GQ Editor Jim Nelson: “Hillary Didn’t Kill the Piece; I Killed the Piece”


Howard Kurtz takes a look at Ben Smith’s story for Politico that hinted that the Clinton campaign killed an account on their infighting for GQ that would have been perceived as unfavorable to the candidate. Joshua Green, the ”well-regarded” author of the article in question, said that GQ praised him for the quality of the article but didn’t want to jeopardize their access to former President Bill Clinton, who is slated to be the cover subject of their December issue. GQ, as you can imagine, had a slightly different interpretation. Kurtz writes:

”GQ Editor Jim Nelson insisted in an interview that the two events were not directly linked. ‘Hillary didn’t kill the piece; I killed the piece,’ he said. While the author, Joshua Green, is a ‘terrific reporter,’ he said, ‘the story didn’t end up fully satisfying. . . . I guarantee and promise you, if I’d have had a great Hillary piece, I would have run it.”’

Clinton campaign spokesperson Jay Carson attempted to kill the article by telling Green’s editor, Jim Lovell, that he would have his work cut out for him getting the Bill Clinton to cooperate if they ran the piece. Kurtz describes the aftermath of that call as causing ”considerable hand-wringing at the New York-based magazine, where editors did not want to be viewed as caving in to Clinton pressure.” In the end, though, GQ went with the Clintons.