CNN’s Paul Begala Asked State Dept. for Talking Points on Hillary Clinton’s ‘Performance’ As Sec. of State

Gage Skidmore/Flickr
Gage Skidmore/Flickr

The latest Hillary Clinton email data dump shows that CNN’s Paul Begala wanted to be properly programmed by the Dept. of State and asked for talking points on Hillary’s successes as Secretary of State. The talking points were then parlayed into an “A+” rating for Hillary on CNN’s “report card” segment.

As the media and other interested parties comb through the latest email data dump, many Old Media types are saying that there is nothing to see in them. But several emails from CNN “news analyst” Paul Begala seem to show that instead of performing any legitimate analysis of the news, Begala was simply regurgitating State Department-approved Hillary talking points.

As The New York Times reported, Begala was engaged in some friendly emails with Clinton’s staffers, but then asked to be programmed with Hillary talking points as he prepared to go on CNN.

Mr. Begala responded by asking for talking points before he went on CNN to rate Mrs. Clinton’s early performance. Ms. Marshall referred him to several State Department aides. After his appearance, Mr. Begala emailed back: “I gave Sec. Clinton an A+ in our dopey CNN report card last night.” Ms. Mills forwarded that to Mrs. Clinton with an “FYI.”

These emails prove that the State Department gave a so-called news analyst the proper talking points, and in turn that led him to give Hillary an “A+” for her job as Secretary of State. That seems more like propaganda than reportage.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston, or email the author at


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