I Thought This Sort Of Thing Was Verboten After The Lewinsky Scandal

Oh, that state-run media:

As Howard Kurtz and Glenn Greenwald have both commented, many White House correspondents and other top tier journalists want to write Obama books.

Anything with “Obama” on it is running at a huge premium in the book publication market.

But the kind of books that sell need “inside access” and this is something that the communications team at the White House doles out minimally, and increasingly, only when favors are part of the arrangement.

What I have learned after discussions over the last several days with several journalists who either have regular access to the White House or are part of the White House press corps is that there is a growing sense that access is traded for positive stories — or perhaps worse, an agreement that things learned will not be reported in the near term.

The White House is working hard to secure deals that yield fluffy, feel good commentary about the Obama White House. One American White House reporter used colorful terms to describe the arrangement. The reporter said, “They want ‘blow jobs’ first [in the press sense]. Then you have to be on good behavior for a bit or be willing to deal, and then you get access.”

“Axe” and “Gibbs” know who needs access to get their books pushed forward.

They know who will pay for play — and are taking notes on who has been naughty and nice in their reporting.


Considering the near-monolithically favorable coverage that Obama received on the campaign trail from the inside the Beltway crowd, to equally gushing coverage after The One won the gig, how gushing does the hagiography have to get before it qualifies for B.J.-level “journalism” in the White House’s jaundiced eyes?

(Via Ann Althouse.)

Related: Beware, “The Access of Evil!” Although this is more like the Diet Coke — or more accurately, the Diet Pepsi — of evil.


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