CNN Cancels Hillary Clinton Doc, Director Cites Political Pressure

Here’s how we lose freedom of the press:  Political power and expediency shut down stories before they can see the light of day. Claiming pressure from both sides of the aisle, and non-cooperation from the Clinton camp, director Charles Ferguson has stepped down from the CNN Films documentary about Hillary Clinton. In a statement a spokesperson for CNN Films  said:

Charles Ferguson has informed us that he is not moving forward with his documentary about Hillary Clinton … [W]e won’t seek other partners and are not proceeding with the film.

The original announcement about the documentary was met with hostility by the Republican National Committee which voted to the ban CNN from hosting or sponsoring Republican primary debates. The RNC also got sandy-pantied and dropped the debate banhammer on NBC Universal  which is developing a mini-series about the former First Lady/former Secretary of State.

But the Democratic political machine and the Clintons dropped an even heavier, darker, bleaker cone of silence, preventing Ferguson from accessing any sources or even archival footage.

In a blog on Huffington Post, Ferguson writes that

Neither political party wanted the film made….[W]hen I approached people for interviews, I discovered that nobody, and I mean nobody, was interested in helping me make this film. Not Democrats, not Republicans — and certainly nobody who works with the Clintons, wants access to the Clintons, or dreams of a position in a Hillary Clinton administration. Not even journalists who want access, which can easily be taken away. I even sensed potential difficulty in licensing archival footage from CBN (Pat Robertson) and from Fox. After approaching well over a hundred people, only two persons who had ever dealt with Mrs. Clinton would agree to an on-camera interview, and I suspected that even they would back out.

Maybe the RNC was afraid the documentary would be a shining piece of propaganda, but that seemed unlikely given some of the facts Ferguson uncovered, and these facts make it pretty clear why the Clinton camp wants to control the dialog and turn it into an easy to parrot monologue:

And then he [Bill Clinton]  proceeded to tell me the most amazing lies I’ve heard in quite a while.

For example, Mr. Clinton sorrowfully lamented his inability to stop the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which banned all regulation of private (OTC) derivatives trading, and thereby greatly worsened the crisis. Mr. Clinton said that he and Larry Summers had argued with Alan Greenspan, but couldn’t budge him, and then Congress passed the law by a veto-proof supermajority, tying his hands. Well, actually, the reason that the law passed by that overwhelming margin was because of the Clinton Administration’s strong advocacy, including Congressional testimony by Larry Summers and harsh public and private attacks on advocates of regulation by Summers and Robert Rubin.

Wow, I thought, this guy is a really good actor. And I also saw one reason why Hillary Clinton might not be thrilled about my movie. I discovered others.In Arkansas, she joined the boards of Walmart and Tyson Foods. One of the largest donors to the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation is the government of Saudi Arabia. The Clintons’ personal net worth now probably exceeds $200 million, and while earned legally, both the money’s sources and the Clintons’ public statements indicate a strong aversion to rocking boats or making powerful enemies.

(The Clinton’s love affair with Tyson was laid out in glorious detail by Mark Ebner and James Mauro in  Spy Magazine’s October 1995, and a quick google of “Tyson Foods violations” comes up  multiple violations of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts as well as OSHA violations. And Walmart–euwww, gross!)

Ferguson says that the political machine, Republican and Democrat, was uncomfortable with the public learning  about

the money machines that both political parties have now become.

And politics is very, very expensive. Polls, ads, travel to personal appearances, rallies, offices, staff, opposition research, posters, goofy hats, hair and make-up….

[S]ince Bill Clinton first became Governor of Arkansas, the cost of Presidential campaigns has gone from $66 million (both parties combined, in 1976) to an estimated $5 billion for 2016, when Hillary will run.

Charles Ferguson’s documentary on Hillary won’t be made now. But in shutting it down, a Pandora’s box of revelations about the Clintons and about the American political process has been opened, and we’re going to be able to see how the chicken sausage is made.

UPDATE: Just hours after the CNN announcement, NBC dropped their plans for a Hillary biopic, issuing this statement:

After reviewing and prioritizing our slate of movie/mini-series development, we’ve decided that we will no longer continue developing the Hillary Clinton mini-series.

12 Responses to "CNN Cancels Hillary Clinton Doc, Director Cites Political Pressure"
dogjudge | Monday September 30, 2013 10:18 am 1

And yet the Republicans scream the loudest when it comes to censorship of anything Republican related.

When ever anything ever comes up about re-instituting equal access and the media, the right wing folks fight hardest against it while complaining that they don’t get equal access to the “liberal media”.


JamesJoyce | Monday September 30, 2013 10:19 am 2

Corporate Political parties suck. Press is compromised needs blue pill. America is in need of an enema to dislodge obstructions in its intestinal tract and colon. Guess the story did not serve the interests of the corporate controlled political parties or corporate controlled media…

Might give Americans a bird’s eye view of how the power of money fucks us all?


Matthew Detroit | Monday September 30, 2013 10:22 am 3

Mr. Ferguson was later seen dickering on the trade-in price for his old Honda at a Brooklyn Lexus dealer.


nixonclinbushbama | Monday September 30, 2013 10:43 am 4

As so often happens, my drummer is playing a slightly different march.

I have very few good things to say about the Clintons. However, unless the alleged political pressure from both sides took the form of credible threats to put him in jail if he went ahead, I don’t think this has anything to do with a loss of freedom of the press.

Freedom of the press has nothing to do with a guaranty that everyone is going to be excited about whatever project you’ve taken it in your mind to pursue, or that the subject of your project will cooperate with you. Or that you will find backers. Or even with politicians being annoyed with you.

Freedom of the press has to do with government using its power to prevent publication or to punish publication (fines, jail, retaliatory IRS audits, etc.)

This is a question of private individuals not wanting to cooperate to produce the kind of show this guy wanted–which, by the way, is their right.

As an aside, yeah, Bubba’s lies and constant playing of the victim about Gramm, Leach, Bliley, NAFTA, DADT, etc. is very annoying.

Would it have been interesting if


JamesJoyce | Monday September 30, 2013 10:45 am 5

[S]ince Bill Clinton first became Governor of Arkansas, the cost of Presidential campaigns has gone from $66 million (both parties combined, in 1976) to an estimated $5 billion for 2016, when Hillary will run.

Sounds like a pay to play scheme. No merit here. 5 billion dollars that could be put to better uses than listening to candidates lie.

It is vile…..


nixonclinbushbama | Monday September 30, 2013 10:45 am 6

P.S. If you want to say this is how the public gets deprived of information that might be useful to making political decisions, I would agree.


JamesJoyce | Monday September 30, 2013 10:59 am 7
In response to nixonclinbushbama @ 6

Yes it is all about suppressing information with the “power of money,” or amplifying lies with the “power of money.”

Truth telling is no longer a consideration or the job of corporate media and aligned politicians.

Sit and Spin!


BSbafflesbrains | Monday September 30, 2013 11:04 am 8

Hillary 2016! She has proven she won’t blow it. Another kabuki LOTE event designed to keep us distracted while we starve to death on GMO food and radioactive fish from Fukushima.


blueokie | Monday September 30, 2013 11:13 am 9

Any real documentary of the base, vile and abjectly corrupt Clintons ran the danger of showing the coziness at the top, where the Corporate Party’s Team Blue and Team Red are slopped from the same trough and spend their time coming up with marketing slogans to emotionally detach their bases from realizing they are endorsing the same policies. It is the job of corporate media to maintain this status quo and keep actual information at bay.


JamesJoyce | Monday September 30, 2013 12:44 pm 10
In response to blueokie @ 9

“…ran the danger of showing the coziness at the top, where the Corporate Party’s Team Blue and Team Red are slopped from the same trough and spend their time coming up with marketing slogans to emotionally detach their bases from realizing they are endorsing the same policies.”

Yes, no real news on social welfare organizations and tax exempt status for political parties seeking to hide the power of money. The same trough utilized by both parties selling the same garbage to disgusted uncontrolled voter. Piss on them all!


rikkidoglake | Monday September 30, 2013 01:04 pm 11

Bill’s early relationship with the Democratic Leadership Council, and his smoke blowing about “The Third Way”, were just euphemisms for “the Democratic Party ought to do anything necessary to get its share of the loot from the high rollers”.

All the rest was haggling over the price.

If Hillary runs in 2016, the only question is whether she’ll be played by Kang or Kodos.


Lisa Derrick | Monday September 30, 2013 03:20 pm 12

UPDATE: Just hours after the CNN announcement, NBC dropped their plans for a Hillary biopic, issuing this statement:

After reviewing and prioritizing our slate of movie/mini-series development, we’ve decided that we will no longer continue developing the Hillary Clinton mini-series.


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