Jezebel Wants to Interview Hillary Clinton

The desire doesn't appear to be mutual.

“Hillary Clinton is ghosting on Jezebel,” writes Anna Merlan in The Slot, Jezebel’s elections-focused vertical, detailing Jezebel’s unsuccessful efforts to snag an interview with the Democratic presidential nominee.

Jezebel is making a public case for an interview after private efforts appear to have stalled, probably permanently:

And so, last fall, Jezebel’s Slot team started talking to the Clinton campaign about an interview. After a number of conference calls, an in-person meeting, several detailed pitches, and a healthy number of back and forth emails with her campaign’s press representatives, it’s become clear that we’re probably not getting that interview.

It was a November lunch between Merlan, staff writer Ellie Shechet and Clinton staffer Rebecca Chalif that gave Merlan a sense of how the campaign viewed Jezebel’s coverage.

“People think we’re easier on Secretary Clinton because she’s a woman,” Ellie said to Chalif, or words to that effect.

“I don’t think you’re easier on her at all,” Chalif responded, dryly.

And in the process of offering some possible explanations for why exactly Jezebel appears to be blog non grata for the Clinton campaign, Merlan offers up some big-picture considerations about the role and purpose of women’s media as it covers the first female major-party nominee for the presidency.

For me, this whole thing raises a pretty clear set of questions about what women’s media is meant to do, and what the Clinton campaign thinks we’re good for. Is it our job to cheerlead for Clinton without the slightest reservation? Does a candidate newly interested in candidly discussing her gender really feel that unwilling to do so in a setting that isn’t scripted or adoring? Can a feminist blog and the first female nominee really not have a serious, substantive discussion? We believe, sincerely, that smart young female voters can do better than what the Clinton camp has made available to them, and that was an integral part of our pitch to the campaign.