Team Obama: People, Entertainment Tonight “equally important” to WH press corps

posted at 12:31 pm on August 19, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Via the Free Beacon, which notes that the hard-hitting editors at People have headlined the critical, breaking story of whether Jennifer Aniston would ever get married again as the top story in their print copy this week — although on their website, the top story is headlined, “Grant Show Marries Katherine LaNasa.” It’s a People Exclusive, just like the one the hard-news mag had with that guy who lives in the big mansion in Washington DC last week, who doesn’t warrant a front-page link now.  As a measure of just how “equally important” the Aniston engagement is for public policy, it’s also the top story on Entertainment Tonight’s website, too, although they share it with the “equally important” news that Robert Pattinson — “RPatz” for those of us in the know — has unexpectedly resurfaced.  Who would have expected a celebrity to do that?

So what will the White House press corps think of Stephanie Cutter’s observation that the RPatz and Aniston beats are “equally important” to their work of covering the leader of the free world?  Think that will assuage their concern over getting ignored for the last few months?  Er …

For one measure of how the non-RPatz media views this argument, here’s my friend Salena Zito of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

Dina Fraioli had a more humorous take on it:

Oh, let’s not make this any worse than it already is.

This is an awfully strange media strategy for a Democratic White House to take.  It has already begun backfiring, as we’ve seen this week.  I’m guessing that the tone is about to get considerably more hostile for Jay Carney starting Monday morning in the briefing room, and the explanations more tortuous than ever.  And that means that this will get even more entertaining for Republicans than, er, the 7 Things We Learned About RPatz This Week.  Meanwhile, the message from Stephanie Cutter (StefCutz) is clear: don’t expect the Celebrity in Chief to suddenly reappear at the White House, doing his job by engaging the reporters assigned to the White House beat.

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