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The Internet Presidency

(Un) Covering President Barack Obama

Are we the only ones worrying this is sort of inappropriate? (Now imagine someone deciding to run a similar cover of Michelle.)

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Obama Skips All MSM Newspapers in Press Conference

pressergg.pngNewspapers everywhere may love to feature President Barack Obama in their pages, be it as an op-ed contributor or as an sales incentive, but Obama was showing no newspaper love at last night’s prime time press conference.

The President took a total of 13 questions, none of which were from a mainstream newspaper. After tapping the AP, then the networks, then the cablers, Obama turned his attention to more niche publications such as Stars & Stripes and Univision, arguably because he rightly guessed their questions would skew with topics he wanted to talk about i.e. the military and Mexico border issues. As Michael Calderone points out not calling on any MSM newspaper is a definite departure in White House protocol. But considering Obama seems to be making a habit of asking fewer questions and giving longer answers (this is the second hourlong, 13 question presser), perhaps he is also to be applauded for veering away from the norm.

JournoList Uncovered! ‘A Vast Liberal Media Conspiracy?’

jlistbkrom.pngIntroducing JournoList where “for the past two years, several hundred left-leaning bloggers, political reporters, magazine writers, policy wonks and academics have talked stories and compared notes in an off-the-record online meeting space.” Has Michael Calderone uncovered a secret, liberal journalist cabal?! Or merely a listserv of sorts for colleagues who want to get together and speak candidly and privately? Hmm. There are times when the Internet has a way of making normal behavior seem sinister. Anyway, we leave it to you to decide!

Some of the journalists who participate in the online discussion say — off the record, of course — that it has been a great help in their work. On the record, The New Yorker‘s Jeffrey Toobin acknowledged that a Talk of the Town piece — he won’t say which one — got its start in part via a conversation on JournoList. And JLister Eric Alterman, The Nation writer and CUNY professor, said he’s seen discussions that start on the list seep into the world beyond.

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The Daily Show Embeds With the White House Press Corp

Hot on the heels of Jon Stewart‘s CNBC takedown, The Daily Show‘s John Oliver visits the “luxurious press corps offices.”

“It’s like what Donald Trump would have designed if he’d decided to keep journalists as pets…all the greats did time here before getting real careers.”

After which he runs into Helen Thomas, who suggests he go home. He also appears to stump Robert Gibbs a bit when he asks “Which of the questions which your staff insisted be pre-approved, would you like to answer first? One, two, or three?” Snap!

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‘Kenneth the Page’ Responds to Jindal Comparisons

Is Jack McBrayer the new Tina Fey? After Bobby Jindal’s very ‘Kenneth the Page’-ish response to Barack Obama on Tuesday all eyes (or links) were on McBrayer, who made an exclusive appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night to respond to the Internet response to the Republican response to Obama’s Not State of the Union address.

Obama’s Journalism Bailout? Come Work for Us!

s-OBAMA-PRESS-ACCESggS-large.jpgDoes six times make a trend? That’s how many journalists have jumped ship in recent months to take on jobs with the Obama administration — the most recent being Jill Zuckman who was a Washington-based correspondent at the Chicago Tribune. Zuckman joins a list that most recently includes Jay Carney, Doug Frantz, Scott Shepard, Warren Bass, and Peter Gosselin. Over at Politico Michael Calderone notes that all this movement is causing some consternation in certain circles.

“Obama bails out more media water-carriers,” conservative blogger Michelle Malkin wrote…Blogs at both the Weekly Standard and the National Review are pointing to a “revolving door” that spins between the media and the Obama administration. And while Brent Bozell, president of the conservative Media Research Center, acknowledges that financial troubles may be forcing reporters out of newsrooms, he thinks it’s worth noting where they’re going.

“When some leave journalism because of a reduction in staff, what’s the natural landing spot?” The Obama administration,” Bozell charged.

All of which might make for a stronger argument if, say, the entire journalism industry wasn’t crumbling around us daily (perhaps Bozell and Malkin should subscribe to our daily newsfeed to get a dose of just how dire things are these days!). One imagines that receiving a paycheck from the government instead of applying to it for unemployment is the more attractive option for many journalists facing buyouts and layoffs. So perhaps these decisions have less to do with personal politics than being able to pay to mortgage. What say you readers?

What does the Obama ‘journalist bailout’ signify?
( polls)

Politico‘s Fast Rise to D.C. Dominance Irks Some

NewPolitico_Logo.gifThe ubiquitous Gabe Sherman has a nice, lengthy piece up over at TNR about the spectacular rise of Politico. A rise made all the more spectacular for having occurred during the same time frame that has seen the demise of print journalism everywhere.

“There’s no question they had a singular impact. They came out of nowhere in a matter of months and forced themselves into the conversation,” says the Times‘ Baker. “Politico occupies a space The Washington Post should have occupied. If there is anyone who writes obsessively about politics, it should be the Washington newspaper.”

This ‘occupation’ however appears to be rubbing some people the wrong way. The New York TimesBill Keller had this not so flattering thing to say about Politico‘s approach to reporting:

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Politico Unwilling to Sponsor Plouffe Off-the-Record

358x283.jpgBarack Obama‘s presidential get-to-know-you tango with the Press hit another snag yesterday with word that Politico editor-in-chief John F. Harris was backing out of moderating duties at a Politico-sponsored event at the National Press Club after former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe stipulated that the speech he was giving be off-the-record. Per Politico:

“We took down our signage that’s up over there at the Press Club and declined to participate in any way,” Harris said. He said Politico was not “in the business of sponsoring, or co-sponsoring, an off-the-record talk with a newsworthy person.”

Donna Leinwand, president of the National Press Club, also voiced her “strong opposition” to Plouffe’s decision in a letter to the Washington Speakers Bureau, which serves as his agent.

All valid points, though one has to wonder in this age of Twitter whether anything in a public sphere can really be considered off-the-record.

Obama’s Press Conference: A How-To Guide

The Daily Beast breaks it down.

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Obama Presser: ‘Sam Stein, Huffington Post — Where’s Sam?’

s-PRESSER-large.jpgThose of you watching President Barack Obama‘s first national press conference last night — and due to the blanket press coverage it was hard to miss — may have done a small double take when the President called on Sam Stein of The Huffington Post for a question. Considering the President only made time for 13 questions, and those left out included the Wall St Journal, Chicago Tribune, and Newsweek, the selection (journalists had been pre-selected by the White House) turned some heads. But hey, it’s supposed to be the Internet presidency right! And anyway, Stein asked a good question (in full after the jump).

We caught up with Stein, who in our opinion was remarkably composed last night, and asked him what it was like to be thrust into the Obama presser klieg lights.

I think this underscores just how far new media has come. I can’t pretend that it wasn’t great to be called on by the President. But I think this says more about the how journalism has changed and evolved. And, I should add, there are tons of other online reporters that deserve the chance (more than I probably did) to pose questions to the president.

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