Here we go again. After six years of dealing with one of the most secretive, opaque administrations in history, we have another Democrat who doesn’t think she has to answer questions. Hillary Clinton seems poised to take up President Obama’s mantle, ignoring serious inquiries from the media and choosing carefully when and where she speaks.
On one hand, it’s just smart politics. No candidate wants to find themselves trapped by an adversarial reporter. A single bad interview can derail your whole campaign.
On the other hand, you can’t run roughshod over freedom of the press. The media exists in this country for many reasons, but their most important role is to cut through the hype in politics. One can argue how well they perform that duty, but it doesn’t help when you have politicians who think it’s their job to keep the public in the dark.
Fox News’ Ed Henry has had enough with the way the Clinton campaign has treated him in recent weeks. He appeared on America’s Newsroom with Martha MaCallum on Tuesday to express his frustration. “I was moving closer trying to get to her,” he said. “A Secret Service person sort of told me to move back, so I was pretty annoyed by that because I didn’t think the Secret Service was supposed to be protecting candidates from reporters.”
According to Henry, Clinton press secretary Nick Merrill told him that he “already got a question” back in Iowa. Ironically, the question Henry asked at that time was whether or not Hillary would be taking questions from the media. Apparently that question has been answered.
Then again, Clinton had no problem taking questions from reporters working for the NBC network, giving Henry plenty of room to suspect there was bias in her decision. “We’re covering this campaign as fairly as anybody, and we’re going to be there every step of the way. And if the Clinton campaign doesn’t want to call on us, I’m just going to keep on pressing until they do,” said an irate Henry.
Our democracy doesn’t work when politicians hole themselves up in an ivory tower. The public deserves a federal government that does business in the sunshine, and we deserve politicians who will grant access to the press. This isn’t about one reporter; it’s about the public’s right to know. You can argue that Hillary is a candidate and not a politician, but this is hardly the first time we’ve been introduced to her ways. As a public official, she was no more forthcoming. As president, she will likely be even worse than Obama.
We should demand better.