Goldberg Misses the Real Problem 

The White House’s relationship with the press is more complicated than the story suggests.

Source: What the Times’s Ben Rhodes Profile Got Wrong – The Atlantic

Jeffrey Goldberg goes to great lengths to prove that no, David Samuels, is wrong: Goldberg is not a sock-puppet for the Obama administration.

Did I mention great lengths? Goldberg goes on in intricate detail about his battle to get The New York Times to issue a retraction of a Samuels’ assertion, while making an impassioned case that no, Goldberg is not biased in favor of the Obama administration or for the Iran deal.

But if Rhodes believed Goldberg to be a member of the press corps rather more willing to defend POTUS’ position than others, has there not been ample evidence over the past eight years to support that conclusion?

The problem here is not Rhodes. The problem here is not Goldberg, or Samuels (or published score-settling between the two in The Atlantic and Tablet.)

The problem is that, once again, the White House press corps has manipulated the media, and the media has failed in its job as watchdog. The question that persists is how the media can continue to strike a balance between doing what is necessary to gain and sustain access to the administration, and serving the interests of the nation. It seems that the answer continues to be that the journalist puts his story/career ahead of the need to tell the truth either to power or the American people.

If the White House press corps is to do its job, it must learn to better draw the line between self-interest and the public good. Otherwise, what good is it?

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Author: David Wolf

An adviser to corporations and organizations on strategy, communications, and public affairs, David Wolf has been working and living in Beijing since 1995, and now divides his time between China and California. He also serves as a policy and industry analyst focused on innovative and creative industries, a futurist, and an amateur historian.

2 thoughts on “Goldberg Misses the Real Problem ”

  1. Always relevant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2X93u3anTco

    Best part?

    “But, listen, let’s review the rules. Here’s how it works.
    The President makes decisions. He’s the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down.
    Make, announce, type.
    Just put ’em through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration? You know, fiction!”

    This problem is decades old, David, and is absolutely non-partisan. That said, many of the ways the White House “manages” the press corps were originated by that Paranoid-in-Chief Richard Nixon. Obsessed with the press who were “out to get” him, he decided to attack back, and deliberately inject garbage into the process, avoided substance in briefings, and took “photo ops” to new heights of stage management.

    Ironic then that his abdication was pretty much the last victory of the Fourth Estate in US politics. It’s been all stenography all the time since then.

    1. QED. The White House press corps gets an “A” in careerism and an “F” in watchdoggery. And that goes back much further that the Trickster. And remember that neither Woodward nor Bernstein was covering the White House when they broke Watergate.

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