Pfeiffer: Obama, softball interviews? I’m sure I don’t know what you mean

posted at 3:21 pm on April 3, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

The Obama White House has taken a lot of heat for a media strategy that seems to include limiting traditional access to the president in favor of less hard-hitting venues, but be reasonable, people! They’re merely approaching coverage of the president with a more fair “all of the above” policy that can help them reach a wider audience — is it really their fault if softball interviews just happen to land in their lap?

But senior Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer scoffed at the suggestion that the White House is deliberately avoiding tough questions.

“There is no such thing as a softball interview,” he insisted during a Politico breakfast on Wednesday morning. …

“We’re going to do interviews with everyone from Jon Stewart to 60 Minutes to Bill Simmons’ pod cast – and everything in between – if that’s what it’s going to take to reach audiences, particularly those between 18 and 35 who don’t consume media in the same way,” Pfeiffer said.

Mm hmm. You really do have to hand it to them on their masterful manipulation of social media: The White House is tactically tapping into the technological opportunities of the 21st century to control the president’s image and news-of-the-day narratives with great success, so much so that they’ve practically created their own state-run media machine. But, when the Associated Press notices that you’re up to something… you’ve got problems.

Capitalizing on the possibilities of the digital age, the Obama White House is generating its own content like no president before, and refining its media strategies in the second term in hopes of telling a more compelling story than in the first.

At the same time, it is limiting press access in ways that past administrations wouldn’t have dared, and the president is answering to the public in more controlled settings than his predecessors. It’s raising new questions about what’s lost when the White House tries to make an end run around the media, functioning, in effect, as its own news agency. …

With interviews, the president has more power to choose his timing, questioners and format, in hopes of delivering a certain message in a setting that’s not always hard-hitting. In impromptu Q-and-A’s, the questions fly about anything and everything from the national press corps — and these wide-open opportunities to challenge the president on the events of the day have become increasingly rare. …

“There’s no question that he’s opening and closing the door at his choice,” says Gerald Shuster, a professor of political communication at the University of Pittsburgh. “He’s controlling the flow as much as he can.”

But… Most Transparent Administration, Evah!


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

“We’re going to do interviews with everyone from Jon Stewart to 60 Minutes to Bill Simmons’ pod cast – and everything in between – if that’s what it’s going to take to reach audiences, particularly those between 18 and 35 who don’t consume media in the same way,” Pfeiffer said.

It’s my understanding that your pagan god has a standig invitation to debate Mark Levin.

But, I’m sure that there will be some kinda in perpetuity conflict with the tough hitting The View, et al.

Pissant.

OhEssYouCowboys on April 3, 2013 at 3:24 PM

What difference, at this point, does it make?

It doesn’t matter that all of us saw this from day one of his presidency. He’s historic, after all…

Common Sense Floridian on April 3, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Puhleeze

cmsinaz on April 3, 2013 at 3:32 PM

What difference, at this point, does it make?

It doesn’t matter that all of us saw this from day one of his presidency. He’s historic, after all…

Common Sense Floridian on April 3, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Yep.

happytobehere on April 3, 2013 at 3:32 PM

We prefer to call them non-ridged round objects.

Oil Can on April 3, 2013 at 3:33 PM

“There’s no question that he’s opening and closing the door at his choice,” says Gerald Shuster, a professor of political communication at the University of Pittsburgh. “He’s controlling the flow as much as he can.

A sane society would recognize that as propaganda.

The truth is that BO has to be protected. He’s ignorant in all things that matter but a clever liar whose only “gift” is to sling bullshiite so fast and deep that few can wade through it. His constituents, the stupid, uninformed recipients of taxpayer largesse love it – and so-called educated liberals are required to believe it.

He’s an incompetent, preening fool relishing in the fact that he can exact so much punishment without consequence – only adoration from his acolytes.

Cody1991 on April 3, 2013 at 3:40 PM

I’ve heard the Won(tm) received an A from the Atlanta school board.

trs on April 3, 2013 at 3:47 PM

When he starts mixing the Kool Aid, run.

mixplix on April 3, 2013 at 3:47 PM

They don’t have to tell the reporters to play soft-ball, because the reporters know that if they don’t, they’ll get frozen out in future.

Steven Den Beste on April 3, 2013 at 3:56 PM

I think somebody predicted he wouldn’t need the press once they helped him win again…

DanMan on April 3, 2013 at 3:58 PM

OT: Drudge says North Korea got final approval for a nuclear attack on the US.

I guess Obama finally gave him the green light.

The Rogue Tomato on April 3, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Just as long as you only ask: “So Mr. Preznit, what has enchanted you most about being the greatest man who ever lived?” then Dog Eater will respond with crisp, incisive answers.

Bishop on April 3, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Meanwhile:

During an interview with Michelle Obama, the host of Entertainment Tonight asked her how she felt having a husband who was a “sex symbol” similar to former Presidents JFK and Bill Clinton.

apostic on April 3, 2013 at 4:02 PM

OT: Drudge says North Korea got final approval for a nuclear attack on the US.

I guess Obama finally gave him the green light.

The Rogue Tomato on April 3, 2013 at 4:00 PM

According to the half breed preezy, America can absorb an attack.

So I’m not worried!

tom daschle concerned on April 3, 2013 at 4:03 PM

They don’t have to tell the reporters to play soft-ball, because the reporters know that if they don’t, they’ll get frozen out in future.

Steven Den Beste on April 3, 2013 at 3:56 PM

As if they had to be told. THEY put him in there!

Cleombrotus on April 3, 2013 at 4:03 PM

softball interviews?

Softballs can hurt. This is more like powder puff balls, made out of cotton candy, so after they’re thrown, all can sit down and have a yummy sweet snack, and laugh about the hateful, bigoted conservatives.

Paul-Cincy on April 3, 2013 at 4:08 PM

It doesn’t matter that all of us saw this from day one of his presidency. He’s historic, after all…

Common Sense Floridian on April 3, 2013 at 3:30 PM

You don’t want to be on the wrong side of history, do you? Huh? What?

Paul-Cincy on April 3, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Shut up LSM. Covering for his corruption and incompetence is not enough. You didn’t praise Dear Leader enough to justify any more kisses. He has a new whore now.

2ndMAW68 on April 3, 2013 at 4:17 PM

It’s a shame we couldn’t see an Obama-Hillary rematch in the 2016 primaries. It would be entertaining to see the media trying to figure out which one gave them the more intense tingle. Their heads might explode.

IndieDogg on April 3, 2013 at 4:20 PM

Troll free thread?

CurtZHP on April 3, 2013 at 4:29 PM

HE IGNORES US — BUT WE CAN’T QUIT HIM — WE HATE HIM — WE LOVE HIM!

*bites knuckle*

Sincerely,

The ignored White House press corps

jaywalker72 on April 3, 2013 at 4:35 PM

You can tell Pfeiffer “The Fluffer” is lying. His lips are moving.

GarandFan on April 3, 2013 at 5:14 PM

everyone from Jon Stewart to 60 Minutes to Bill Simmons’ pod cast – and everything in between

Uh … there isn’t anything in between.

Jaibones on April 3, 2013 at 5:37 PM

“There is no such thing as a softball interview,” he insisted during a Politico breakfast on Wednesday morning. …

Especially for an idiot savant who has precious little talent beyond reading a prepared speech from a teleprompter.

arik1969 on April 3, 2013 at 9:01 PM

“Softball questions”? Our Kenyan Communist Muslim-In-Chief doesn’t get softball questions from his butt-kissing media lapdogs, let alone hardball questions. He gets Nerfball questions and he acts really put upon and exasperated when he has to answer them.

The man is a despicable narcissist who is knowingly wrecking our country.

CatchAll on April 3, 2013 at 9:07 PM

So basically they’re pi**ed that the Obama White House has taken the PR function in house rather than leave it out sourced to the national media.

bluesdoc70 on April 3, 2013 at 9:46 PM