Despite Her ‘Nimoy Dilemma,’ Networks Gush At Hillary’s Latest Stab At Humanizing Herself Online

Posted on Sat 09/10/2016 by

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TimGrahampicture-13-1409699701By Tim Graham ~

A real sign of how much the networks favor Hillary Clinton comes in their desperate attempts to keep trying to portray her as warm and human….just as they tried to convince Americans that in private that cold fish Al Gore and John Kerry were warm in private. The networks glommed onto the Clinton campaign’s latest “interview” with the photo site “Humans of New York” to present Hillary as a victim of sexism.

It came with little compliments like this one from MSNBC’s Kate Snow on Thursday afternoon: “It’s such an interesting little prism into her thinking!” On Friday’s Morning Joe, co-host Mika Brzezinski read a few sentences. Sam Stein of the Huffington Post said “She is a funny personable, human being, and Mika leaped on that: “She’s so nice and personable, oh my gosh!”

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On CNN, anchor Erin Burnett announced this blog as “breaking news” from the Clinton camp:

BURNETT: It comes as she gave an extremely candid interview with the website called Humans of New York and in part she said, let me read it to you. “I know that I can be perceived as aloof or cold or unemotional, but I had to learn as a young woman to control my emotions. And that’s a hard path to walk. Because you need to protect yourself. You need to keep steady. But at the same time, you don’t want to seem, quote, “walled off.” Clinton also said, “But if that sometimes is the perception I create then I can’t blame people for thinking that.”

Brianna Keilar is Outfront. And Brianna, this is Hillary Clinton as open as we have ever seen her.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. That’s right. I don’t recall her talking about this before or really in this way where she’s talking about how she has learned to control her emotions and also that she feels that there’s a double standard for men and women that something that may be acceptable for men will seem shrill for women.

It happened again the next hour with Anderson Cooper:

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COOPER: It is interesting, Gloria, I mean I mentioned this a little bit. Clinton wrote something today on this blog, “Humans of New York” and I want to read a bit of it. She wrote in part “Sometimes I think I come across more in the walled off arena, and if I create that perception, that I take responsibility. I don’t view myself as cold or unemotional. And neither do my friends. And neither does my family. But if that’s sometimes the perception I create, and I can’t blame people for thinking that.”

This is clearly, I mean as we just discussed part of — of I don’t know, it’s a recalibration or just an effort to kind of win over some people who are undecided, or dubious.

BORGER: You know, it’s difficult to be on the attack all the time, all the time, all the time. When you’re trying to convince skeptical voters to effectively like you. She knows what her trust numbers are. She knows that’s a problem. And I think that they’ve really decided to take this turn to a larger context. To provide her vision for the presidency. To provide her vision for the nation. To move it to a different level here because I think they understand that voters are sick and tired of it and that they believe she can do this a lot better than Donald Trump can do this, who would like to be battling all the time.

And I think she does understand that she needs to figure out a way to, if you will, humanize herself. I mean, that happened at the convention through her husband and her daughter, but they understand that she still needs to continue to do this, for whatever reason.

On Friday’s New Day, it happened again (in the middle of Peter Beinart’s theorizing on “unusually truthful” Hillary and gender inequality, which we posted earlier).

CAMEROTA: This was an interesting venue that she chose. I mean, this isn’t a network, this is an Instagram account, “The Humans of New York”. And she said something really insightful. She said, “I had to learn as a young woman to control my emotions. And that’s a hard path to walk. Because you need to protect yourself, you need to keep steady, but at the same time you don’t want to seem ‘walled off’.” I mean, what a window into how Hillary Clinton has conducted herself.

POWERS: Yes, and also I have to say when I was reading it, though, it really made me angry that she — and again, I’m not a huge Hillary Clinton defender, per se. I think there are plenty of things to criticize her about. But as a woman it’s very upsetting to see her having to make excuses for basically behaving the way most men behave.

The major networks had it, too, like this note from CBS Evening News reporter Nancy Cordes on Thursday night:

CORDES: She was criticized by GOP Chair Reince Priebus for not smiling enough while discussing national security. She was asked today if she found the comment sexist.

CLINTON: I don’t take anything seriously that comes from the RNC. We were talking about serious issues last night.

CORDES: Clinton did acknowledge in an interview posted on Facebook know that, quote, “I know that I can be perceived as aloof or cold or unemotional. But I had to learn as a young woman to control my emotions.” She said it come from being a female law student at a time when that was rare. “That’s a hard path to walk,” she said, “You need to protect yourself but at the same time you don’t want to seem walled off. And sometimes I think I come across more in the ‘walled off’ arena.”

The most amusing discussion came on ABC’s Good Morning America on Friday, where pollster Matthew Dowd suggested Hillary has a “Leonard Nimoy dilemma” of being too unemotional. But many can recall when Spock was used as a positive to describe Barack Obama’s cool. So there could be some Star Trek sexism emerging?

ROBIN ROBERTS: I want to ask you something about Hillary Clinton. This post, Humans of New York, very personal. What do you think the strategy is behind that?

VEGA: Well, we’ve seen these polls. Hillary Clinton has a real likability problem and in this Humans of New York piece she really tries to tackle this herself head-on and she says “I know I can be perceived as aloof or cold or unemotional but I had to learn as a young woman to control my emotions.” I think Robin, we’ll see a lot more of this side of Hillary Clinton as we get closer to election day, they’re trying to put a human face to this candidate that people feel they don’t know who she is still. [25 years isn’t enough time?]

STEPHANOPOULOS:  Let’s talk to Matt Dowd about that right now. Our political analyst. Matt, we see this as polls are tightening in the battleground states as well, not just the national polls but more press conferences and that post that Cecilia just talked about. A new ad out this morning where she talks about reaching out ,working with Republicans. They’ve gotten the message 60 days out.

DOWD: Yeah, but I think it’s a smart move and I think it’s a smart move to sort of get an insight into Hillary Clinton but, George, I think there’s two problems with it. The first is, you can’t do this as a one day thing. You have to do it for 59 straight days to show the side of her because she is so familiar to the public. The second thing I call the Leonard Nimoy dilemma, which is when you play Spock for decades it’s a hard time to get the public to not see you as Spock and that is a problem Hillary Clinton has.

A longer look at her “interview” concerns how sexist males bullied her during her law school exam at Harvard:

“I was taking a law school admissions test in a big classroom at Harvard. My friend and I were some of the only women in the room. I was feeling nervous. I was a senior in college. I wasn’t sure how well I’d do. And while we’re waiting for the exam to start, a group of men began to yell things like: ‘You don’t need to be here.’ And ‘There’s plenty else you can do.’ It turned into a real ‘pile on.’ One of them even said: ‘If you take my spot, I’ll get drafted, and I’ll go to Vietnam, and I’ll die.’ And they weren’t kidding around. It was intense. It got very personal. But I couldn’t respond. I couldn’t afford to get distracted because I didn’t want to mess up the test. So I just kept looking down, hoping that the proctor would walk in the room. I know that I can be perceived as aloof or cold or unemotional. But I had to learn as a young woman to control my emotions. And that’s a hard path to walk. Because you need to protect yourself, you need to keep steady, but at the same time you don’t want to seem ‘walled off.’ And sometimes I think I come across more in the ‘walled off’ arena. And if I create that perception, then I take responsibility. I don’t view myself as cold or unemotional. And neither do my friends. And neither does my family. But if that sometimes is the perception I create, then I can’t blame people for thinking that.”

Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters. He is Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center.

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