It has been nine months since Hillary Clinton had a press conference.
Want another way of measuring it? Okay: her last one was 17 Donald Trump press conferences ago.
You OK with that?
Most media love Hillary Clinton and want her to win. Yet she hides like a child knowing mommy is going to be angry about the mess she made.
WHY? Why do you suppose?
It’s a question almost no mainstream media are asking – all the more remarkable since, by refusing to do press conferences, it is them who Hillary Clinton is giving the shaft to.
But then there’s Steve Kornacki. The MSNBC show host I consider most worthy of watching. He is honest enough to talk about Clinton’s press conference hibernation – and, by so doing, puts most of his cable news counterparts (Fox excluded, as you might guess) to shame.
Here, via Matthew Balan’s article at newsbusters.org, is a transcript of his remarks on yesterday’s show – after first showing the beginning of Ms. Clinton’s last press conference:
That was Hillary Clinton in Fort Dodge, Iowa at her most recent press conference. And I use the term ‘recent’ relatively speaking there. Why? Well, it has to do with our ‘Most Important Number of the Day’ — and that is 268 — as in that was 268 days ago — that clip we just showed you. Hillary Clinton’s last press conference was on December Fourth of last year — December Fourth of 2015. She has not held a single press conference since then.
Why is this important? Well, there’s no law that says a presidential candidate has to hold a press conference if they don’t want to. They don’t have to if they can get away with it — maybe, that’s the political calculation. But there is a tradition there of candidates coming forward; taking questions from anyone in the press who wants to ask them; being hit with whatever question happens to come to them; and having to deal with it on the spot. That is the tradition of the press conference. It’s one that Hillary Clinton has not had much enthusiasm for, though.
Check this out — if we can get this working again; here you go — 17 news conferences, so far, for Donald Trump in this campaign — in the 2016 year of this campaign; zero for Hillary Clinton. We should note, however: Donald Trump, certainly, has his own issues with the press. These are highly-imperfect press conferences these days, because he’s been known to ban outlets and reporters from his press conferences. So, he’s had more, but they’re not always fully press conferences, either — but still, zero for Hillary Clinton this year. Her campaign does point out: she does do interviews relatively frequently — over 350, NPR counted up, for the year 2016 from Hillary Clinton.
A couple of catches to this, though: first of all, 65 of the interviews she’s done — they’re not interviews like you’d normally think of them. A lot of times, these are events where there’s another politician with her; and the other politician is doing the interviewing. It’s not exactly sitting down for a rigorous screening. That’s 65 of the interviews she gave. She did have a number of interviews, though, where she sat down that are shorter, too. They tend to be shorter — about three to eight minutes in length when she sits down with members of the press. So, Hillary Clinton — she’s done some — she’s done a bunch of short interviews. She has not done a single press conference, though, in the year 2016. It is our ‘Most Important Number of the Day’ — 268 days since her last press conference, and counting.
Thank you, Mr. Kornacki, for saying what should have been said – months ago. For you, better late than never. For your colleagues, apparently? Better never than anything.