You would think when you have the vast majority of the media in your back pocket the need to act like babies when you don’t get your way all the time wouldn’t be necessary. But we’re talking about the Obama White House, which has been at war with media outlets they don’t consider “fair” from day one. They’ve now thrown a hissy-fit over the editorial decision by the Boston Herald to not include Obama’s trip to Boston today on the front page.
The White House Press Office has refused to give the Boston Herald full access to President Obama’s Boston fund-raiser today, in e-mails objecting to the newspaper’s front page placement of a Mitt Romney op-ed, saying pool reporters are chosen based on whether they cover the news “fairly.”
“I tend to consider the degree to which papers have demonstrated to covering the White House regularly and fairly in determining local pool reporters,” White House spokesman Matt Lehrich wrote in response to a Herald request for full access to the presidential visit.
“My point about the op-ed was not that you ran it but that it was the full front page, which excluded any coverage of the visit of a sitting US President to Boston. I think that raises a fair question about whether the paper is unbiased in its coverage of the President’s visits,” Lehrich wrote.
So it’s now apparently the job of the White House to decide story placement in newspapers. And they wonder why they’re considered so juvenile. This comes on the heels of their spat with the San Francisco Chronicle after one of their reporters posted video of protesters heckling Obama. Which followed two years of open warfare on Fox News. One observer says it’s all about controlling the message.
Glenn Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor who has followed White House-press relations at right-leaning Instapundit.com, said a pattern appears to be developing.
“It’s all about control,” Reynolds said. “At some point this will blow back on them. Most presidents behave in a more refined fashion. Experience has shown that acting presidential is good politics and to their advantage.”
Clearly, one White House correspondent isn’t worried about blowback. In a gushing mash note to Obama today, Sam Youngman of The Hill sets journalism back several decades. In a piece chronicling the demise of Donald Trump, Hill offers up a smorgasbord of embarrassing cliches ostensibly intended to demonstrate what a fearless he-man Obama is, culminating with this sophistry:
“Obama is a fierce campaigner, and the nation’s grown-up-in-chief has little patience for sideshows.”
Today the “grown-up-in-chief” doesn’t get front page coverage and a reporter is banished.
Some might consider that a sideshow.