Feed the Reporters! Nuance and President Obama's Media Strategy

0812obamaeating Feed the Reporters! Nuance and President Obama's Media StrategyToday President Obama tried to make nice with White House reporters by hosting an off-the-record lunch. The reporters are mad and sad because the President doesn’t speak to them very often, especially not in casual settings.

The New York Times didn’t go to lunch — no time to waste with off-the-record chicken salad — but blogged about the invitation. The dozen or so reporters who did eat with the President this afternoon  weren’t allowed to write about it.

We are reminded of nine minutes in April when the President sauntered to the back of Air Force One to talk to speak wiht the press off-the-cuff. President Obama timed his visit to coincide with a press corps chicken parmigiana chow session. It’s hard to ask questions when you’re chewing.

By this time in President George W. Bush’s adminisration he had spoken casually with the press three times as much as President Obama, according to a professor at Towson University. Maybe the President’s media strategy is to limit access. And, when that doesn’t work, he just tries to avoid reporters on an empty stomach.

Article continues below
More from Politics
STAR OF DAVID OR 'PLAIN STAR'?   If you thought "CP Time" was impolitic, on July 2 Donald Trump posted a picture on Twitter of a Star of David on top of a pile of cash next to Hillary Clinton's face. You'd think after the aforementioned crime stats incident (or after engaging a user called "@WhiteGenocideTM," or blasting out a quote from Benito Mussolini, or...) Trump would have learned to wait a full 15 seconds before hitting the "Tweet" button. But not only was the gaffe itself bad, the attempts at damage control made the BP oil spill response look a virtuoso performance.  About two hours after the image went up on Trump's account, somebody took it down and replaced it with a similar picture that swapped the hexagram with a circle (bearing the same legend "Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!"!). Believe it or not, it actually got worse from there. As reports arose that the first image had originated on a white supremacist message board, Trump insisted that the shape was a "sheriff's star," or "plain star," not a Star of David. And he continued to sulk about the coverage online and in public for days afterward, even when the media was clearly ready to move on. This refusal to just let some bad press go would haunt him later on.
Donald Trump More Or Less Says He’ll Keep On Tweeting as President