Politics

Filmmaker backs out of much-criticized CNN Hillary Clinton documentary

Alex Pappas Political Reporter

Looking forward to CNN’s documentary about Hillary Clinton? Well, then, you’re out of luck.

The filmmaker behind the much-criticized project said Monday that he’s abandoning the film due to complaints from both sides of the aisle.

“Neither political party wanted the film made,” filmmaker Charles Ferguson wrote in a blog post on Huffington Post. “After painful reflection, I decided that I couldn’t make a film of which I would be proud. And so I’m canceling.”

In August, the Republican National Committee voted to prevent Republican presidential candidates from participating in 2016 primary debates with CNN unless the network scrapped its movie about the early Democratic frontrunner.

The RNC has described the planned Clinton films by CNN and NBC as “little more than extended commercials” for the former first lady.

In his blog post explaining the cancellation on Monday, Ferguson said CNN did not pressure him to cancel, but that the combined protests of the RNC, Clinton aide Philippe Reines and Media Matters CEO David Brock forced his hand. All three protested the film for different reasons.

“It’s a victory for the Clintons, and for the money machines that both political parties have now become,” he wrote.

Perhaps proving the RNC’s point, the filmmaker also made it clear he admires Clinton.

“I don’t think that it’s a victory for the media, or for the American people,” he said of the cancelation. “I still believe that Mrs. Clinton has many virtues including great intelligence, fortitude, and a deep commitment to bettering the lives of women and children worldwide.”

Ferugson said he also wanted to explore controversies surrounding Clinton, “But when 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…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.”

RNC communications director Sean Spicer responded to the news on Monday by urging NBC to drop its project too. “We are pleased that our calls and the grassroots activity have led to CNN canceling this infomercial for Hillary Clinton,” Spicer told The Daily Caller. “Now the pressure is squarely on NBC.”

 

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