Heavy Spin: NY Times Clinton Campaign Reporter Finds Hillary's Gaffes 'Refreshing' and Unscripted

Diane Sawyer's surprisingly tough questions to HIllary Clinton on Benghazi and her massive speaking fees have spurred more questions, especially when she answered she was "dead broke" and it wasn't her job as Secretary of State to micromanage the safety of diplomats.

But New York Times reporter Amy Chozick announced on MSNBC's Now with Alex Wagner on Tuesday that reporters like her are enjoying these "gaffes, if you call them that" because she's going unscripted, which is a "refreshing sign" that she's learned from the last presidential campaign (video below):

ALEX WAGNER: Is this a good rollout? Do you think that Clinton World thinks this is a necessary early step in terms of neutralizing controversy?

AMY CHOZICK: I think political reporters who covered her in 2008 sort of enjoy these past couple gaffes, if you'll call them thatm because it says she is not as scripted, she's not polling every single response that comes out of her mouth. And I think that that is sort of a refreshing sign from the candidate that Mo [Elleithee] and I saw in 2008.

Chozick covered Hillary's campaign in 2008 for The Wall Street Journal. As for the Clintons' wealth, Wagner cleared her throat and said they weren't born rich (as she showed a picture of the Bushes). Chozick also completely dismissed any concern about their buckraking:

CHOZICK: They definitely occupy this rarefied world of New York and the Hamptons, quite different than when we were first introduced to Bill Clinton as a governor in Arkansas jogging to the McDonald's in Little Rock. That said, this country has a long history of Democratic leaders from Kennedy to Rockefeller to FDR, who have incredible personal wealth and yet are still champions of the poor. So I don't think that private income has anything to do with a progressive agenda. But I do think you'll have to get out and convince voters that she does understand where they're coming from. She hasn't had a hard time doing that in the past. 

Chozick repeated the "refreshing gaffes" spin on the PBS NewsHour, where anchor Gwen Ifill discussed the Hillary book tour with a ridiculously one-sided panel of two Clintonistas (Ann Lewis and Chris Lehane) and the Times reporter:

GWEN IFILL: Amy Chozick, but the execution also includes getting in front of interviewers and answering questions in ways that might kind of take you off topic. Like, she was asked last night about Monica Lewinsky. She’s been asked Benghazi and she made the comment to Diane Sawyer that she and Bill Clinton needed to earn that money in order to pay for their houses and their mortgages, which Republicans jumped on. So there’s also a potential for some slip-ups here.

AMY CHOZICK: Yes, absolutely.  And I was actually — I actually welcomed the slip-ups, because I thought that signaled that if she’s a candidate in 2016, maybe she won’t be so scripted and everything that she says is polled, to figure out how Americans feel about it before she utters every line. I kind of found the gaffe sort of refreshing in a way, at least as a political reporter.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis