NRL News

Scarborough: We Cut Clip of Dem Focus Group—Too Negative About Hillary

by | Oct 7, 2015

By Mark Finkelstein

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

Is it the MSM’s role to protect Hillary Clinton’s image by preventing the public from seeing what members of her own party think of her? Today’s Morning Joe played a clip from a Dem focus group in New Hampshire in which there was near unanamity that Hillary’s personality could be a serious turn-off to voters, particularly male ones.

Joe Scarborough then said: “we actually cut a good bit in there, out, that was even more negative of Hillary because we thought it was actually too negative and didn’t like some of the connotations there.”

Note segundo: the focus group was conducted by Mark Halperin, anything but a Republican shill. And the negative comments came not after something Halperin had said that might tend to elicit criticism of Hillary from the participants, but to the contrary, after, Halperin said “we showed a video of what we thought was her at her best.”

Note: the screencap shows the moment at which a focus group member, behind her hand, said that Hillary can be “b_ _ _hy.”

FOCUS GROUP MEMBER #1: I think my opinion is a little more general, just in that she speaks articulately about her positions without having that edge and that scorned kind of woman thing. That’s a little off-putting.

MARK HALPERIN: Just talk a little more about that.

FOCUS GROUP MEMBER #1: I think that can put off a lot of male voters.

HALPERIN: Tell me what it’s like. Tell me what you’re seeing when you’re feeling that.

FOCUS GROUP MEMBER #1: You know, when she’s, I don’t want to use the word but [laughs], “b_ _ _hy. It’s like that women need to be equal. I mean, I don’t, I just — I don’t feel unequal.

FOCUS GROUP MEMBER #2: I agree. I don’t feel unequal. I don’t feel that I’ve had a job where I feel unequal to my male counterparts. So it’s not an issue that speaks to me.

FOCUS GROUP MEMBER #3: It’s a double standard. If there was a guy up there saying that he would be impassioned.

HALPERIN: Do you agree with Shannon that some people might see that?


FOCUS GROUP MEMBER #4: I like Hillary. I think she’s a strong candidate. But she has that —

FOCUS GROUP MEMBER: — I don’t think you have to have that.

FOCUS GROUP MEMBER #4: — and she has that. That condescending, and I can see that causing gridlock.

FOCUS GROUP MEMBER #5: She does seem like a little condescending.

FOCUS GROUP MEMBER #1: I don’t think it’s condescending. I think that’s a strange word for me. I’m thinking it’s more like —

FOCUS GROUP MEMBER: — I’m smarter than you?

FOCUS GROUP MEMBER #1: Yeah. Well, or, I’m a woman. I deserve it.

FOCUS GROUP MEMBER #4: If she would lose that I would vote for her. That’s my biggest problem.

FOCUS GROUP MEMBER #1: I think it’s not necessary.

HALPERIN: Raise your hand if you think that could hurt Hillary Clinton’s chances of getting elected. [all or virtually all raise hands].

FOCUS GROUP MEMBER #2: She’s going to push off a lot of men I think. People either love her or hate her and that’s part of what does that to her, that attitude or whatever.

. . .

JOE SCARBOROUGH: So New Hampshire, a more skeptical audience [than Iowa, where the clip of the focus group was uniformly positive about Hillary.]

HALPERIN: Similar on the e-mails, they don’t like the way she handled it, but they don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. They don’t think it should be a big deal. But that conversation we showed a little bit of at the end when they started talking about her personality, we showed her a video of what we thought was her at her best, giving a speech about policy and about her beliefs. And boy, they had a visceral reaction. Once that one woman suggested she might have a personality issue, the whole room agreed, and as you saw a show of hands, they think that’s what could stop her. That she’s polarizing and there’s aspects of her personality that they think men in particular won’t like.

JOE: And we actually cut a good bit in there, out, that was even more negative of Hillary because we thought it was actually too negative and didn’t like some of the connotations there.

Editor’s note. This appeared at

Categories: Hillary Clinton