Snarky Washington Post reporter Dana “Our Hero Worked the Rope Line” Milbank writes today about the President’s “unprecedented” interviews with regional broadcasters, who nail-chewing White House press types view as patsies and cheerleaders. (Does he really believe Clinton never established the precedent of going around the national press and talking to local news anchors? Or Reagan?)
Milbank sees the interviews as an attempt “to circumvent what the administration views as unfairly negative coverage of the Iraq conflict.” But why does the national press that THEY are the only reporters who have the skill and intellect and skepticism to adequately filter the president’s remarks? Only THEY have the right to manufacture the public consensus about how Iraq is going? They scorn White House “news management” (or acknowledge its success) as if they don’t orchestrate the “news” into a politically helpful product for Howard Dean.