OK, some quick background to bring anyone up to speed.
- Obama held an off the record meeting between columnists and himself at the WH.
- WaPo dutifully launders the information into a column mocking republicans on ISIS response.
- The NYT decides to find a way around the off the record nature of the conversation for whatever reason resulting in this article that’s basically a summary of the meeting, but includes a tidbit where Obama admits he had no idea of the feelings of Americans, blaming it on a lack of watching Television.
- NYT’s realizes that this makes Obama look horribly out of touch and scrubs that part of the article.
Now there’s been a lot of focus on the NYT’s journalism malpractice here. And it warrants discussing. But let’s not miss the forest for the trees here which is that a bunch of journalists agreed to an off the record meeting with the President of the United States.
This isn’t a low level staffer afraid of his job that you’re pumping for information. Or a wink-and-a-nudge “tell me what you really think” moment in an interview. They agreed outright to an off the record meeting from the start. Would they have agreed to such terms with GWB? Would they agree to such terms with any of the current republican candidates?
Under what conditions is what a president says about his policies not newsworthy?
Now it seems obvious to all of us that they agreed to this because the purpose of the meeting was not journalism, but a unified PR response (see: WaPo article in #2). But we do ourselves and this country a great disservice by not pointing out the toadying nature of the big journalism outlets at every turn. (And don’t give me that whining bullshit about access.) Yes, many people don’t trust the media. But until no one does, or work is not done.
There has been no question in my mind about the continued existence of JournoList. Like other subversive groups, they adopted a low profile when their activities first became public, but they have never lost sight of their mission: to pimp relentlessly for Choom Boy, his successors, and the Almighty Liberal Agenda.
There is probably a JournoList II as well, just for so-called conservatives, currently dedicated to the destruction of Donald Trump’s candidacy. That one, however, is like the GOPe itself, spineless and relatively ineffective.
Sadly, this is the kind of bullshit we have to live with. The general public doesn’t much care, and restraining these hacks from taking sides in politics would violate the First Amendment and probably a whole passel of other laws. It would also be morally wrong; two wrongs, and all that….
It seems we’re stuck, at least until some political figure rises above petty hackery and decides to comport himself in an honorable, decent manner. Yeah, right.
“restraining these hacks” would violate the first amendment…if we used government power.
However we are free to broadcast their silliness far and wide. And in this case tell people “you seriously going to trust a bunch of assholes who literally met to get marching orders from a failed president?”
Not only held an off-the-record meeting, but went ahead and put it in their paper.
The intent was to put it in the papers, just as an observation of the “smart set” rather than spoon fed propaganda.
President Obama has exceeded my expectations. No where did I expect our president to have done what he has done. He is an overachiever.
That was a nice putt he made the other day.
Jimmy Carter = build houses for the poor.
Barack Obama = try to get a PGA card.
If that were the worst he will do then we should consider ourselves very lucky.
I foresee a World Bank or UN position for the Chocolate Jesus…both positions from which he could do a huge amount of damage to the West.
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