Wash. Post, NY Post baselessly asserted that Clinton was referring to NH moment by saying "I said I would not tear up"

››› ››› SARAH PAVLUS

The Washington Post and the New York Post both baselessly asserted that Sen. Hillary Clinton referred to an emotional moment before last month's New Hampshire primary when she said during a February 4 visit to the Yale Child Study Center, "I said I would not tear up."

In a February 5 Washington Post article, staff writers Anne E. Kornblut and Michael D. Shear reported, "[Sen. Hillary Rodham] Clinton [D-NY], her voice hoarse from nonstop campaigning, showed her emotions in New Haven, Conn., as she visited the Yale Child Study Center, where she had worked during law school." Kornblut and Shear then wrote: " 'I said I would not tear up,' she [Clinton] said, referencing a similar and closely studied moment just before her comeback victory last month in the New Hampshire primary." But they offered no support for their assertion that Clinton was referring to New Hampshire when she said in Connecticut, "I said I would not tear up."

Additionally, the New York Post on February 5 published an Associated Press photograph of Clinton at the Connecticut event with the caption: "BOO WHO? Hillary Rodham Clinton, that's who. She appears to get weepy at Yale yesterday, after saying she wouldn't pull a New Hampshire-style tear-up again." Media Matters for America could find no other report of Clinton allegedly "saying she wouldn't pull a New Hampshire-style tear-up again," and the available video of the event does not show her saying that.

From the New York Post:

hillary

Further, as is clear from the video, the AP photograph the New York Post used does not, in fact, depict the moment at the New Haven event the article highlighted -- that, in the article's words, "[a]fter she got a warm introduction from an old friend, Clinton's eyes welled up and glistened under TV camera lights." The photo appeared to have been taken at a different moment at the event. Clinton's emotional moment in response to the warm introduction of her is documented in the video. The caption originally provided for the picture by the AP was: "Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., listens during a roundtable discussion at the Yale Child Study Center in New Haven, Conn., Monday, Feb. 4, 2008. Clinton volunteered at the center while she was a law student at Yale in the 1970's."

Linking to the New York Post article, the Drudge Report also highlighted the wrong picture:

hillary

Other AP photographs from the event documented, according to the AP caption, that Clinton's eyes watered after a coughing fit: "Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., coughs as she conducts a roundtable discussion at the Yale Child Study Center in New Haven, Conn., Monday, Feb. 4, 2008. Generally a stalwart campaigner, Clinton showed signs of strain during the roundtable at one point coughing uncontrollably. 'It comes and goes,' she said, wiping her eye and sipping water to get her cough under control."

On January 16, 2007, Kornblut -- then a reporter for The New York Times -- speculated on the Times' political blog, The Caucus, that Clinton may have been faking a phone call to avoid answering questions about Sen. Barack Obama's (D-IL) announcement that he had formed a presidential exploratory committee. As blogger and media critic Greg Sargent noted, Kornblut wrote: "Brushing past reporters in the Senate, Mrs. Clinton -- conspicuously talking into her cell phone; whether there was anyone on the other end of the line, or not, could not be confirmed -- went into the chamber to vote."

As Media Matters and others noted, in a July 16, 2006, Times online article, Kornblut falsely reported that Clinton had criticized her Democratic colleagues in Congress for "wasting time" and "for taking on issues that arouse conservatives and turn out Republican voters." In fact, during the speech in question, Clinton had been criticizing the Republican-led Congress -- not her fellow Democrats. The Times ultimately published an "Editors' Note" stating that the "opening sentence of the article and the headline were based on a misinterpretation" of Clinton's speech.

From Kornblut and Shear's February 5 Washington Post article:

Democrats were bracing for a less decisive outcome. Advisers to Clinton (N.Y.), once the clear front-runner, were stoic as they envisioned a "lengthy process" that could continue for months, possibly through the Democratic National Convention in late August. Clinton officials also confirmed that she had raised about $13 million in January, compared with $32 million Obama raised in the same period.

Clinton, her voice hoarse from nonstop campaigning, showed her emotions in New Haven, Conn., as she visited the Yale Child Study Center, where she had worked during law school.

"I said I would not tear up," she said, referencing a similar and closely studied moment just before her comeback victory last month in the New Hampshire primary. She staged a national town hall meeting last night, planned a celebration in Manhattan tonight to watch the returns come in, and was slated to be back on the campaign trail Wednesday morning. She is also due to visit Northern Virginia.

Network/Outlet
New York Post, The Washington Post
Person
Anne Kornblut, Michael Shear
Stories/Interests
Hillary Clinton, 2008 Elections
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