In an effort to manage the mainstream media and limit damage control, Barack Obama has largely eschewed the longtime tradition of short question-and-answer sessions with the Press Corps in favor of longer sit-down interviews.
According to Politico, Obama has held just 75 of the shorter pressers, compared to 258 by George Bush and 408 by Bill Clinton at the same point in their presidencies.
Instead, Obama has chosen to make himself available for one-on-one interviews, which he can achieve more control over, with longer more expansive answers thus reducing the chance that he will be embarrassed.
To date, Obama has done about 150 of these types of interviews compared with 43 for Bush; helping to sell his image as a cool, cerebral president rather than be subjected to a series of rapid fire questions and having to think off the top of his head which he has proven to be less than deft at.
The White House Press Corps has remained largely silent on the lack of access to Obama, compared to Bush, which is even more startling since they complained loudly about the number of press conferences that Bush held despite, as the statistics showed, he gave more than three times as many pressers as Obama.
While not all in the media are as firmly behind Obama as they were in 2008 and 2009, their silence on this issue is deafening and a prime example of their bias towards Obama and against Bush.
Maybe they understand that in order to protect Obama, he needs a controlled environment so that he doesn’t go off the reservation. But by doing so they have become pawns in his larger goal of media manipulation.