June 23, 2009

MSM seeds of discontent

Politico is reporting that it looks like the President co-ordinated a question with the Huffington Post's Nico Pitney at a press conference. Even calling on the Huffington Post for a question breaks from tradition, but having knowledge of an upcoming question has the smell of state-controlled media all over it. [NOTE - the update in Politico confirms that there was at least co-ordination on some level - Pitney knew that he might be called on].

But the real 'a-ha' moment with this situation shows up further down in the Politico column by Michael Calderone:

CBS Radio's Mark Knoller, a veteran White House correspondent, said over Twitter it was "very unusual that Obama called on Huffington Post second, appearing to know the issue the reporter would ask about."
So here's the juicy part - the CBS correspondent sounds a little irked. After the Mainstream Media carrying Obama's water through the primaries, the general election through post-inauguration, he's asking questions now from those even further left than the mainstream media. Despite being their darling, the President has perhaps started the process of jilting them.

Ouch. There was a lot of speculation on the right that the media was backing Obama because he was their guy. It was a means of re-establishing their clout. But if he's going to start asking questions of HuffPo 'reporters' then what's next Kos? The press at NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, New York Times et al. might start to see their clout in doubt and threatened by the new media on the left. This in addition to the new media on the right - Fox, Rush, right wing bloggers etc. Combine that threat with their already sinking ratings and in some cases, bleeding of cash - you have the beginnings of a potential rift.

Presidential honeymoons always end. For President Obama it ended early on for the right because of his blizzard of spending. But for the left, he may be causing his own early ending of the honeymoon by revealing his truest friends are further left. Either the mainstream media is going to be angry because they feel they are just as left as HuffPo and will feel used or else they are going to feel used and deceived because of his shift towards friendlier questioning. Either way, the MSM is going to feel a bit of antipathy over this. And if that's the case, the questions are bound to get just a little harder for President Obama.

All I can say is "about time".

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