by Ed Lasky
Now we know why-when President Obama deigns to talk to the media-he chooses local outlets and venues such as Entertainment Tonight and People magazine. He can overawe them by the chance to talk to a President and he can script the questions they will ask him. So not only do we have photo-ops but also phony interviews.
From veteran WH reporter Keith Koffler in a column titled "White House Sets Ground Rules for Local Interviews":
The White House is doing something with its local TV interviews that it could not easily get away with in encounters with the White House press corps, which President Obama has been studiously ignoring: choosing the topic about which President Obama and the reporter will talk.
In interviews with three local TV stations Monday, two from states critical to Obama's reelection effort, Obama held forth on the possibility of "sequestration" if he and Congress fail to reach a budget deal, allowing him to make his favorite political point that Republicans are willing to cause grievous harm to the economy and jobs in order to protect the rich from tax increases...
The reporters mostly made no effort to hide the arrangement. "The president invited me to talk about sequestration," NBC 7 San Diego's reporter told her audience. In the interview, she set Obama up with a perfectly pitched softball the president couldn't have been more eager to take a swing at:
"What do you want individual San Diegans to know about sequestration?" she asked.
Donna Deegan of FCN Jacksonville initially seemed to apologize for not broaching the appointed subject right away.
"Mr. President, I know we were asked to talk about sequestration today," she said, but then added she wanted to talk about something else first. Finally, she got to it:
"Let's talk a little bit about sequestration, because I know that's why you invited us here," she said.
Obama used an interview with WVEC Norfolk to specifically bash Republicans.
Isn't this like getting the questions to exams before the test date?
Now we know why he avoids press conferences with more serious reporters -- and , why he avoids like the plague anyone from conservative media outlets or anyone from, say, Fox News.
No wonder journalist Mark Halperin spilled the beans when he said "the media is very susceptible to doing what the campaign wants."
Lest we forget that one pro-Obama media pseudo-conspiracy was busted a couple of years ago when the "Journolist" effort was disclosed. This was a small clubby group of journalists -- some writing for major media -- who passed around ideas on-line on how to spin the public to be more pro-Obama.
Should it surprise anyone that the media is so widely considered to be in Obama's pocket and is so widely disrespected? (See this column in Investor's Business Daily. Among the insights is a Rasmussen poll that show 51% of likely voters fully expect the media to favor Obama in its campaign coverage.)
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