Hillary Clinton and the Press
By: Bill O'ReillyJuly 2, 2015
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Recently released emails show that as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton and her crew tried to manipulate the American media.

Is anyone surprised?

Every politician tries to do that and many succeed.

I call them soft venues, places where powerful people go to be interviewed knowing they will be treated kindly.

Larry King was known for that.

The most embarrassing revelation in the Clinton email dump was that CNN commentator Paul Begala used that network to secretly disseminate Secretary Clinton's talking points on a variety of issues.

Begala actually asked the Clinton people to send him stuff he could throw out to CNN's audience under the guise of commentary.

That's bad.

Fox News anchor Greta van Susteren is also mentioned in an email, a Clinton mouthpiece describing her as malleable -- someone who could be persuaded.

I talked with Greta about it and she thought the email was simply an attempt by a staffer to get Mrs. Clinton's attention.  Greta told me she has asked the Clinton team for an explanation.

By the way, Greta is in Alaska over the Fourth of July weekend fishing with wounded vets.  Nice thing to do.

Another disturbing email says that former New York Times reporter Leslie Gelb offered to work closely with the Clinton team on a piece for Parade Magazine, assuring them the story would be positive and giving them veto power over the content.

Mr. Gelb denies the veto power deal, but does say he allowed the Clinton team to fact check the article, which is absurd.

I've written extensively for Parade.  The magazine has its own fact checkers.

For years Talking Points has been lamenting the decline of the American media, which has become increasingly ideological.

There are many politicians who will not come on The Factor because we never agree to any ground rules.

I will talk with the politicians themselves -- not to their staff -- if they have questions about an upcoming interview.

But no deals are ever made here, and after 19 years no one even tries anymore.

But sadly that is not the case with other media.  Backroom arrangements are common in some places.

Now it is perfectly acceptable for a newsmaker to tell an interviewer there are certain areas he or she will not discuss.   That's called freedom from speech.

If Hillary Clinton or anybody else doesn't want to answer a line of questioning, they have a perfect right to make that known.

I mean, famous people are attacked all the time by smear-merchants who put out defamatory things.

Secretary Clinton most likely leads the league in that department.  For her to have to defend every smear that comes her way would be grossly unfair.

President Bush the younger was in the same position.  In an interview with me, he simply would not talk about his detractors, saying it was a waste of time.

Summing up, all politicians want favorable coverage and will try to secure that.

But journalists who make secret deals are corrupt.

And there are plenty of them.

That's the memo.

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