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White House Press Corps Feelings Hurt By Obama Administration

The Politico has an exhaustive piece out today on the growing rift between the White House Press Corps and the Obama administration. There are quite a few comments by members of the press corps that are out of character with the fawning acolytes we saw following Candidate Obama around the campaign trail in 2008. Here's a montage of complaints that frame the relationship between the two sides today:

-- Day-to-day interaction with Obama is almost non-existent, and he talks to the press corps far less often than Bill Clinton or even George W. Bush did. Clinton took questions nearly every weekday, on average. Obama barely does it once a week.

-- The ferocity of pushback is intense. A routine press query can draw a string of vitriolic emails. A negative story can draw a profane high-decibel phone call - or worse. Some reporters feel like they've been frozen out after crossing the White House.

-- Except for a few reporters, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs can be distant and difficult to reach - even though his job is to be one of the main conduits from president to press. "It's an odd White House where it's easier to get the White House chief of staff on the phone than the White House press secretary," one top reporter said.

-- And at the very moment many reporters feel shut out, one paper - the New York Times - enjoys a favoritism from Obama and his staff that makes competitors fume, with gift-wrapped scoops and loads of presidential face-time.

"These are people who came in with every reporter giving them the benefit of the doubt," said another reporter who regularly covers the White House. "They've lost all that goodwill."

ABC's Ann Compton seems particularly upset:

( The President) has severely cut back the informal exchanges with the press pool, marking a new low in presidential access.

The numbers speak for themselves: during his first year in office, President Bill Clinton did 252 such Q&A sessions--an average of one every weekday. Bush did 147. Obama did 46, according to Towson University Professor Martha Kumar.

"Too many of the president's meetings are 'no coverage' for my taste," said ABC's Ann Compton. "That is a stark reduction in access for us."

...Compton said that if the Obama White House's sense of being besieged by the press is authentic it bespeaks a kind of innocence born from a candidate and a president who have never confronted a full-on Washington feeding frenzy.

"They ain't seen nothing yet," the longtime ABC reporter said. "Wait 'till they have to start really circling the wagons when someone in the administration under attack, wait 'till there's a scandal, wait 'till someone screws up, then it'll get hostile."

Some reporters in the press pool don't like the pushback when they write something that upsets the White House:

And just what happens when you upset the White House?

Among White House reporters, tales abound of an offhand criticism or passing claim low in an unremarkable story setting off an avalanche of hostile e-mail and voice mail messages.

"It's not unusual to have shouting matches, or the email equivalent of that. It's very, very aggressive behavior, taking issue with a thing you've written, an individual word, all sorts of things," said one White House reporter.

I have one take on this extraordinary recitation of complaints: grow up. When these reporters in the White House press pool start acting like real reporters they'll get some R-E-S-P-E-C-T. What else did they expect to receive after serving for almost a year as an extension of the official Obama for President Campaign? These complainers need to decide what they care about most: access to the president or old fashioned gum shoe reporting? The stories are out there. The reporter that actually digs and starts causing problems for this President and his administration will be the first one invited in for an interview. But don't hold your breath waiting on that.


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Comments (35)

Big freakin' boo hoo. The s... (Below threshold)
recovered liberal democrat:

Big freakin' boo hoo. The state controlled media dopes are just now realizing the have been duped by this regime? You can't fix stupid.

Why is he hiding from them?... (Below threshold)

Why is he hiding from them?

The onliest time the press corpse will ever ask Barry a serious question is when he falls off the wagon and stops screwing the taxpayer dry.

Maybe Barry Goebbels is getting ready to seize all forms of info disseminated on air, land, sea. Even Helen Thomas dentures are not safe.

"Wait 'till they have to... (Below threshold)

"Wait 'till they have to start really circling the wagons when someone in the administration under attack, wait 'till there's a scandal, wait 'till someone screws up, then it'll get hostile."

By that I assume she means:

"Wait 'till they have to start really circling the wagons when someone in the administration under attack because we're not going to bury it and/or defend them like we have been, wait 'till there's a scandal that we actually cover instead of cover up, wait 'till someone screws up and we say they screwed up instead of framing their pile of poo and calling it an unintentional masterpiece of governance, then it'll get hostile until Obama parades in front of us with his shirt off again."

Put some ice on that, Obama... (Below threshold)
LeBron Steinman:

Put some ice on that, Obamass -kissing weasels.

AWWWW. The poor little lib ... (Below threshold)

AWWWW. The poor little lib water-carriers. Isn't Hussein playing nice? Well tell me, just how "available" do these dopes think Hitler, Stalin or Castro were?

If the assholes in the MSM ... (Below threshold)
geo Author Profile Page:

If the assholes in the MSM were doing their jobs and asking the tough questions it would not make any difference who was in office. If they feel slighted by the 0, it is because they have allowed themselves to be impotent asskissers who can be manipulated. When they start doing their job I will feel their pain..otherwise they can keep on kissing ass and becoming (more) irrelevant.

If the press corps is feeli... (Below threshold)

If the press corps is feeling this way against Obama...does that mean the press corps will start telling the truth to get back at him???

Most.Transparent.Administra... (Below threshold)


A couple of observations. ... (Below threshold)

A couple of observations. First this:

"They ain't seen nothing yet," the longtime ABC reporter said. "Wait 'till they have to start really circling the wagons when someone in the administration under attack, wait 'till there's a scandal, wait 'till someone screws up, then it'll get hostile."

Scandals and screw ups have been coming at a rapid pace since the inception of this admin. The media hasn't gotten hostile yet. So if they're whining about their treatment now, wait until they actually say something hostile. They'll be tied to a post with a blindfold on wondering what that *click* was.

Secondly, we wouldn't be laughing in their faces over such namby-pamby whining and pouting right now if they had remembered that their loyalty should have been to their readers - not a bunch of corrupt Chicago Democrats in the hopes of being rewarded by being invited to the best parties.

They don't seem to recogniz... (Below threshold)

They don't seem to recognize the fact that they've been discarded and thrown under the [very crowded] bus.

Now where's that little violin when we need it?

The press needs some intros... (Below threshold)

The press needs some introspection here. I suspect they get treated the way they do because the White House believes they can get away with it and no matter how unsavory their tactics are. If one looks at the history of egomaniacs in power this is pretty much the condescending/aggressive behavior that surfaces toward anyone who goes off the carefully scripted program. The press has only itself to blame for facilitating this clown's personality disorders up to this point.

Many of these so called "re... (Below threshold)

Many of these so called "reporters" should be executed, along with the communist members of our government, for treason.
We will not forget their role in electing those who are killing American freedom.

Many of these so called "re... (Below threshold)

Many of these so called "reporters" should be executed, along with the communist members of our government, for treason.
We will not forget their role in electing and protecting those who are stealing American wealth and freedom.

Just goes to show, when you... (Below threshold)

Just goes to show, when you - as a reporter - get a 'tingle up the leg' when you're talking about a candidate, you need some sort of 'relief' - whether cooperative or solitary, it doesn't much matter - and an immediate realization that your objectivity is severely compromised.

These idiots were so infatuated with Obama they refused to look at the man himself while lovingly crafting his image. Now they're finding out their Playmate of the Month is about as two-dimensional as any pinup ever was - created by careful lighting, makeup, and photography.

Yeah, that centerfold they worked so hard to airbrush to perfection, making sure all the warts and flaws were covered really well looks great... from a distance. In real life? Not so much... it's hard to maintain the illusion of perfection when every day something new comes out that totally bums you out.

That glorious political creature of their fevered imaginings swears like a sailor, smokes like a chimney, and spends money like a shopaholic - and hasn't brushed their teeth in a couple of weeks.

And consider - this was the BEST candidate the Dems could come up with. What does it say about the rest of the party?

Journalism majors are even ... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Journalism majors are even dumber than education majors, if that's possible. Exhibit A.

The press could play hardba... (Below threshold)
James H:

The press could play hardball with Obama, too. If the White House denies access, those cameras and tape recorders could just as easily be pointed at Eric Cantor and John Boehner. Or the Washington press corps could take some field trips to the Midwest or somewhere to report on what's going on outside the Beltway.

To the White House steno po... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

To the White House steno pool: Why waste time with Obama? He's just the messenger. Go straight to Soros.

Somebody call the Wombamabu... (Below threshold)

Somebody call the Wombamabulance!

The press corpse is hurt by... (Below threshold)

The press corpse is hurt by Barry? They sit on their collective asses and try to get a crooked prompted answer out of Gibbsie's probed pompous scripted ass and this passes for work?

Lazy sobs get out there and do something worthwhile like cleaning up trash along the roadside or something.

truly pathetic

In dictatorial countries, t... (Below threshold)

In dictatorial countries, the press keep quiet and tow the party line out of fear of personal safety for themselves or loved ones. Here, the press keep quiet and tow the party line out of fear of...nasty emails?!?!?!? Seriously?!?!And why are these emails considered "off-the-record?" Does anyone honestly believe these same conciliatory members of the press would just bend over and take it with Bush the way they have with this administration? No, there would be all sorts of editorials comparing Bush to Hitler and reports from "anonymous sources" making those emails public. Please!!! You want to be treated differently? Go out and find the "dirt." Quit waiting for it to roll off the White House briefing room podium onto your laps. You didn't seem to have a problem doing that just a few years ago.

Dear MSM,What a bu... (Below threshold)

Dear MSM,

What a bunch of whiny babies you have become. You did everything you could to be Obama's bitch, now you cry because he won't give you scraps from his table.

This is why media companies are dying off. You have forgotten your job.

You have said for years that you are there to protect the people from the powerful. Prove it. This is the most powerful administration in U.S. history, the President's party controls the White House, the Senate, the House of Representatives and is about to put its hands into the Supreme Court. You are the Fourth Estate. Who looks out for the people if you fall down on the job?

This administration is no different than any one that preceeded it. There are scandals and stories out there to be uncovered. Go out and find them.

I'll give you a freebie. Go figure out why the DOJ is stonewalling THIS. Go ask the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights about why this is an important story. You used to care about Civil Rights. What's changed?

The titans of News didn't sit around waiting for the President to come down from his mountain to give them a soundbite. They never would have taken this from Bush or Nixon. Why are you taking it from Obama. Man up, get out there and do actual reporting.

Concerned Citizen of the United States

JLaw-"And consi... (Below threshold)


"And consider - this was the BEST candidate the Dems could come up with. What does it say about the rest of the party?"

?..... They all fled the church of jebidiah at some point in time?

Tango Sierra... (Below threshold)

Tango Sierra

The whores can't understand... (Below threshold)

The whores can't understand why their pimp mistreats them.

I predict that soon after t... (Below threshold)

I predict that soon after the 2010 elections, when the Dems start to figure out that they are going to loose 2012, you'll see the long knives come out for the administration. Right now they're supporting him, but even Barry can be thrown under the bus if the collective consciousness of the left realizes he is hurting their cause.

I'm starting the popcorn, this is gonna get Good!

I'd be upset too if I spent... (Below threshold)

I'd be upset too if I spent two years kissing Barry's behind and all he did was break wind just as I was giving him a big ol' wet smack.

Would you have an open door... (Below threshold)

Would you have an open door policy to your house? Would you let anyone come into your house looking for something to eat or to sleep. Thinking it is their right???
What is the difference from allowing anyone into a country.

PS: I heard that the Catholic Church bishops is getting on board against this AZ law. Well, bishops don't look in the basket for my money, get you money from the illegal aliens. I mean it, I'll stop giving to them. See how fast they change their tune.

I'm eating popcron right no... (Below threshold)

I'm eating popcron right now Meiji #25.This IS gonna be fun.

MSM got wined and dined by ... (Below threshold)

MSM got wined and dined by their BO-friend and once he got laid, he dumped them like the cheap whores they are.

...once he got lai... (Below threshold)
...once he got laid, he dumped them like the cheap whores they are.

Barry didn't even leave the fee on the dresser when he departed after the fun was over.

Barry didn't even ... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:
Barry didn't even leave the fee on the dresser when he departed after the fun was over.

Not true. He left an IOU that was signed with someone else's name.

Would be interesting to see... (Below threshold)

Would be interesting to see the emails reported. That would be quite an eye-opener from the elegant, cool, cosmopolitan president.

And #27, my sentiments exactly re: the Catholic bishops. If they really want to help 'illegals,' they should take their well-fed on our dime butts over the border and work out the problems there. When the bishops say 'reform,' they mean amnesty. And P.S., never allow any reform agent to just say immigrant and act like that's the problem; the problem is the illegal act.

SORRY ABOUT #27, I CLICKED ... (Below threshold)


This is a much bigger story... (Below threshold)

This is a much bigger story than most people realize. After a contingent of WH correspondents met with Gibbs several weeks ago to vent their grievences, just a little trickled out. The stories were that Gibbs listened, acknowledged there were some problems, yada yada.

The WH press corps deathly afraid of Obama and company, so it is using Politico to push back against Gibbs and the administration's policies of intimidation. Politico is an outsider and more immune from retaliation than the established media that must maintain a positive relationship to survive. Read the whole story again. Notice there are very few identifiable sources in the story. But the zingers are there in spades, especially the unfavorable comparisons with adminstration "arch enemy" George Bush.

I have hope for the these folks. They know they are being had and they are finally doing something about it, albeit through Politico. It's a start and it sends a message to the adminstration that the honeymoon is over.

The media complaint comes d... (Below threshold)
Ken Hahn:

The media complaint comes down to he didn't respect them in the morning. Which is true.






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