In NYT’s Hillary Clinton Coverage, An Obsession With ‘Clouds’ And ‘Shadows’

Things are dark and stormy in The New York Times coverage of Hillary Clinton – or maybe The Gray Lady has merely misplaced her thesaurus.

TPM Reader AR wrote in after he noticed that in recent months the go-to metaphors in the Times’ Clinton campaign coverage were clouds and shadows.

“Like many people, I’ve been bothered by an ominous, insinuating tone in the NYT’s Clinton coverage. HRC always seems to be inhabiting a gloomy, almost Tolkienesque realm of cloud and shadow. The latest Weiner story gave me a strong sense of deja vu, so I went searching for instances of “cloud(s)” and “shadow(s)” in stories from the past few months.”

AR found 20 articles since early May using “clouds” or “shadows” as the de rigueur metaphor of choice. (To be fair, three of the examples are Associated Press stories the Times ran.)

Special honors go to Maureen Dowd, Adam Nagourney and Michael D. Shear
for each separately working “cloud” and “shadow” into one article.

Here we go:

“Weiner’s Texts Cast Shadow on Campaign” (Print headline).

“Mr. Weiner’s tawdry activities may have claimed his marriage — and have cast another shadow on the adviser and confidante who has been by Mrs. Clinton’s side for the past two decades.”

“Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin to Separate After His Latest Sexting Scandal,” Aug. 29, Amy Chozick and Patrick Healy


“…Potential conflicts would shadow any policy decision affecting past donors….”

“Many Donors To Clinton Foundation Met With Her at State,” Aug. 23, Associated Press


“The dispute over Hillary Clinton’s email practices now threatens to shadow her for the rest of the presidential campaign…”

“Hillary Clinton’s 15,000 New Emails To Get Timetable For Release,” Aug. 22, Mark Landler and Steven Lee Myers


“The future of the Clinton Foundation has been one of the overarching questions shadowing Clinton’s campaign.”

“Clinton’s foundation to alter donations policy if elected,” Aug. 18, Associated Press


“The sprawling estate of Winthrop Rockefeller, the celebrated former governor, was so close that it practically cast a shadow on the Clintons’ grassy backyard.”

“Stress Over Family Finances Propelled Hillary Clinton Into Corporate World,” Aug. 11, Amy Chozick


“Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign, which has been shadowed for 17 months by the controversy over the private email server she used exclusively while at the State Department, said that the emails released Tuesday had no bearing on the foundation’s work.”

“Emails Renew Questions About Clinton Foundation and State Dept. Overlap,” Aug. 9, Eric Lichtblau


“The messages…cast a cloud over the start of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last week….”

“3 Top D.N.C. Officials Leave as Upheaval After Email Breach Continues,” Aug. 2, Alan Rappeport


“Given his insights and experience, Mr. Clinton could be more capable than anyone else in ensuring the success of her presidency—or he could cast a long shadow over her.”

“A Worry if Hillary Clinton Wins: What to Do With Bill,” July 26, Patrick Healy


“She, too, is damaged after a bruising campaign and shadowed by a cloud of mistrust stirred by her actions.”

“How Can Hillary Clinton Sell Herself to Voters Who Already Know Her?” July 25, Adam Nagourney


“The Republican request…threatens to shadow her through the campaign and perhaps even into the White House if she is elected.”

“GOP Seeks Criminal Inquiring of Hillary Clinton’s Testimony to Congress,” July 11, Eric Lichtblau and Michael S. Schmidt


“Obama aimed to have no shadows, but the Clintons operate in shadows […] The fallout from the email scandal has clouded the futures of longtime Hillary aides Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin and Jake Sullivan….”

“The Clinton Contamination,” July 9, Maureen Dowd


“Questions raised by the F.B.I. about the State Department’s handling of Hillary Clinton’s emails have cast a cloud of doubt over the political futures of a number of her top advisers….”

“Email Case May Complicate Clinton Aides’ Pursuit of Security Clearance,” July 6, Eric Lichtblau, Steven Lee Myers


“For Mrs. Clinton, the public announcement by the attorney general formally ends a legal cloud that has been shadowing her campaign…

“Attorney General Accepts Recommendation Not to Charge Hillary Clinton,” July 6, Michael D. Shear


“As bad as this looks for Mrs. Clinton, with voters reminded once more of the history of scandal that shadows the Clintons, she could still rebound quickly.”

“F.B.I’s Critique of Hillary Clinton Is a Ready-Made Attack Ad,” July 6, Patrick Healy


Shadow of Plea Deal for David Petraeus Loomed Over Hillary Clinton Email Case”

“Shadow of Plea Deal for David Petraeus Loomed Over Hillary Clinton Email Case,” July 5, Eric Lichtblau


“…the investigation continues to cast a shadow over Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign.”

“Loretta Lynch to Accept F.B.I. Recommendations in Clinton Email Inquiry,” July 1, Mark Landler, Matt Apuzzo and Amy Chozick


“‘Brexit’ Revolt Casts a Shadow Over Hillary Clinton’s Cautious Path”

“‘Brexit’ Revolt Casts a Shadow Over Hillary Clinton’s Cautious Path,” June 25, Patrick Healy


“The report, as well as an F.B.I. investigation and other legal challenges seeking information about her emails, is certain to keep alive a controversy that has shadowed Mrs. Clinton’s campaign.”

“Hillary Clinton Is Criticized for Private Emails in State Dept. Review,” May 25, Steven Lee Myers and Eric Lichtblau


“The federal inquiry throws a cloud over Mr. McAuliffe at a critical time: He is a top fund-raiser for Hillary Clinton….”

“Inquiry Highlights Terry McAuliffe’s Ties to Chinese Company,” May 24, Nicholas Confessore and Stephanie Saul


“The investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s email practices and her handling of classified intelligence has shadowed her presidential campaign….”

“Hillary Clinton Says She Is Available for F.B.I. Interviews Over Emails,” May 8, Alexander Burns

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