DENVER, April 11, 2016 – Hillary Clinton’s campaign appears to be using extreme measures to block the press from listening to what the Democratic front-runner has to say.
During a fundraising speech in Colorado with Gov. John Hickenlooper, Clinton campaign staff blasted static noise that made it impossible for members of the press to hear what she was saying. Before Clinton took the stage, the campaign played music. The campaign then used a “large speaker pointed out into the street” to distort the sound so lingering reporters could not hear what the candidate was saying, according to local CBS reporter Stan Bush. Bush posted videos of before and after Clinton’s speech to highlight the difference in the sound system.
This latest tactic by Clinton to avoid questions from the media comes after a string of losses to Sen. Bernie Sanders. Clinton and Sanders are set for a New York showdown, where a loss could seriously dent the Clinton campaign.
Clinton’s decision to keep the press from hearing her speech continues to highlight the trust issue she has with the media and the public. She is also not the only candidate who prefers to remain outside the probing eyes of the press. In 2012, transparency advocates slammed both Republican nominee Mitt Romney and President Obama for keeping reporters from private events.
This isn’t the first time Clinton’s team has been accused of exercising poor judgment when it comes to reporters on the campaign trail. Clinton’s campaign came under fire last year after reporters were corralled behind a moving rope line as the former secretary of state marched in an Independence Day parade in New Hampshire. The Clinton campaign frequently uses noise in another way to prevent reporters from overhearing the candidate’s remarks. For example, when Clinton shakes hands with voters at campaign events, staff will often crank up music to prevent reporters from recording their conversations.
Sanders went on the attack after hearing of the allegations and sent an email to supporters with the subject line, “Wild story from Clinton fundraiser last night.” The email pointed out that Sanders has never used noise machines at his rallies.
The Clinton camp has not come forward denying the alleged use of a static noise machine.
The use of a noise machine raises renewed questions about Clinton’s honesty and transparency. Ironically, the speech at the fundraiser focused primarily on finance. Critics have questioned Clinton’s financial dealings, including her support from Wall Street. She has also faced charges that donors to the Clinton Foundation were essentially buying access to the former secretary.
Continued efforts to deafen the media by Clinton are likely to draw even more criticism, as the campaigns move closer to the Democratic Convention.