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.
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.
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.