By HADAS GOLD |
7/21/14 3:15 PM EDT
Hillary and Bill Clinton went to the top of the NBC food chain, all the way up to General Electric’s board, to get back at MSNBC's David Shuster in 2008, according to Daniel Halper’s forthcoming book “Clinton Inc.”
Halper, the online editor at the conservative Weekly Standard, details how far the Clinton camp went to get back at Shuster for saying that Chelsea Clinton was "sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way” for lobbying super delegates on her mother’s behalf during the presidential primaries.
“According to a source close to the situation, the Clintons called people on the board of NBC’s parent company General Electric to say, ‘Well, this is outrageous, how NBC News and MSNBC are handling this, and we need to do something about it,'" Halper writes. "Before long, GE’s chairman Jeffrey Immelt, was on the phone with Jeff Zucker, the president and CEO of NBC Universal at the time, and (former NBC News president) Steve Capus asking, ‘What the hell is going on over there? Why are my board members talking about the reporter, and why is your reporter referring to Chelsea as a prostitute?’”
The strife between Shuster and the Clintons was well documented during the 2008 campaign and a series of heated emails between Shuster and Clinton spokesperson Philippe Reines were published by POLITICO at the time. At one point, the Clinton campaign threatened to pull out of a debate hosted by NBC News.
In the book, Halper notes that Wolfson also purposely didn’t connect Shuster to the Clintons when he wanted to personally apologize, instead telling him to email Clinton aide Huma Abedin. Wolfson then went to the press and said Shuster was refusing to apologize.
The Clinton campaign, Halper writes, “wanted to make it look like men, such as David Shuster, were beating up on the woman who could be the first female president of the U.S.”
Shuster ended up being suspended for two weeks. He was fired in 2010 after filming a pilot for CNN without MSNBC's approval. He now hosts a show on Al Jazeera America.
“Finally, [the campaign] sent a message to the media: You may like Obama more than Hillary, but you’d better watch what you say because we have the power to destroy you," Halper writes. "To deliver their message, a popular ex-president, the nation’s most famous senator, and their powerful friends bullied a relatively obscure reporter with powerless friends and spineless bosses. While they were at it, the press and public were misled about his attempts to apologize."
Halper’s book leaked last week when a man identifying himself as Robert Josef Wright sent out a blast email to media executives, editors and journalists with PDFs of all 317-pages. The book is scheduled to hit shelves on Tuesday.
Update (5:30 p.m.):
Clinton spokesperson Nick Merrill said in an email that Halper should be treated the same as "Blood Feud" author Ed Klein and "Her Way" author Jeff Gerth.
"Daniel Halper has joined the discredited and disgraced ranks of Ed Klein and Jeff Gerth, his book came and went so fast that nobody bothered to read it, and nobody will," Merrill said.