I haven't wanted to comment on the long, whiny Politico article about how the meanies in the Obama administration controls press access to the president. But I'm struck by the fact that this is being complained about:
Still, the most unique twist by this White House has been the government's generating and distributing of content.D.C. journos are miffed because the White House can generate its own soft news coverage? What do the journos expect? Have they been paying attention to anything that's been going on in other media for approximately a decade?
[This was] on vivid display two weekends ago, when the White House released a six-month-old photo of the president shooting skeet, buttressing his claim in a New Republic interview that he fires at clay pigeons "all the time" at Camp David.
... [Senior adviser Dan] Pfeiffer and White House press secretary Jay Carney tweeted a link to the photo, with Pfeiffer writing that it was "[f]or all the skeeters" (doubters, or "skeet birthers"). Longtime adviser David Plouffe then taunted critics on Twitter: "Attn skeet birthers. Make our day - let the photoshop conspiracies begin!" Plouffe soon followed up with: "Day made. The skeet birthers are out in full force in response to POTUS pic. Makes for most excellent, delusional reading." ...
As anyone who pays the slightest attention to pop music (and, these days, books) has figured out, you can self-publish if you want, using this new thing called the Internet. And especially if you're already famous, you can put your own stuff out on your own site and it can get a hell of a lot of attention, if perhaps not quite the same level of attention you get if the transmission is through a media giant.
So the White House doesn't always need courtier journalists to release its soft stories -- it can post them the way Radiohead posted the album In Rainbows and the public can grab the content directly.
This leaves the press the job of having to figure out what it can offer that's different from self-published White House content. And that, I believe, would be, y'know, um, journalism. Ever heard of it? Dig around and come up with a story that's not spoon-fed to you by official sources? That sort of thing?
Instead, we get this:
The frustrated Obama press corps neared rebellion this past holiday weekend when reporters and photographers were not even allowed onto the Floridian National GolfClub, where Obama was golfing. That breached the tradition of the pool "holding" in the clubhouse and often covering -- and even questioning -- the president on the first and last holes.Guys? Seventy journalists were killed last year worldwide, and 232 are currently imprisoned. So cry me a river. (And if you think Team Obama invented press manipulation, go read this.)