New York Times reporter Amy Chozick has a new memoir out called Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling, and in it she recalls being gaslit and harassed by Clinton’s male press aides, whom she refers to as “The Guys.”
The Washington Post’s review of Chozick’s book notes Chozick’s names for the guys—“Brown Loafers Guy,” “Policy Guy,” “Hired Gun Guy,” “Outsider Guy” and “Original Guy,” the latter of whom is named by the Post as infamously combative Clinton loyalist Philippe Reines. From the Post:
The Guys constantly mess with Chozick, magnifying her self-doubts. “I don’t care what you write because no one takes you seriously,” Outsider Guy says. They suggest that a Times colleague is leaking her story ideas to a competitor at Politico and that more-experienced reporters in her newsroom will steal away her assignment. (“C’mon, you really think they’ll keep you on the beat with Maggie there?”) They ask if there are any other Times reporters, preferably male, that they could talk to instead of her. “They’d gotten in my head, and I let them,” Chozick admits. The undercurrent of sexism spills over when Chozick and Original Guy spar over whether a prior conversation can go on the record, and he randomly paraphrases a crude line from “Thank You for Smoking,” a 2005 film in which a reporter sleeps with a lobbyist for information. “I didn’t know I had to say it was off the record when I was inside you,” Original Guy smirks. (“The words hung there,” Chozick recalls, “so grossly gynecological.”)
Chozick doesn’t name him but later cites a Times story by Maggie Haberman revealing that Original Guy served as the Trump stand-in during Clinton’s debate preparation. “Hmmm, wherever will Hillary find a manipulative, sometimes-charming, often hilarious, possible sociopath?” Chozick muses. I won’t out Original Guy here, except to say that his name rhymes with “Philippe Reines.”
Philippe Reines, whose colorful interactions with my colleague J.K. Trotter and other reporters were published on Gawker.com back in 2015, was recently in the news criticizing Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for calling for Al Franken’s resignation.
Jezebel requested comment from Reines on the behavior attributed to him above. He has no regrets, and would also like Chozick and her editor to know that he has “tapes”:
Hi Ellie. I haven’t read the book so I’m just working off what you sent. Given the topic let me make clear this is ON the record. Please include in its entirety.
Amy deserves credit for confessing. Because anyone who’s seen “Thank You for Smoking” knows the problem isn’t Aaron Eckhart’s language or behavior, it’s Katie Holmes’s ethics and tactics. I said it then, I’d say it again today. Oh, one more thing: she and Caroline [Ed note: Carolyn] Ryan should know this about my own book I’m currently writing: there are tapes. And unlike some, I don’t bluff.
I asked Reines to clarify what tapes he was referring to. He responded:
Let’s just say they provide a unique window into how The New York Times approaches their Hillary Clinton coverage. The reader/listener will be able to make their own judgement about the paper’s motivations and ethics.
We’ve reached out to Chozick and the Times, and will update if they provide us with comment.
UPDATE: New York Times assistant managing editor Carolyn Ryan responded:
he misspelled my name