Conservative media are promoting a deceptively edited video from a Republican opposition research firm that purports to show Hillary Clinton coldly demanding that a supporter “go to the end of the line,” to allege that Clinton is out of touch with voters. But even as the dishonest attack made its way to Fox News, network contributor Guy Benson admitted the full context of the video “casts [Clinton] ... in a far less damaging light.”
Anti-Clinton Group Publishes Deceptively Edited Clip
America Rising: “Watch What Happens” When A Clinton Supporter Asks For An Autograph. In a June 1 tweet, Republican-aligned opposition research firm America Rising PAC posted a 7-second Vine video showing Hillary Clinton speaking to a supporter outside a campaign event. When the unidentified woman asks Clinton to sign something, Clinton suggests that the woman “go to the end of the line”:
-- America Rising PAC (@AmericaRising) June 1, 2015
[America Rising PAC, 6/1/15]
The Full Context Of The Video Reveals Nothing Newsworthy
Fox's Guy Benson: “Nothing Out Of The Ordinary” In Full Clinton Video. Guy Benson, Fox News contributor and political editor of the conservative blog Townhall, explained after personally examining “the full 17-minute video” recorded by a campaign tracker with the GOP-aligned firm America Rising, that there was “nothing out of the ordinary” about the scandalized interaction. According to his review, “the added context casts the awkward exchange in a far less damaging light” and “the short sound-byte contained in the tweet above isn't representative of her attitude or actions”:
When I wondered about context on Twitter, one of the organization's representatives was kind enough to email me the full 17-minute video, which I've since examined. As I suspected, the added context casts the awkward exchange in a far less damaging light. Hillary emerges from the building and slowly makes her way down the line of well-wishers, taking photographs, shaking hands, and making small talk. She's not a natural politician, and many of the interactions feel stilted and perfunctory, but it's nothing out of the ordinary. When people start asking her to sign items (books, photographs, even baseballs), Hillary seems to make a snap decision that she'll accommodate their requests, but not until she's made it all the way through the crowd. Hence, the “end of the line” request.
Sure enough, the last four-or-so minutes of the complete video features Hillary Clinton dutifully autographing paraphernalia for all comers, asking questions like, “want me to make it out to you?” Mrs. Clinton appears ill at ease and not especially eager to stick around throughout much of this extended rope line-style interaction, but the short sound-byte contained in the tweet above isn't representative of her attitude or actions. She's slightly uncomfortable and less than enthusiastic; she isn't hostile or rude. [Townhall, 6/1/15]
Bloomberg's Dave Weigel: America Rising Video “Is Dumb.” Bloomberg political reporter Dave Weigel responded to America Rising's opposition research video, and the emergent coverage of it by conservative media, in a post on Facebook. Weigel called the video and accompanying story “dumb” and said if tracking organizations like America Rising “are just making shit up,” political campaigns may be right to be “paranoid.”
Good golly this is dumb. Anyone who's covered a campaign event (with a big-name candidate) knows that spectators/voters huddle along ropelines. Just from a glance, I assumed that Hillary was telling this voter, who wanted something signed, to head down the line where she would have time and space to sign it. She was not telling the woman to go “to the back of the line,” as if she'd queued up.
If the woman was outraged and denied, the tracker would have captured that. He didn't, but duehhher -- this got Drudged anyway.
If trackers are just making shit up now I can see why campaigns are so paranoid. [Facebook, 6/1/15]
Nevertheless, Conservative Blogs Jumped To Promote The Deceptively Edited Anti-Clinton Video
The Weekly Standard: Clinton Tells Supporter To “Go To The End Of The Line.” The Weekly Standard promoted the video of Hillary Clinton telling a supporter to “go to the end of the line” outside a campaign event in New Hampshire. [The Weekly Standard, 6/1/15]
Twitchy: “Queen Hillary Tells Her Subjects To 'Go To The End Of The Line.'” Moments later, Twitchy picked up the video, referring to Clinton as “Queen Hillary” and linking to several disparaging tweets. [Twitchy, 6/1/15]
Daily Caller: “Her Majesty Must Put The Rabble Back Where They Belong.” The Daily Caller deemed Clinton “Queen Hillary,” suggesting the video is evidence that Clinton wants to be “coronat[ed]”rather than elected in 2016:
Most peasants are happy just to feel the breeze of Hillary Clinton's passage through their meager, insignificant lives. But every once in a while, a serf forgets his or her place. Every once in a while, Her Majesty must put the rabble back where they belong.
Honestly. Why is she being forced to put up with this sort of impertinence? Can't we just coronate her already? [The Daily Caller, 6/1/15]
Western Journalism: “Video Could Have Long-Lasting Implications For A Presidential Campaign Already Suffocating” From Scandals. Western Journalism suggested that the seconds-long video of the interaction between Hillary Clinton and a supporter “could have long-lasting implications for a presidential campaign already suffocating at the bottom of a growing pile of scandals.” The blog concluded that Clinton's “attitude” toward this event attendee could “further damage her campaign” as she is struggling to maintain support. [Western Journalism, 6/1/15]
Daily Mail: “Condescending Hillary Clinton” Brushes Off “Autograph-Seeker.” The British tabloid Daily Mail pointed to Clinton's “blunt tone” while promoting the video in an article titled “Condescending Hillary Clinton tells autograph-seeker to 'go to the back [sic] of the line.'” The article also noted that some Twitter users were mocking Clinton's “royal-like demeanor, calling her Queen Hillary.” [Daily Mail, 6/1/15]
And Fox News Followed Suit, Using The Deceptively Cut Video To Attack Clinton And Democrats
Ann Coulter: Video Proves Democrats Want “Old White People To Die Off.” On the June 1 edition of Fox News' Hannity, conservative columnist Ann Coulter used the short clip of Clinton's interaction with a supporter in New Hampshire as evidence that Democrats “are waiting for old, white people to die off” so they can advance “the browning of America.” [Fox News, Hannity, 6/1/15]
Fox's Guilfoyle: Clinton “Is Not Known To Be Very Friendly, Or ... Warm, Or Engaging.” On the June 2 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle pointed to the video as further proof that Clinton “is not known to be very friendly, or, you know, warm, or engaging” in person. Co-host Steve Doocy also claimed that the interaction was “a great moment in retail politicking” that would have created a “media freak out” if a Republican candidate such as Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) had said it. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/2/15]
Laura Ingraham: “Influence Peddlers In Foreign Countries, And Big Corporations” Would Never Be Sent “To The Back Of The Line.” Later, on the same edition of Fox & Friends, Doocy claimed that Clinton is simply “not a good politician,” pointing to America Rising's video as “exhibit A.” Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham agreed, adding that Clinton would never send “influence peddlers in foreign countries, and big corporations ... [to] the back of the line” the way she apparently did in the video. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/2/15]
Fox's MacCallum: This Video “Will Get Played Over And Over,” And Is “Not Good For Hillary Clinton.” On the June 2 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, co-host Martha MacCallum noted that the video “will get played over and over” throughout the 2016 campaign and is “not good for Hillary Clinton, regardless of what the circumstances exactly were.” Washington Examiner columnist Byron York noted that the video was taken out context, but still claimed it played into the apparent “image” of Hillary Clinton as “a school marm, and disciplinarian.” [Fox News, America's Newsroom, 6/2/15]