Documentarian Charles Ferguson wrote today that he would be “cancelling [his] documentary on Hillary Clinton” because of his inability to obtain access to anyone with personal knowledge of the probable 2016 presidential candidate.
“When I approached people for interviews,” he wrote, “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[.]”
He claims that CNN Films never wavered in its support for the film, even in the face of attacks from both the left and the right. The day after he signed on to the project, he received a message from — and was subsequently “interrogated” by — Nick Merrill, Hillary Clinton’s press secretary. Then Phillipe Reines, Clinton’s media fixer, contacted people at CNN and expressed concerns about unspecified conflicts of interests.
After publicly confirming the project to allay such concerns, the chairman of the Republican National Committee said that Republicans would boycott CNN in 2016. David Brock then published a letter on Media Matters, a site not known for allying itself with the Republican National Committee, repeating the conflict of interest charges and suggesting that the documentary would give new life to decades’ old Clinton rumors.
With pressure mounting on both sides and no access to principles, he had no choice but to cancel. “It’s a victory for the Clintons, and for the money machines that both political parties have now become,” he wrote. “But I don’t think that it’s a victory for the media, or for the American people.”
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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