Vanity Fair’s Michael Wolff on Obama and the Press

June 9, 2009 at 10:41 am | Posted in Barack Obama, Media Watch | Leave a comment
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A little while back I posted on Obama’s online Open for Questions experiment, asking whether it would make the WH Press corp obsolete.  The actual event was a bit of a snoozer, but I still believe, produced the right way, a direct communication with the American people will render the WH Press corp irrelevant.  I’m now reading Michael Wolff’s Vanity Fair piece who touched on the same power shift:

Even before formally taking possession of the White House and pressroom, the team began to talk about keeping Obama’s much vaunted peer-to-peer network of millions of small contributors in place, of making it a central outlet of its communications strategy. The implication seemed clear: newspapers and networks had a swiftly declining market, while the Obama administration had created an audience that it could reach through its own distribution prowess and that hung on its every word.

But,  if the White House is orchestrating such a shift, they aren’t letting on…or at least they’re doing a good job of acting as though nothing has changed.  Wolff says:

In fact, it almost seems as though the Obama people have abandoned that grail of all White Houses, to bypass the mainstream media and go directly to the people, to get the message out, pure and unfiltered—which, with their millions of e-mail addresses and Twitter followers, never seemed so possible as now.

Instead, they’re wooing The New York Times as assiduously as Pierre Salinger did on behalf of John Kennedy in 1962. And, perhaps not surprisingly, The New York Times woos back—rewarding the president with a lavishness of coverage not seen since, well, J.F.K. in 1962. It’s an establishment lovefest.

Read the whole piece here…it’s a great, quick read!


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