CNN cancels Hillary Clinton documentary

By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer

Charles Ferguson
Despite having an Academy Award for Best Documentary, Charles Ferguson wasn’t quite able to attract Democrats and Republicans to the interview table.

You’d think the biography about Democrat Hillary Clinton that CNN was filming would have mainly been taken down by Republican pressure, but surprisingly, Democrats helped knock it down too!

In a sign of surrender, director Charles H. Ferguson backed away from the project. A CNN spokesperson informed The Hollywood Reporter that the now ex-director “has informed us that he is not moving forward” and that they “understand and respect his decision.” Now, Ferguson is no quitter, nor is he some small-time wannabe. This is the Academy Award-winning director of Inside Job, a film about how the economy collapsed.

What’s the deal, then? I mean, this Clinton documentary sounded like a win-win for CNN and Ferguson as far as making money and gaining fame, so what drove the nails in the coffin? Ferguson says he had a real tough time finding sources and people willing to be interviewed, because both supporters and opponents of Clinton didn’t want to get on camera!

In an article he wrote for the Huffington Post, Ferguson admits, “When I approached people for interviews, I discovered that nobody, and I mean nobody, was interested in helping me make this film. Not 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. Not even journalists who want access, which can easily be taken away.” Wow, talk about tight lips and shy folks!

It certainly didn’t help that this past summer, the Republican National Committee (RNC) was threatening to ban their 2016 election debates from being on CNN. The RNC was concerned that giving all kinds of attention to Clinton would basically just be free advertising for the possible Lady President contender. The chairman of the RNC, Reince Priebus, explained, “…we said to the media, with a united voice, that a network that spends millions to spotlight Hillary Clinton is a network with an obvious bias. And that’s a network that won’t be hosting a single Republican primary debate.”

Ferguson thinks all the hush-hush and no-thanks from Republicans and Democrats just serves the political parties, not the American people or the media. He explained, “After painful reflection, I decided that I couldn’t make a film of which I would be proud. And so I’m cancelling. (Not because of any pressure from CNN — quite the contrary.) It’s a victory for the Clintons, and for the money machines that both political parties have now become. But I don’t think that it’s a victory for the media, or for the American people.”

Featured image courtesy of US Department of State on Flickr. Image of Charles Ferguson courtesy of Grace Villamil on Wikipedia.