‘How Washington Officials Bested the Media’

A good read from Ari Fleisher on how “quote approval” is hurting political journalism. CNN:

When I saw the story, my jaw dropped.

Has journalism deteriorated so badly that Barack Obama’s campaign aides are allowed to send quotes to reporters that “come back redacted, stripped of colorful metaphors, colloquial language and anything even mildly provocative,” as The New York Times reported.

It’s called “quote approval,” and it’s quite a problem.

It’s also, as the Times noted, not a practice limited to Team Obama.

“Quote approval is standard practice for the Obama campaign, used by many top strategists and almost all midlevel aides in Chicago and at the White House,” the story reported. “It is also commonplace throughout Washington and on the campaign trail.” Some Mitt Romney staffers are afforded the same privilege, the Times said.

Ten years ago when I was White House press secretary, before Twitter and Facebook, in an era when reporters used to pick up their phones to conduct interviews as opposed to e-mailing, I would have been laughed out of the briefing room if I tried to get quote approval for something I said.

The rest here.

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