According to the New York Times, the media that in 2008 couldn’t bother itself to vet Barack Obama has been too gosh darn tough on him.
A few months after President Obama’s $787 billion economic stimulus package passed, he began to notice news reports, but not about the jobs the bill might create or how much of the country’s infrastructure it would repair. Instead, the articles focused on traffic jams.
“Traffic Set to Slow as Stimulus Gears Up,” as the headline on a 2009 article in USA Today read.
Jared Bernstein, an economist in the administration at the time, said the articles exemplified the White House’s problems with news media coverage. “The feeling was, ‘man, we can’t catch a break,’ ” he said.
Other than the break they’d all caught across the entire presidential campaign, sure.
Privately and publicly, Mr. Obama has articulated what he sees as two overarching problems: coverage that focuses on political winners and losers rather than substance; and a “false balance,” in which two opposing sides are given equal weight regardless of the facts.
Obama wants the national press to be even less fair to the right than it already is. Whiny little baby.
He typically begins his day upstairs in the White House reading the major newspapers, including his hometown Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times, mostly on his iPad through apps rather than their Web sites. He also skims articles that aides e-mail to him, with the subject line stating the publication and the headline (like “WSJ: Moody’s Downgrades Banks”).
During the day, Mr. Obama reads newspapers on his iPad and print copies of magazines like The Economist and The New Yorker. On most Air Force One flights, he catches up on the news on his iPad.
That’s a lot of reading. Not a lot of real leading.
Not that I have a problem with that, personally. The less leading he does, the less damage he does. But still, that much media consumption typically goes along with a career in media, not heading the executive branch of the government.