Friday, April 2, 2010

Quote Of The Day

Quote of the day goes to Steve Clemons, via Talking Points Memo:

The White House is working hard to secure deals that yield fluffy, feel good commentary about the Obama White House. One American White House reporter used colorful terms to describe the arrangement. The reporter said, "They want 'blow jobs' first [in the press sense]. Then you have to be on good behavior for a bit or be willing to deal, and then you get access."

"Axe" and "Gibbs" know who needs access to get their books pushed forward. They know who will pay for play -- and are taking notes on who has been naughty and nice in their reporting.

Communications Corruption at the White House

If you've wondered why supposedly progressive reporters have been giving President Obama a pass on his regressive policies, I suggest you read this article. It provides an example, which is that there are reporters perfectly willing to fudge stories in exchange for the inside access necessary to write a successful book about Obama. Right now, books about Obama are in demand. Politics being what it is, that could change fairly quickly, so the time to sell out is right now.

Anyone familiar with Robert Woodward's books about George W. Bush will recognize this phenomenon. Woodward's books were initially overly respectful, one might even say "fawning", of Bush. The later ones, after Bush was re-elected and his poll numbers were in the toilet, were more critical.

Clemons' use of the word "corruption" in the title is apt. This is corruption, and since we depend on reporters for an understanding of what's going on in the White House, it's a particularly dangerous form.


lawguy said...

Greenwald had a similar essay up a couple of days ago. He pointed out that millions of dollars can result from the book deals. As the old joke has it: we already know what you are, now we're just discussing the price.

Anonymous said...

Cujo, on a related note, have you observed the recent plethora of articles concerning right-wing militias?
I think these right-wing kooks are dangerous, but hardly the mortal threat that these liberal scribes make them out to be. Plus, these extremist dummies are heavily infiltrated by the ATF/FBI and a bevy of well-paid informants, who curiously seem to be the worst instigators. The political tactic is obvious. The Democrats are going to frighten us to the polls in November! JB

Cujo359 said...

Missed that article for some reason, lawguy. The deals themselves could sometimes be a payoff, I'm sure. Lots of books written by conservatives are bought up by the conservative think-tanks and astroturf organizations to boost sales. If you're the right person, you're almost guaranteed a payoff.

Cujo359 said...

I've been watching them, JB. These folks are a threat to public safety, but probably not to the country. Having religious nutbags running around with guns isn't a pleasant thought, but I think you're right that our politicians want us scared of those folks, rather than them.