Hillary Clinton and the media

Howard Kurtz on the media spinning the Democrats' losses in Hillary Clinton's favor


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," November 7, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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BOLLING: In the personal story segment tonight, Hillary Clinton and the media, the former secretary of state saw many of the democrats she campaigned for go down in flames on Tuesday. Despite the embarrassing defeats, some media analysts are spinning those losses in her favor, claiming they are actually a good thing for her potential 2016 presidential campaign.

Joining me now with more from Washington, Howard Kurtz, the host of "Media Buzz," which airs Sundays at 11:00 a.m. Eastern right here on FOX News. So, Howard, explain to me how Hillary and Bill Clinton for that matter campaign many many democrats. Most of them loss. And loss big at the media. Somehow going to turn this around as a win? How?

HOWARD KURTZ, FOX NEWS HOST, "MEDIA BUZZ": I'm trying to wrap my head around this. I mean, this was a huge depressing, traumatic gut wrenching defeat traumatic, gut wrenching defeat for democrats, Hillary and as you say, Bill out there campaigning. And somehow the New York Times and others say, well, this is actually going to help her. Wow, I didn't know that Hillary spin machine was that good.

BOLLING: So, well, what could it be? Could it be that they're saying, well, now she will not look like the Obama, she's the anti-Obama, she can come riding in on the horse saying, look, we tried that for a while, now try a Clinton instead of an Obama.

KURTZ: Well, there's a valid point in this New York Times story and some others that has been taking this tact. And that is, it will be easier for Hillary Clinton to run against a republican Senate and House rather than having to dance around Harry Reid if the democrats had somehow retained control. But what's left out of this equation, Eric, is that, you know, she is now inextricably tied to an Obama administration that was just repudiated at the polls. She may try to distance herself. The President may not be calling it a shellacking, but that's what happened.

BOLLING: You know, leading up to that election, Howie, I think you had mentioned this on your show, well, a couple of other shows, we were talking about how the mainstream media was ignoring midterm elections because they looked like they were lining up so bad for President Obama and the democrats. Now in the aftermath of it, you're not hearing about Hillary Clinton campaigning for democrats who've lost. Are they just completely in the liberal camp carrying water for the liberals?

KURTZ: Well, I've heard some about Hillary Clinton campaigning. And I'll let you in on a little secret. We in the media, no matter who involve, not necessarily Hillary, tend to hype this whole notion of, well, big shot went in and campaigning for candidate. So and so and if candidate wins, she gets the credits. And if candidate losses, she gets the blame. Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky lost by 16 points. I mean, how is even Hillary Clinton's supposed to turn that around? But I do think that you know, you have the spin on both sides. So if for example this "New York Times" piece wants to call it loyalist by saying that she can run as a pragmatical turn move in 2016 to what they expect to be an obstruction of this Congress. Well, we have to wait and see about. Then I think you also have to include people like Rand Paul who is saying that this was in his own partisan spin a repudiation of Hillary Clinton as well as Barack Obama because she was out there campaigning. You know, tell both sides to portray this as good news for the Clintons, I think, takes twisting yourself into a pretzel just a little bit.

BOLLING: Well, yes. But if you do, I think Rand Paul was very astute. I mean, clearly he's looking towards 2016. He sees her as the major challenger. And why not? Why wouldn't you highlight the fact that she was out there campaigning for democrats if not most of them took a beating.

KURTZ: Took an absolute thrashing, yes. But I guess my feeling is that journalist or even the pundits who analyze this sort of thing, you know, if you're going to get into the spin game, then give us the spin from both sides.

BOLLING: Well, he's not a journalist, he's a politician.

KURTZ: No, no, but my point is --

BOLLING: Looking ahead a couple years.

KURTZ: You know, I just meant to the extent that Rand Paul is out there saying this and obviously -- we ought to quote that as well as saying, well, things look a little different from team Hillary. But I tell you something, she's not even running yet and boy, that spin machine seems to be a well-oiled one, Eric.

BOLLING: All right. We'll going to leave it right there. Howie, thanks.

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