by Melissa Clouthier | July 7, 2009 12:33 pm
It’s no accident that President Barack Obama enjoys press adulation and unicorn coverage. It’s expensive. And best of all, the taxpayer, you, pay for it. Danny Glover has an excellent piece today aptly titled The Cost of Controlling the Press at Accuracy In Media and you need to read the whole thing. Here’s some of it:
Obama’s press operation is different than Bush’s in ways besides the emphasis on Internet-driven media that bypasses the press corps. He has communications directors assigned to specific regions, for example-Adam Abrams to the West, Amy Brundage to the Midwest, Moira Muntz to the Northeast and Gannet Tseggai, to the South. Each earns $65,000 a year.
Obama also has staffers who cater to minority media outlets. Corey Ealons, the African America media director, gets $78,000, while Luis Miranda’s salary as Hispanic media director is $65,000.
The outreach to minority reporters already has generated a positive return for Obama on the taxpayers’ investment. Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz noted last week that leading black, female writers who have been given special access to first lady Michelle Obama have written “with enthusiasm, in some cases even admiration, about the first lady as a long-awaited role model for black women.”
The Obama media machine is up and running, but it could backfire if the media gain some self-respect and tire of being manipulated on behalf of the President’s image and agenda.
Well, I’ve written about this before, Obama’s mastery of the press. He has conditioned the press with a series of punishments and rewards that is masterful. Watching him run a press-conference is amazing. For all of Robert Gibb’s stupidity, what he’s good at is manipulation, too. So, the press is always on their heals, off-balance, not knowing exactly what to expect. If a reporter is on the shit list, he is shunned. If he is favored, he gets a question. Prestige matters little. If reporters spin Obama positively, they’ll be rewarded.
It’s all very Pavlovian. Fascinating, really, how easily President Obama manipulates the minions. Of course, in this case, there’s a desire to be manipulated not unlike a Magician’s participant desiring to be hypnotized. It’s much easier for the Magician to do his work when the volunteer is willing. The press is willing.
There are little seeps here and there, like the New York Times magically discovering that that President Obama was a nuclear freeze Peacenik in the 80’s. Wow, shocking! Note the reaction, though. People will be outraged at the commie information that will turn up about President Obama’s youth. They won’t be upset that President Obama had silly notions of peace, they will see that for themselves in his foreign policy. They will be upset that the press colluded and covered for candidate Obama.
I predict that the damning information about President Obama, should there be any, won’t come out until after he’s out of office, unless he really ticks off members of the press. Right now, there is still loving adoration and that buys more than all the New Media professionals ever could, though that helps. Should the well run dry, maybe negative reports will come out about Obama, but they’ll harm the Press at the same time. What scant credibility they have, they’ll lose.
For now, I see an uneasy marriage between President Obama and the press. They have much invested in his looking good–they both have much invested.
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