BROOKLYN — Hillary Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri has spotted some favorable movement in the chatter surrounding her candidate. “I think it has been interesting in the last couple of months — I have seen, not always from journalists, but more awareness to look more closely at the coverage of her and say it seems she’s held to a different standard,” Palmieri said in the spin area of last night’s CNN Democratic primary debate at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Exhibit A in Palmieri’s trend-spotting? Jill Abramson, former executive editor of the New York Times, told Politico’s Glenn Thrush that Clinton gets “more scrutiny” than men. “We, for some reason, expect total purity from a woman candidate,” said Abramson. Others have since taken up the banner, said Palmieri, who stopped of short of brandishing a list of exemplars.
And certainly unmentioned by Palmieri was Vice President Joe Biden’s scoffing at the notion of a higher standard for Clinton.
Palmieri’s the individual who penned that blast at the New York Times last summer after the newspaper botched its reporting on a federal investigation about Clinton’s email usage. “The New York Times is arguably the most important news outlet in the world and it rushed to put an erroneous story on the front page charging that a major candidate for President of the United States was the target of a criminal referral to federal law enforcement,” wrote Palmieri. “Literally hundreds of outlets followed your story, creating a firestorm that had a deep impact that cannot be unwound.”
“We just had ’em, we just had ’em,” Palmieri said of the New York Times. Since then, says Palmieri, “we haven’t experienced an instance like that …We still gripe about some of the coverage,” she said, though she didn’t cite anything specific. Asked about The Washington Post’s since-corrected claim that 147 FBI agents were involved in the email investigation, Palmieri termed the mistake “surprising.” “In that realm of reporting, it’s our experience that there are so many sources with an agenda that journalists have to be particularly careful,” she said.
Of course, no Clinton-oriented media interview can end without a question regarding Fox News. In early March, the candidate appeared at a town hall event hosted by Fox News’s Bret Baier. “She enjoyed that,” said Palmieri. Asked whether that was a harbinger of more Clinton-Fox News engagements, Palmieri responded, “We’re in the middle of a string of contests in the Democratic primary, so our focus is on Democratic voters.” Okay, but the Fox News audience isn’t all Republicans. “They have a very large audience which includes Democrats, so I’m sure we will…be doing interviews…We’ll certainly do more with Fox,” said Palmieri, noting that she didn’t have anything scheduled at the moment.