Newsweek’s Evan Thomas in 2007: “our job is to bash the president.”
Nina Totenberg of NPR, the original state-run media, last week, “I thought that the press reminded me of something my mother used to say to me. She said: ‘Don’t be fresh.'”
Or as Charles Krauthammer quipped last week:
The hot sex is over, they’re in the cigarette stage right now. You get a question or two that’s slightly obstreperous, but the adulatory coverage is still all wall-to-wall.
And as the relationship becomes more familiar, the parties are becoming just a bit jaded with each other. Michael Goldfarb of the Weekly Standard comments on, as he puts it “the botched handoff” between President Obama and Nico Pitney of the Huffington Post during Obama’s press conference last week that alerted that this play was otherwise carefully scripted:
This botched handoff, which has the president flagrantly teeing up the question — because he doesn’t care how it looks — and then a nervous Pitney unable to adjust under pressure, was just so discordant and clumsy. If Obama had just gone straight to Pitney and commended his good work on covering events in Iran, there wouldn’t have been any big story here (it was, after all, the second time Obama had taken questions from a “reporter” working for a website that is essentially a front for the Democratic party). And if Pitney had just kept his cool and not gratuitously announced that he wanted to ask a question directly from an Iranian after the president had just said precisely that…
It doesn’t matter much now, but it just strikes me that what really burns about this whole setup is that it looked like amateur hour. If the White House is going to coordinate with a journalist on the content of his question, at least do us the courtesy of making it look good.
As Goldfarb writes, “What fun is it being in opposition if the White House is so brazen that our conspiracy theories are proved right before our eyes”?