A few weeks ago, I wrote about some of the finest and strangest iterations of that esoteric form of journalism known as the “protective pool report.”
These are the dispatches from reporters covering Barack Obama’s every move. They tell other reporters the clothes he wears, the food he eats, the basketball he plays and the climates he passes through. (“Windy.” “Cold.” “Brisk.”) Often, these bored-beyond-belief reporters muse about their feelings and impressions from the inside of vans or coffee shops. But just now, Helene Cooper of the New York Times offered an artistic breakthrough in the craft of protective pool reporting. She created the pool report as institutional gripe:
“After three and a half hours at his transition office, PEOTUS obama took another 6 minute ride through washington, arriving at 157 pm at the nondescript soviet-style building at 15th and L street that houses the washington post.
Around 100 people–Post reporters perhaps?–awaited PEOTUS’s arrival, cheering and bobbing their coffee cups.
Pool is holding in a van outside, while Mr obama does his washington post interview, and will exercise enormous restraint by ending report before saying what really thinks about this turn of events.