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Hillary Clinton: Reporters today spend too little time reporting

If Hillary Rodham Clinton runs for president in 2016, she may indeed run a very different campaign than she did in 2008. One area where there is unlikely to be change? Clinton still has no love for the media.

Delivering a keynote address at a Salesforce technology conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, Clinton once again demurred before a (very) supportive audience when asked about her presidential plans: "I don't want to make any news today," she replied, offering what might well have been her mantra for the last year.

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But in outlining the difficulties of modern leaders, she argued that the intensity of media scrutiny has made it more difficult to govern in a thoughtful way.

"If you look at how much time used to be spent reporting the news -- the real news, not analyzing it -- but reporting the news in the 1960s and '70s, compared to now, it's dramatically shrunk," the former secretary of State said. "People are looking for the best angle, the quickest hit, the biggest embarrassment."

Clinton has long maintained that the media treated her and her husband poorly during Bill Clinton's years in the White House. Earlier this year in Politico Magazine, Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman detailed Hillary Clinton's toxic relations with the media throughout those years, as well as during her 2008 campaign, when many of her aides believed that reporters were giving Barack Obama more favorable coverage.

On Tuesday in San Francisco, Clinton noted that former presidents including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower had time to think and reflect as they made big decisions.

"Human beings haven't changed that much, but the scrutiny, the attention, the criticism about people in the public eye has accelerated dramatically," Clinton said. She noted that Roosevelt "probably couldn't have been elected if people knew he was in wheelchair" and couldn't stand. But, she noted, his physical condition remained out of the public eye by agreement of all parties.

"We have created very difficult hurdles for people who want to serve, who believe they can lead, to be able to do so," Clinton said.

The voraciousness of the media was not the only concern that Clinton cited on Tuesday. She also decried the divisiveness of today's politics -- observing that Americans are most interested in listening to those who agree with them and no one else.

"If you're not in dialogue, if you're not listening to one another, you cannot build a relationship," Clinton said in her conversation with Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum.

In the United States, Clinton said, "we are far less racist, far less sexist and far less homophobic. We are much more tolerant than we used to be." But she said there is strong resistance within the U.S. to building relationships with those who hold a different political perspective.

"We are breeding even more of the divisiveness, the intolerance and the failure to work jointly on shared goals," she said to applause. "I do think that we need more opportunities for people to sit and listen and talk with each other."

Clinton's assertions about the media drew some objections from reporters on Twitter. Perhaps the most memorable rapid response came from Real Clear Politics reporter Scott Conroy, who mentioned the 1973 Timothy Crouse classic about campaign reporting in his tweet.

"I read 'Boys on the Bus,'" Conroy tweeted. "Those guys spent A LOT more time reporting than journalists today. If by 'reporting' you mean 'drinking,' that is."

Twitter: @MaeveReston

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