional wisdom seems to be echoed so much. And it’s true the campaign has messaging that gets out there. And then reporters communicate amongst themselves and there does tend to be some agreement and you don’t really want to break with that.”
Walker was responding to Politico reporter Glenn Thrush, who attended both events and claimed reporters were not handpicked and stories about the dinners were overblown.
“I would totally reject the notion this was not a group of handpicked people meeting with the campaign,” Walker said. “I mean, it was a group of handpicked people meeting with the campaign.”
Host Brian Stelter pointed out that “at the moment he broke the news” about Clinton’s weekend announcement on Thursday evening, “a lot of Hunter’s rivals on the Hillary beat were at an off-the-record dinner party with Clinton staffers in D.C.”