The Third Shift

A vagabond who's made his home in the Pacific Northwest.

Behind the Curtain: Obama, the puppet master -

There is so much stupidity contained in this piece by Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei that it drools. The primary stupidity is that ordinary people care about the travails of how hard the White House press corps has it in covering the president at all. Given that the people who do so largely make six-figure salaries from the large media corporations, sympathy is low, even from one’s fellow journalists.

The second problem is that these tirades and hissy fits come in the wake of the WH press corps being shut out of a photo op of President Obama playing golf with Tiger Woods. Of all the things to complain about transparency and access after, this ain’t it, and I don’t care how much you protest — a la Ed Henry of Fox News — that it’s about more than a golf game.

Third, and probably most salient, problem with this piece: the complaint by the press corps seems little more to me than the whining of an entitled class in the era of the Internet and easy to use media technology. Yes, the White House has increased its outreach through Twitter, Facebook, and other in-house methods of spreading its message rather than sitting down with journos. But every administration engages in this type of avoidance, only sitting down to softball interviews. Be a journalist. If you don’t get the access you want on an important story, then say so and find the information elsewhere. On covering subjects that actually matter, that means going to various departments and maybe greasing a squeaky wheel — like all those contacts and sources you’ve spent your time building up over your career.

Fourth and finally, it’s laughable to read complaints about the president not doing hard-hitting interviews with press organs such as the NYT, WashPost, etc. and including Politico in that list when Gawker editor John Cook reminds us of the last time Mike Allen got to sit down with a president by posting all the softballs Allen tossed to G.W. Bush on his Twitter feed.

Stop complaining about your lack of photo ops and go do your actual job.

Fixed. theme by Andrew McCarthy