Accuracy in Media

Like all presidents, Barack Obama only likes the media when he can effectively manipulate it. When reporters don’t play by his rules, they are obstacles to his agenda.

Amazingly enough, that’s the message of a post at Swampland, Time magazine’s blog. Obama irked Michael Scherer when he used his Friday jobs summit to take a potshot at journalists, so Scherer scolded the media-commander-in-chief:

Through both the campaign and his presidency, Obama has made little secret of his disdain for some of the horse-race, tabloid elements of the press corps–though his political and communications staff are not above sometimes exploiting those same tendencies for their own benefit. Obama meets regularly off-the-record and on-the-record meals with columnists who his advisers see as more intellectually substantive (or politically influential). But he has not done the same with beat reporters, whom, as he suggested Thursday, sometimes do a disservice to the country with the journalistic equivalent of ambulance chasing.

As a candidate, Obama appeared to have mastered the game of media manipulation, but the game is easier to play when your supposed rivals already are in the tank with you. Many journalists are still “predisposed to him,” but as president, Obama has begun to alienate them with his persistent and bizarre attacks on the media.

While that communications strategy will not serve him well, the country will benefit if reporters get irritated enough with their hero to start acting like watchdogs instead of Obama lapdogs.




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