Director abandons CNN documentary on Hillary Clinton

Mon Sep 30, 2013 3:16pm EDT
 
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By Liana B. Baker and Gabriel Debenedetti

(Reuters) - Cable news network CNN has canceled a documentary on Hillary Rodham Clinton after the director said pressure from the Clinton camp as well as Republican leaders made it too difficult to complete the film.

A CNN spokeswoman confirmed on Monday that the program would be canceled, saying director "Charles Ferguson has informed us that he is not moving forward with his documentary about Hillary Clinton."

Political observers widely expect Clinton to run for president in 2016 as her early polling numbers make her the Democratic frontrunner. Clinton, the former U.S. Secretary of State, has said she is still considering her options.

In a blog post on the Huffington Post website, Ferguson, who had been tapped by CNN to direct to the film last year, said pressure from Clinton's aides started as soon as he joined the project. He said he had found it difficult to get anyone to cooperate and speak about Clinton.

"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, (who) wants access to the Clintons, or dreams of a position in a Hillary Clinton administration," Ferguson said in the blog post.

Clinton representatives could not be reached for comment.

Ferguson said he was surprised that "prominent Democrats made it known both to CNN and to me" that they weren't happy with the project.

Ferguson also cited pushback from the Republican Party. In August, Republican leaders sent letters of protest to both CNN and NBC, complaining that their planned programs amounted to political ads for Clinton, the wife of former President Bill Clinton.   Continued...

 
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) speaks about a commitment to stop poaching of African elephants, as daughter Chelsea looks on, at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in New York September 26, 2013. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson