CNN says it no longer plans to run a miniseries highlighting the life of former Secretary of State Hillary CLinton, but not because of a conflict of interest or because the GOP threatened to ban the network from covering 2014 presidential debates. According to Politico, CNN is blaming pressure from Clinton’s own camp:
“Charles Ferguson has informed us that he is not moving forward with his documentary about Hillary Clinton,” CNN Worldwide spokesperson Allison Gollust told POLITICO. “Charles is an Academy Award winning director who CNN Films was excited to be working with, but we understand and respect his decision.”
“[W]e won’t seek other partners and are not proceeding with the film,” she wrote.
In a blog post on Huffington Post, Ferguson said that pressure from Clinton aides and supporters, as well as the Republican National Committee, cast a chilling effect on potential sources and interview subjects.
“When I approached people for interviews, I discovered that nobody, and I mean nobody, was interested in helping me make this film,” Ferguson wrote. “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.”
Ferguson explains that upon signing his contract with CNN Films, he began receiving pressure from Clinton press secretary Nick Merrill and Clinton aide Philippe Reines, “who contacted various people at CNN, interrogated them, and expressed concern about alleged conflicts of interest generated because my film was a for-profit endeavor.”