Revealed: Who else was at that secret Obama briefing with Olby and Maddow?

posted at 5:05 pm on October 21, 2009 by Allahpundit

Tantalizing but frustrating, as it’s only a partial list; without the full attendance sheet, it’s impossible to say definitively that the most transparent administration evah was playing only to its cheerleaders. Even so, while Gloria Borger isn’t particularly ideological as far as I know, there’s little question where Robinson, Dowd, and especially Ifill stand.

On Monday, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow were among several people who attended an off-the-record briefing with Pres. Obama at the White House. Sources tell us other attendees at the two-and-a-half hour chat included Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post, Maureen Dowd of the New York Times, Gwen Ifill of PBS and Gloria Borger of CNN. Perhaps not surprisingly, no one from Fox News was in the room.

Two and a half hours. Remember, Olbermann complained three years ago when Bush dared waste 90 minutes of taxpayer money chatting up his own ideological allies in the Oval Office. As for Fox News being conspicuously omitted from the guest list, I e-mailed Jake Tapper to see if he’d gotten an invite despite his willingness to pursue stories broken by Fox. Turns out he wasn’t included in the briefing either. Fancy that.

Needless to say, The One’s entitled to talk to whomever he wants, but playing pattycake with MSNBC’s primetime stars does further raise the question of why Beck and Hannity are problematic “opinion” shows while Olbermann and Maddow aren’t. And yes, that question is entirely rhetorical. New insight from Politico on the White House’s seek and destroy quarantine approach to its political opponents:

All of the techniques are harnessed to a larger purpose: to marginalize not only the individual person or organization but also some of the most important policy and publicity allies of the national Republican Party.

Dunn said that in August, as the president’s aides planned for the fall, they made “a fundamental decision that we needed to be more aggressive in both protecting our position and in delineating our differences with those who were attacking us.”

“It was a time for us to look at the extraordinary success we’ve had in terms of legislation but also to look at where we needed to be more aggressive in defining what the choices are, and in protecting and pushing forward our agenda,” she said.

The campaign underscores how deeply political the Obama White House is in its daily operations — with a strong focus on redrawing the electoral map and discrediting the personalities and ideas that have powered the conservative movement over the past 20 years…

“Fighting with a bunch of different institutions turns him into a typical politician and makes people cynical that anyone’s really going to change Washington,” Black said. “A big part of his ‘hope and change’ message was: ‘We’re gong to talk to everyone.’ He might have had great intentions, but human nature and politics don’t change much.”

His nonsense on the trail about bringing a new, “post-partisan” tone to D.C. was my second-favorite soundbite from the campaign last year, right behind how Afghanistan was the “necessary war.” I’ll leave you with this clip from last night’s Leno, which is as gentle and genial as anything on that show but does illustrate how ridiculous The One’s vendetta against Fox might be starting to look to middle America. Exit question: If the White House is capable of e-mailing MSNBC anchors while they’re on the air to correct factual errors, why can’t Anita Dunn pick up the red phone and call Glenn Beck?


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