NBC announced that it would not pursue its mini series about Hillary Clinton. Their announcement came just hours after CNN Films made known that it canceled a documentary about Clinton. Director Charles Ferguson, who was working on the CNN documentary, cited pressure from Clinton’s staff and supporters as a reason behind his decision.
Ferguson’s initial attempts to secure interviews did not go well. Clinton aides Nick Merrill and Phillipe Reines “contacted various people at CNN, interrogated them, and expressed concern over alleged conflicts of interest generated because [Ferguson’s] film was a for-profit endeavor.”
He continued his efforts without success. In an article published on Huffington Post, Ferguson said, “When I approached people for interviews, I discovered that nobody, and I mean nobody, was interested in helping me make this film. Nor 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.” He went on, “Not even journalists who want access, which can be easily taken away.”
After all his efforts he had only secured two interviews. Ferguson said, “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.”
Getting interviews was not the only problem. He said, “I even sensed potential difficulty in licensing archival footage from CBN (Pat Robertson) and from Fox.”
Ferguson saw that people were not happy about his film. He said, “quietly and privately, prominent Democrats made it known to both to CNN and to me that they weren’t delighted with the film.” Citing a private interview with former president Bill Clinton in which Ferguson says Clinton lied, Ferguson said, “And I also saw one reason why Hillary Clinton might not be thrilled about my movie.”
He called his decision to cancel the film “a victory for the Clintons, and for the money machines that both political parties have now become.” Ferguson ended his post lamenting, “But I don’t think it’s a victory for the media, or for the American people. 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. But this is not her finest hour.”
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