A group of journalists from several major news outlets reportedly got together on Monday to discuss what they might do to convince Hillary Clinton to finally step out from behind her ever present phalanx of aides and actually take questions.
Reporters from such news organizations as The New York Times, Politico, The L.A. Times, Time, The Washington Post, McClatchy, and others met at the L.A. Times/Tribune offices in Washington to commiserate with each other over the stonewalling they are receiving at the hands of Mrs. Clinton and her campaign.
Clinton has been avoiding questions since before she announced her run for president, and her distance from the press has only grown since the blockbuster book Clinton Cash caused a firestorm of criticism over the shady financial dealings of her and her husband’s charity, the Clinton Foundation.
According to the Huffington Post, the group was upset at the lack of adequate notice about campaign events, confusion over when events are open to the press or open only to Hillary supporters, and other issues connected with Hillary’s lack of allowing the press access.
The 17 members of the press present also complained that Hillary had refused to offer clear rules as to whether or not fundraisers were open to the press.
In another case, the journalists were upset that Hillary refused to allow them to use direct quotes from either her or her aides in a recent briefing. Reporters were told that the whole event was off the record, even when the event offered little else but campaign boiler plate.
Yet another topic was how the Clinton campaign treats pool reporters who are chosen to cover events when the whole of the press corps can’t ft into a venue. Some have felt that Clinton treats pool reporters like “second class journalists.”
Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill told the Huffington Post that the Clinton campaign is dedicated to making journalists “happy.”
“I’d say two things,” Merrill said. “First, we want a happy press corps as much as the press corps does. Not in an effort to obtain favorable coverage, but because we’re decent humans who want people to be able to plan their lives. It’s a long campaign, and we are going to do our best to find equilibrium. Griping on background is not a constructive solution though, and I can’t help but point out the irony here.”
Early in May, Hillary hadn’t taken questions in over a month, and even when she did she took only a few and gave reporters little of substance.
Hillary’s reticence for taking questions has also become a campaign issue for GOP hopeful Carly Fiorina, who has used Hillary’s closed mouth to attack the former Secretary of State’s commitment to transparency.
“Hillary Clinton has demonstrated over and over she is not transparent. Her leadership as secretary of state has placed us in grave danger around the world,” Fiorina said this week.
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