“Trump understood our gluttonous short attention span better than anyone, but especially better than Hillary, whose media strategy amounted to her ignoring us.” — from Amy Chozick's highly anticipated campaign memoir. https://t.co/k85N3jl96s
— Trip Gabriel (@tripgabriel) April 20, 2018
Press strategy is part of an overall media strategy. And the national print press is part of an overall press strategy. And I’m sure whenever a NYT reporter called the Clinton campaign they got immediate attention. And Hillary never turned her crowd against reporters.
But sure. https://t.co/UADdS72Qkt
— Dana Houle (@DanaHoule) April 20, 2018
From the excerpts I’ve seen, Chozick’s new “tell entirely too much” book reads scarily like it was written by a teenage girl looking to pick a fight with her stepmother. Selfish beeyotch kept lecturing me about how that new boy ‘couldn’t be trusted’, so of course I *had* to go to the party with him, and now that I’m stumbling home barefoot with a roofie hangover, I want the world to know that it is ALL HER FAULT!
(A sentiment with which, of course, too many of her fellow NYTimes access journalists concur.)
Carlos Lozada, at the Washington Post has a thoughtful review of a thoughtless
Amy Chozick, the lead New York Times reporter on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, believes that the news media’s focus on Clinton’s private e-mail server — a story the Times broke and that Chozick would write about extensively — was excessive. She even grew to resent it. Chozick also thinks that reporting on campaign chairman John Podesta’s hacked emails turned journalists into “puppets” of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and she struggles to explain why they did it anyway. She contends that sexism played a big role in Clinton’s defeat but also encounters it first-hand among Clinton’s campaign staff. And while she hammers the candidate for having no clear vision for why she sought the presidency, Chozick allows that competence, experience and policy were hardly selling points in 2016, when it “turned out a lot of people just wanted to blow s— up.”
These are some of the revelations and contradictions permeating Chozick’s “Chasing Hillary,” a memoir by turns poignant, insightful and exasperating. It’s a buffet-style book — media criticism here, trail reminscences there, political analysis and assorted recollections from Chozick’s past tossed throughout — and while the portions are tasty, none fully satisfies. In the unending debate over what happened in 2016, and whether journalists contributed to Donald Trump’s victory, Chozick offers plenty of self-recrimination, but she still blames Clinton for not grasping how the game was played…
“Chasing Hillary” offers some searing moments surrounding election night, as when the Clinton team’s data guru grasps that his Florida models were off (Latino turnout lower than expected, white turnout huge in the Panhandle), then turns to campaign manager Robby Mook and says, “But, Robby, if our models were wrong in Florida, they could be wrong everywhere.” Mook eventually delivers the news of impending defeat to Clinton. “I knew it. I knew this would happen to me,” she answers. “They were never going to let me be president.”
The next day, Times reporters consider what they’d missed — and why. “God, I didn’t go to a single Hillary or Trump rally,” a colleague of Chozick’s admits, “and yet, I wrote with such authority.”…
When she felt insecure at work, Chozick would channel Clinton. “I adopted Hillary’s mood,” she recalls. “I went around despondent and aggrieved, pissed off at the world, at my editors, at myself for not being ‘likable enough.’ ” But that’s not the Clinton she wants to remember, Chozick concludes. She wants to remember the Hillary who “tried to hold it all together — her marriage, her daughter, her career, her gender, her country.” The Hillary who taught her about grit, to believe she could excel but also to allow herself to stop striving.
“Hillary taught me all of that,” Chozick writes in her final lines. “So what if she hated me?”
Reading this book, I often had the same question.
People are still writing campaign books that give credit to Trump for being so much better at it than the person who won more votes? Without emphasizing how his racist barnstorm has divided the country and radicalized extremists? The winners really do get to write history.
— Schooley (@Rschooley) April 20, 2018
The excerpt the NYTimes chose to highlight did Chozick no favors…
Hi @amychozick! The 1st line (“Things were already looking bad when Chelsea Clinton popped the Champagne”) is false. I would have been happy to tell you that if you’d asked, which you didn’t. Looking forward to the correction once you fact check. Thanks! https://t.co/gqppfDEEW1
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) April 20, 2018
Following this tweet, @AmyChozick's 1st line was changed to include attribution: "Things were already looking bad when, several people told me, Chelsea Clinton popped the Champagne." https://t.co/fOYtZfxTZO https://t.co/6zXokbKAa1
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) April 20, 2018
“Several people told me” is the media version of Trump’s “Many people have said” — that most pointless of metaphors, a transparent figleaf.
Chozick: "Things were looking bad when Chelsea pulled off her face mask & revealed she was lizard alien."@ChelseaClinton: Yeah, that didn't happen.
Chozick: "Things were looking bad when, several people told me, Chelsea pulled off her face mask & revealed she was lizard alien." https://t.co/5zpcAe0zYZ
— Stephen Robinson (@SER1897) April 20, 2018
Chozick and Haberman are still working off of a 30 year old playbook where they think to make it as women they have to take out the alpha woman.
1. They failed
2. They looked stupid doing it.
— SophieCT (@SophieInCT) April 21, 2018
(Again: I strongly suspect this is very much still the playbook at the NYTimes.)
"I would have done better coverage on Hillary if she'd been more like the perfect Mom I never had!"
– pundits, in their memoirs
— Donna Gratehouse (@DonnaDiva) April 20, 2018