CNN.com posted a story in their political section on Monday detailing a story that ran on a very conservative website on Sunday evening. The website, the Washington Free Beacon, ran the article ‘The Hillary Papers‘ that they based off of research from a close personal friend of the Clintons, Diane Blair. Blair died in 2000. Overall, the article itself was more or less a cherry-picking of Blair’s archives to paint the former First Lady in a negative light. Basically, red meat for the ultra-conservatives that go to the site.
The Free Beacon is a relatively new website that has been around for about two years. It was started by one of those so-called non-profits that get tax exempt status from the IRS despite the obvious political nature of their organization. Their claim, like any other political organization designated as a 501(c)4, is that they are promoting ‘social welfare.’
Anyway, nobody should be surprised that this website would publish a hit piece on Hillary Clinton in order to make her out to be ‘ruthless’ and unlikable. That is what a Republican political news site is going to do. What is more distressing is that CNN decided to lend the story credence and tie it into Sen. Rand Paul’s recent comments about the Clintons and the Monica Lewinsky scandal. In essence, they are giving Rand Paul credibility for going after the former President and his wife and rehashing a 15+ year old story.
It is shameful that CNN has stooped this far. We have highlighted other awful instances of the once proud news network doing the GOP’s bidding for them. This is just another instance of CNN helpfully shaping the narrative for a conservative figure in hopes that it will build an ongoing story for them. What they really would like here is for Paul to continue to bring up the Lewinsky scandal and criticize Bill Clinton. Therefore, they can push the Clintons for follow-up remarks and create a tawdry, tabloidish storyline to hopefully draw in more viewers and readers to their website.
CNN is not really interested in news anymore. Their new chief has already said they should focus more on stories rather than constantly covering actual news. The interest at the network now is to look for ‘hooks’ to bring in the viewers. Essentially, if there is no big story, create one. It is all about creating drama. Truth and reality are merely secondary players that can be discarded for the greater good. And the greater good is increased ratings.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).