Bad media advice given Secretary of State (then First Lady) Hillary Clinton in 1999 – click to read

Bill and Hillary Clinton

As you may know, papers from Clinton Files were released today.  Below are some notes I highlighted with red.  The red highlighted notes are particularly bad  media advice — telling the interviewee (here, Secretary Clinton) to be rude? I think a guest / interviewee looks slippery who won’t answer the question asked and instead attempts to divert and this is the precise advice given to the then First Lady.

Note that I receive this info below from FNC James Rosen:

Media “style pointers” given to HRC [from Mandy Grunwald to HRC memo, 7/6/99, captioned “Key Points to Remember for the Trip,” 2 pp.]


“Keep your tone conversational: This is particularly important at the Moynihan event where you will have 200 people in front of you. Don’t let their presence force you to raise your voice or turn your statement into a speech. It’s important that your tone stay informal and relaxed and therefore not political. The microphone will do the work for you, so try to keep your tone what it was on the Today Show or with [Dan] Rather- chatty, intimate, informal.”


“Don’t be defensive. Look like you want the questions: The press is obviously watching to see if they can make you uncomfortable or testy. Even on the annoying questions, give relaxed answers.”


“You have a tendency to answer just the question asked. That’s good manners, but bad politics. Take every opportunity you can to shift your response to an area you want to talk about and then be really expansive on that part of the answer.”


“Look for opportunities for humor. It’s important that people see more sides of you, and they often see you only in very stern situations.”


“Be careful to ‘be real’. You did this well in the Rather interview where you acknowledged that of course last year was rough. Once you agree with the audience’s/reporters’ reality like that, it gives you a lot of latitude to then say whatever you want.”