I wish I’d come up with that appellation, but the indispensable Charles Pierce of Esquire must be credited. However, I seriously doubt that he has taken a dim view of the non-venerable gossip rag for any longer than have I. Since their inception, Politico have focused on Washington gossip, and making sure their crappy “journalists” get as much face time as possible in the talking head segments of network and cable news.
You know, gaining credibility the way the astroturf Tea Party Express did when CNN sent a bus to TOUR with them? “Credibility by guilty association” we might call it. Listen to Tiger Beat on the Potomac‘s latest “LOOK AT ME!” fake journalism [emphasis added]:
Obama, the puppet master
By JIM VANDEHEI and MIKE ALLEN | 2/18/13 10:29 PM EST
President Barack Obama is a master at limiting, shaping and manipulating media coverage of himself and his White House.
Not for the reason that conservatives suspect: namely, that a liberal press willingly and eagerly allows itself to get manipulated. Instead, the mastery mostly flows from a White House that has taken old tricks for shaping coverage (staged leaks, friendly interviews) and put them on steroids using new ones (social media, content creation, precision targeting). And it’s an equal opportunity strategy: Media across the ideological spectrum are left scrambling for access.
Fire up the Waaaaahmbulance. Ah, that Big Brother Communist Kenyan Muslim interloper is JUST TOO SMART FOR US NEWSIES!!!! (Must be the antiChrist.) It continues, pretentiously:
The results are transformational. With more technology, and fewer resources at many media companies, the balance of power between the White House and press has tipped unmistakably toward the government. This is an arguably dangerous development, and one that the Obama White House — fluent in digital media and no fan of the mainstream press — has exploited cleverly and ruthlessly. And future presidents from both parties will undoubtedly copy and expand on this approach….
Now, aside from the rigid pompousity of the sophomore compositional style (use big words and draw enormous conclusions) , the slant of this piece, coming from the digital rag suitable for wrapping virtual fish that is Politico, is extremely ugly: “dangerous,” “ruthlessly,” “exploited,” “tipped unmistakably toward government,” “no fan of the mainstream press” are loaded terms that clearly paint an unstated Orwellian accusation.*
[* Here are some others:
- “There is the iron-fisted control of access to White House information and officials.”
- “does some good old-fashioned bullying of reporters”
- “There’s the classic weekend document dump to avoid negative coverage.” (unique to this Administration? Hardly.)
- “Many reporters find Obama himself strangely fearful of talking with them and often aloof and cocky when he does”
- “Mitt Romney, was equally adept at substance-free encounters with reporters.” (Politico talking ”subtance-free”? Pot: kettle.)
- “hence, the stiffing of even The New York Times” (“hence, the stiffing”?!?? Talk about pretentious, bad writing….)
- “So how did the president’s inner circle handle the silly dust-up about whether the president really did shoot skeet?” (I would submit that any “news” organization that would characterize a Faux Nooz Rightie Kerfuffle as “silly” hasn’t been paying attention to the “Birther” toxin. Worse, Tiger Beat on the Potomac implies that the “silly dust-up” was Obama’s fault and somehow grotesquely mismanaged. Which certainly proves grotesque mismanagement on some party’s part, and NOT on the President’s, if you catch my drift, hencely stiffing …)
Which is, as we all learned in Journalism 101, an unconscionable slanting of a news story. Which MAY well be the tautological answer to the unspoken question: Why doesn’t Obama give lots of traditional White House Mainstream Press access to reporters (who have ALWAYS complained about not having enough access, BTW)?
Remember Al Roker on Inauguration Day?
Maybe the White House needs to be “proactive” in defending itself against a press corpse that allows OPENLY, transparently and dishonestly hostile propaganda organizations to be categorized as “news” and even votes to put their phony ‘White House Correspondent” on the front row in the White House Press Room. Maybe a press that can’ t and won’t discipline itself (as has been the case since John Peter Zenger) must be dealt with as a dangerously out of control Beast from Hell, its fangs glistening with rabies-infused drool. Or maybe the dead tree press has failed to notice the Gutenbergian revolution that has altered our entire view of what “the press” is.
None of these are dealt with in Politico’s panties-wetting. You think I jest? Listen to the REASON for the Tiger Beat on the Potomac hacks to “DEFEND” their press brethren and cistern from the Evil Evil Ruthless Obama Administration. Listen to this CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER TO OUR DEMOCRACY!!!
The frustrated Obama press corps neared rebellion this past holiday weekend when reporters and photographers were not even allowed onto the Floridian National GolfClub, where Obama was golfing. That breached the tradition of the pool “holding” in the clubhouse and often covering — and even questioning — the president on the first and last holes.
Ah. The press couldn’t turn Obama and Tiger Woods into a photo op? The scurvy press wasn’t allowed to play golf course paparazzi by the Evil Bullying Administration?
HOW. DARE. THEY.
And, sadly, when you deeply read this undeeply written rant, THAT is what it’s ACTUALLY about, at base. All the “Orwellian nightmare” persiflage notwithstanding.
Which is EXACTLY the sense of priorities that one would expect from the ORIGINAL Tiger Beat.
BOBBY SHERMAN WOULDN’T TALK TO US!!!!
step into the light, Politico