There’s been a lot of complaining in recent weeks by the Clinton campaign about what they perceive to be the media’s uneven treatment between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. But Jonathan Martin over at Politico caught a moment in Tuesday’s debate where the media very noticably gave Clinton a pass. When asked if she could name of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s successor (Dimitry Medvedev), Clinton stumbled badly, finally blurting out something close to a correct pronunciation and adding “whatever.” Martin writes:
Just imagine the ridicule and scorn that would be raining down upon the head today of George W. Bush had he tried to pronounce the name of an important foreign leader before giving up and saying “whatever” — as Hillary did last night.
A similar moment did actually occur (thank you, Andy Hiller) and Bush took a beating.
In my post-debate analysis, I mentioned that Hillary’s stumble was a moment that “had it come from Obama, would have been highlighted endlessly by the Clinton campaign over the next seven days.” Take a look and decide for yourself:
The media also gave Clinton a fairly gracious pass in late December when, in two separate interviews about Pakistan’s parliamentary elections, she erroneously stated that it was President Pervez Musharraf, rather than the members of his party, who was “a candidate” and “the only person on the ballot.” It was a fairly fundamental error about a nation crucial to America’s foreign policy and national security interests that led then-candidate Joe Biden to remark that Clinton didn’t “understand Pakistan.” The Clinton campaign made attempts to qualify her error, but the media never really picked up on the story.
In other news, today Karen Tumulty at Time posted a story about Bill Clinton’s role in his wife’s campaign, and caught an interesting anecdote from this past weekend that shows just how frustrated the Clintons have become:
After Saturday Night Live lampooned the media for their love affair with Obama, Bill telephoned guest host Tina Fey to thank her.
And lastly, yesterday, Daily Show correspondent Samantha Bee, reporting from the media’s Anti-Hillary War Room in the Paula Jones Conference Center, confirmed the Clintons’ suspicions that there is indeed a secret plot by the media against them:
Wonder if she’ll get a phone call from Bill.