Hillary Clinton’s supporters often argue that mainstream political reporters are incapable of covering her positively—or even fairly. While it may be true that the political press doesn’t always write exactly what Clinton would like, emails recently obtained by Gawker offer a case study in how her prodigious and sophisticated press operation manipulates reporters into amplifying her desired message—in this case, down to the very word that The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder used to describe an important policy speech.
Most people in Washington attribute the success of Politico’s marquee morning newsletter, Playbook, to the superhuman work ethic of its main author and Politico’s Chief White House correspondent, Mike Allen. According to several 2010 emails recently obtained by Gawker, however, Allen has employed one unusual productivity trick: letting someone he covers ghostwrite an item for him.
Politico correspondent Mike Allen has insisted that his obsequious attempts to secure an interview with Chelsea Clinton, in which Allen promised to conduct a “no risk” exchange and to clear interview questions beforehand, did not reflect his normal practices or Politico’s editorial standards. New emails obtained by Gawker, however, indicate Allen has repeatedly offered similar terms to at least one politician on Capitol Hill.
Who would have thought a softball question from Mike Allen could end so disastrously?
Last week, we published emails in which Mike Allen, the chief White House correspondent of Politico, promised to provide completely positive coverage of Chelsea Clinton in exchange for a sit-down interview at a brunch hosted by the political news outlet. Allen initially claimed ignorance—“I don’t remember this e-mail”—but today, in his early-morning Playbook newsletter, he acknowledged he had sent it and regretted it:
Few journalists are more thoroughly connected to Washington’s power elite than Politico’s Chief White House correspondent Mike Allen. But as newly released emails between the veteran reporter and a former State Department official show, Allen’s coveted access sometimes comes at the cost of his own credibility—as well as Politico’s reputation as an adversarial news outlet.
Megalomaniacal supervillain Jim VandeHei and emotionally hobbled robo-reporter Mike Allen, both of Politico, have penned a rugged endorsement of Mitt Romney's chief grievance today, agreeing with his advisors that the press corps is busy "scaring up stories to undermine the introduction of Mitt Romney to the general election audience." We need more serious, measured, balanced, non-inflammatory reporting on both candidates, said the men responsible for Politico, a web site that catalogs what political flacks' "dietary dossiers."