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Coffee House

Hillary Clinton, the Unstoppable Power Machine

30 September 2013

6:35 PM

30 September 2013

6:35 PM

Hillary Clinton is overwhelming favourite to be America’s next President  – and this time nobody, especially not no pesky filmmaker, will get in her way.

Charles Ferguson, who was working on a major new documentary about Hillary, has just announced that he’s cancelled the project. The reason? Apparently, the American political class didn’t approve.

The film was absolutely not a right-wing hit job. It was being made for CNN, for starters. And Ferguson is a bona-fide progressive who has made edgily bien-pensant movies about the Iraq War and the financial crash. Indeed, the Republican National Convention assumed his work would be so fellatory towards Mrs C that it threatened to boycott CNN until the project was shelved.

But that’s not why the film was stopped. Of course not. The project appears to have got into real trouble because the left-liberal Clinton Machine didn’t want it aired. According to Ferguson, Philippe Reines, Hillary Clinton’s media fixer, started to contact people at CNN about possible ‘conflicts of interest’ in the documentary.

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Then came the ‘Media Matters’ chairman David Brock — who funnily enough made his name in the 1990s as a ‘right wing hit man’ and exposer of Bill Clinton, but has transformed into a vicious Clinton groupie. Brock wrote two Open Letters — published on his website — to the chairmen of CNN and NBC (who are bringing out another Clinton documentary) questioning the ‘objectivity’ of the film by suggesting that it might not toe the correct line on Hillary. ‘How will your network respond to the right-wing noise machine that is already pressuring you to adopt its ideological lens on Clinton?’ he asked.

Ferguson writes:

‘When Brock published his letter about my film, I got in touch with several prominent Democrats who knew Hillary Clinton. I told them that this campaign against the film and against CNN was counterproductive. They conveyed this message to Mrs. Clinton personally, along with my request to speak with her. The answer that came back was, basically, over my dead body.’

Ferguson was not put off. But, he says, ‘when I approached people for interviews, I discovered that nobody, and I mean nobody, was interested in helping me make this film.’ He therefore decided to abandon the film.

So it looks as if the American Right initially campaigned against the documentary because they thought it would be excessively pro-Clinton; then the liberal-left shut it down at least  partly because they feared that the film, in an attempt to address those right-wing concerns, would ask difficult questions about Clinton’s murky past — investigate, as Brock put it, ‘phony scandals’.

Very odd. For now, it should be said, we only have Ferguson’s account of what happened. But this story stinks. In future, expect Hillary Clinton ‘documentaries’ to sound more like this:

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