Hillary Clinton, The New York Times, Proves Politics Is Not PR

Oh Hill no she di'nt!

Hillary Clinton is going to be the DNC nominee. Admit it. We know it, and it’s obvious that her campaign management team knows it too.

That would explain why the world can’t seem to let go of her twisted logic to use a personal email address for some clandestine communiqués.

The haters drool over it. The lovers want to forget it. And the leering press can’t get enough of it.

That may explain this: A visceral, irascible, borderline nasty, 2,000-word letter to Dean Baquet, the newspaper’s executive editor. It starts out civil and concerning with the following:

I am writing to officially register our campaign’s grave concern with the Times’ publication of an inaccurate report related to Hillary Clinton and her email use.

If Jennifer Palmieri, communications director for ‘Hillary for America’ was a typical PR person, that would be a polite way to point out a story in dire need of a retraction. However, she soon proves that she is atypical. Period.

The Times’ readers rightfully expect the paper to adhere to the most rigorous journalistic standards. To state the obvious, it is hard to imagine a situation more fitting for those standards to be applied than when a newspaper is preparing to allege that a major party candidate for President of the United States is the target of a criminal referral received by federal law enforcement.

Oh Hill no she di’nt!

This was, to put it mildly, an egregious breach of the process that should occur when a major newspaper like the Times is pursuing a story of this magnitude. Not only did the Times fail to engage in a proper discussion with the campaign ahead of publication; given the exceedingly short window of time between when the Times received the tip and rushed to publish, it hardly seems possible that the Times conducted sufficient deliberations within its own ranks before going ahead with the story.

Yeah, she did that too.

And this—-as well as about 1,700 other reasons why—-proves that politics is not PR. It’s all about image management, nothing else. Imagine that hard-working person you share a wall with in your agency cube farm pulling a stunt like this.

Hillary Rodham ClintonNot only would his or her client never see the ink-stained recesses of The New York Times ever again, that individual’s entire agency may be blacklisted for employing the poor schlep.

You think Palmieri is concerned about that? Not in the least because she’s not stupid.

The Times and every paper on the planet is going to cover her client. She could call the Old Grey Lady a sea hag who stands on street corners pulling tricks for circulation and ratings, and guess what? Hillary Clinton will be above the fold the very next day because she had dinner and belched in public.

That’s the difference between them and us.

They get to call out anyone they want and keep on running because the news thrives on being the first to cover a story that has to be covered. We, on the other hand, have to play by the rules and suck up just to get a little love in the metro section.

Is it fair? Nope. Is it public relations? Not in the least.

So, buck up, PR nation. When you see something like this, don’t kick your computer monitor and exclaim how you wish you could get press like that for your client. Just remember, no one in politics is your client and move on doing the right thing—-public … relations.

(Because relating well to the public is definitely something those hacks are ever worried about doing well.)

FULL DISCLOSURE: That picture was taken from the NYT magazine in January 2014, but it was too good not to include now.

[OTHER PHOTO: AP Photo/Julio Cortez]