Tried and True Moves from the Clinton PR Machine


In the essay “My Battle With the Clintons“, completely objective reporter Daniel Halper (who just happens to edit the conservative Weekly Standard) gives Politico some dirt regarding his “It Happened to Me” moment going toe-to-toe with the Clinton PR team over his critical book.

“When I started to write Clinton, Inc: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine, I knew the reaction to expect… But even if I hadn’t known it, many, many people in Washington, on the left and right, popped up to warn me of what to expect from the Clinton PR team. Other authors—legitimate ones with serious pedigrees—who’d written about the Clintons said they were threatened and verbally attacked. Of course, nearly everyone in Washington has seen the much-vaunted Clinton PR machine in action. It’s very predictable.”

Love ’em or hate ’em, the Clintons know a thing or two about this PR biz. According to Halper, here’s how it works:

1) Media intimidation tactics

“Following their usual method of operation, the first thing Team Clinton would do is attempt a media blackout. A producer with CNN said I’d never be able to get any airtime on her show because the Clintons punish networks that give space to their perceived enemies.”

2) Defame and attack

“There would be repeated efforts to turn me into a kook or right-wing hit man. Though they haven’t yet gone so far to label me a ‘crazed stalker’ like they did with Monica Lewinsky, the reliable Clinton aide Nick Merrill has repeatedly deployed a classic Clinton spin line on my work—before it was even on sale, mind you, and presumably he hadn’t yet read it. ‘It’s sad to see Daniel Halper join the discredited and disgraced ranks’ of other authors supposedly out to get them at all costs, he emailed the Huffington Post.”

3) The “old news” trick

“A favorite gambit is to make any allegation unfavorable to the Clintons as old news. One of the best examples of this came from Clinton media minder Philippe Reines about a book by Jeff Gerth: ‘Is it possible to be quoted yawning? Yawn. No biggie. You reporters are fools for even covering it.'”

Hmm. Don’t know about you guys, but this sounds like politics as usual to us.