Apparently the leftwing media is not hard left enough for the socialist in chief. The banning of the white press at this newsmaker event was no accident.
The headline on this piece is utterly misleading. In fact, it's just the opposite -- Obama seeks a completely filtered news op. Any reporter or journalist who wants access better toe the commie party line.
At a time when his Washington honeymoon is turning into a hazing, President Barack Obama and his team are launched on a strategy to sail above the traditional White House press corps by reaching out to liberal commentators, local reporters and ethnic media.
The highest-profile moments in the new approach have been well-noted, such as the president giving an interview to progressive radio host Ed Schultz and Obama calling on a reporter from the liberal-leaning Huffington Post at his first news conference.
But those moves are only part of a much larger strategy aimed at communicating directly with audiences the White House believes are more sympathetic to the president’s agenda — and one in which much of the work is being done by Obama’s top advisers.
On the day Obama released his ambitious spending plan, the administration put White House budget director Peter Orszag on a conference call with liberal-leaning writers. Senior administration aides have followed up by promoting the budget to local radio talk shows during morning drive time.
Jared Bernstein, Vice President Joe Biden’s economic adviser and a favorite of the labor-liberal wing of the Democratic Party, also held a conference call with friendly reporters.
White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has done conference calls with black and Hispanic media outlets.
Obama himself plans to meet soon with liberal bloggers, according to an administration official. With little fanfare, he’s already sat for interviews with Black Enterprise magazine, Telemundo and Los Angeles-based Hispanic radio host Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo.
Obama has a special stake in encouraging this movement. The campaign that vaulted him to power began mostly outside his party’s Washington establishment and was based heavily on the strength of his personality and promises to change the capital’s culture.
At his first news conference, for instance, his aides seated Schultz in the front row and called on reporter Sam Stein from The Huffington Post.
Unlike some of his predecessors, however, Obama and his aides tend not to boast about their media strategy or publicly exalt in how they are confronting or marginalizing the traditional news media.
Of course not, they are creating their own propaganda machine.
“You’ve got lots of people that aren’t cable junkies or news junkies,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said, explaining the thinking behind the tailored media strategy. “This gives us the opportunity to reach a little bit different of a segment.”
Another top aide used a sports analogy for the comprehensive strategy: “Flood the zone.”
Dan Bartlett, Bush’s White House communications director, said that he and his counterparts in the Obama administration were simply following the path of their audience.
“The lagging role of the mainstream media has prompted people to seek information from a wide variety of outlets that are often now aligned with their personal interests,” he said.
That can mean hoops fanatics or duck hunters, but it also often now means political partisans.
“The president has to be careful to tend to his base,” said Dee Dee Myers, press secretary in Clinton’s first term. “A lot of what he’s doing, like giving trillions to corporations, is not that popular on the left flank of the Democratic base. So going to places like Ed Schultz or engaging the Huffington Post or MoveOn is a way to say, ‘Look, we get it; we’re talking to a lot of the people who brung us.’”
Going on opinion shows “allows you to more discreetly mobilize people for certain causes,” said Bartlett.
“It’s like mainlining into a vein — you’re getting the drugs where they need to go,” he said.
There's more on this unbelievable seizure of control of the press here.