You know, toadies.
In exchange for early access to a policy speech that Hillary gave, Ambinder was asked to describe said speech as “muscular” in his write-up and also mention the heavy-hitters sitting in the front row of the audience.
And sure enough, later, in the Atlantic, a supposedly serious journalistic outlet:
When you think of President Obama’s foreign policy, think of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. That’s the message behind a muscular speech that Clinton is set to deliver today to the Council on Foreign Relations. The staging gives a clue to its purpose: seated in front of Clinton, subordinate to Clinton, in the first row, will be three potentially rival power centers: envoys Richard Holbrooke and George Mitchell, and National Security Council senior director Dennis Ross.
H/T to Nice Deb and Ace’s Maetenloch.
Update (20160213): John Nolte from Breitbart keeps following this. He includes actual quotes from the Clintonista above, Philippe Reines:
And that’s because you can’t throw a dart at the White House Correspondents Dinner without hitting someone who has been involved in quote approval, ground rule negotiation, source obfuscation — and every other routine thing that goes on every day, on both sides of the aisle, on both sides of the equation.
Hey! Look at that! Fen’s Second Law. In the flesh. More explicitly, as Ari Fliescher mentions in Nolte’s article:
If I tried this at WH, press would have blown a gasket: Hillary Team Dictated Reporter’s Story