(H/T: Hot Air Headlines) Today’s entry has as its theme How to succeed in insulting the press corps without really trying.
For reporters covering President Obama, there’s only one party in town that matters: The White House Holiday Party. It’s a rare opportunity to walk around parts of the White House and meet the president and first lady. In the past, the highlight of the event has been the chance to get your picture taken with the president in the receiving line.
This year, however, the White House seems to be doing things a little differently. The invites went out late – and didn’t include journalists who have been invited in the past. And those who have been invited seem likely to be denied the traditional receiving-line photo.
There’s a lot of good schadenfreude in the Politico article, if you’re the sort to mock the press corps for this – which I’m actually not inclined to do, in fact. The reason why I’m not is because of this sentence:
“It’s always been a big deal,” said [Dee Dee] Myers, who served as press secretary to former President Bill Clinton. “It’s exhausting [for the president] but it’s the one time when reporters feel like they’re treated like human beings and not just some guy behind the rope line. It’s the one time they can actually say hello.”
Maybe it’s just because Christmas is coming up, but I’m sympathetic to people finding out that a traditional perk of their not-entirely-pleasant jobs – and most of the folks reading this would like to have a photo of them meeting a President of the United States – has gone away because it’s inconvenient for the current President and his staff. Which latter, as the Politico article later reports, has thrown together the entire holiday party in its typical slapdash fashion. Informal invitations via email, seriously late formal invitations, rushed RSVP schedule, making the news organizations themselves decide who gets to go… it’s all there, and it’s yet another example of why there’s a White House Chief of Staff in the first place.
Say what you like about Barack Obama the man, as President he’s entitled to better personal service than he’s getting from Rahm Emanuel. It reflects badly on the entire country when these events don’t go smoothly, and if people who try to tell you otherwise, ask yourself this: would you attend one of their parties?
Crossposted to Moe Lane.