Let us set the scenario.
- On March 8, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney wrote an op-ed for the Boston Herald. Title: “Obama Misery Index hits a record high:” it’s about jobs, unemployment, and how this is lousy at encouraging the former and good at encouraging the latter.
- The Boston Herald decides to put said op-ed on the front page. Again: former governor. The Boston Herald doesn’t hate Republicans: after all, it endorsed McCain in 2008 (primary, too, so it’s not like they’re in the tank for Romney).
- As it happens, the President visited Boston at about that time for a fundraiser for the DCCC (note that this was before his official announcement that he was running for re-election.
- The White House was not happy about how the Boston Herald covered that particular event. Which is to say, the President’s appearance at a fairly generic DCCC meet-and-greet did not get front-page coverage, apparently.
- You know where this is going, don’t you?
Of course you do: the Boston Herald got shut out of full coverage of the President’s latest fundraising efforts in Boston. The truly entertaining part? Those genius polymaths in this administration still don’t understand how to talk to the press:
“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,” [White House spokesman Matt] Lehrich wrote.
Not that the Obama campaign/administration ever needed to learn that particular life skill before now. In the article, Glenn Reynolds (H/T, by the way) sums up rather well the image problem that the administration is starting to suffer from when he writes “Most presidents behave in a more refined fashion.” Indeed, most do… because most Presidents got their position after having been subjected to a deliberately-brutal selection process. Particularly the Republicans ones; we complain about media bias (with cause), but there’s no denying that it at least helps keep our party’s politicians on their toes.
Unfortunately – for the country, the Democratic party, and (increasingly) President Obama – our current Commander in Chief never got to experience the dubious joys of a good media curbstomping. As a result, neither he nor his team is really ready to handle anything that resembles an adverse media atmosphere, which is why we keep seeing stories like this. Whether or not these provocations by this administration will translate into actual warfare with the press later on is still open to question. On the one hand, the media is predisposed to liking Democrats. On the other hand, their favorite story in the whole, wide world is The God That Failed.
On the gripping hand, it’s not like they’re progressives, or anything: the media still has its pride and self-respect…
Moe Lane (crosspost)