Hey, nothing to see here, only the Fourth Estate institutions collaborating with the power that they are pledged to hold accountable. CNN reported in its daily newsletter yesterday that the White House has held “productive” meetings with reporters, anchors, and producers from media outlets hoping to get them to stop covering Joe Biden’s incompetency. With inflation raging and job growth relatively anemic to the potential in the workforce, media outlets are apparently eager to hear the “me or your lyin’ eyes” argument about the economy — and who knows what else:
White House quietly tries to reshape economic coverage
The White House, not happy with the news media’s coverage of the supply chain and economy, has been working behind the scenes trying to reshape coverage in its favor. Senior White House and admin officials — including NEC Deputy Directors David Kamin and Bharat Ramamurti, along with Ports Envoy John Porcari — have been briefing major newsrooms over the past week, a source tells me.
The officials have been discussing with newsrooms trends pertaining to job creation, economic growth, supply chains, and more. The basic argument that has been made: That the country’s economy is in much better shape than it was last year. I’m told the conversations have been productive, with anchors and reporters and producers getting to talk with the officials…
Imagine what the rest of the media would have said had the Trump White House held a star-chamber meeting with conservative media to shape their news coverage. In that sense, the word “quietly” does some heavy lifting here. The Free Beacon calls it “secret,” and correctly diagnoses it for what it actually is — collusion:
News of the media’s collusion with the White House comes nearly a week after White House reporters sang “Happy Birthday” to Press Secretary Jen Psaki, and just days after Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank wrote that “the media treats Biden as badly as—or worse than—Trump.” The column was widely praised and promoted by journalists, celebs, and other liberals who are of the deranged view that media outlets have been unfairly critical of Biden and were not critical enough of the Trump administration.
According to preeminent liberal nerd Nate Silver (and common sense), however, the analysis Milbank cited in support of his argument is “complete crap.” We all know collusion is bad, but it is especially dangerous for democracy when journalists and government officials are the ones doing the colluding. Shame on them.
I don’t blame the White House for the attempt. I blame the news media for letting them get away with this kind of manipulation. Presumably, every one of these anchors, reporters, and producers plan to disclose these meetings — and the terms under which this access was provided, right? Right?
Don’t hold your breath. But do expect these same news outlets to suddenly start sounding eerily alike as they push out the talking points supplied to them in these secret meetings by government officials. Inflation will become Ackshual Economic Growth, the supply-chain crisis The Great Opportunity, and empty store shelves Proof That Consumer Confidence Has Returned! That’s the Journolist Effect, and I daresay we should see the first signs of it shortly.
Addendum: Give CNN a little credit for reporting this scoop, albeit only in its newsletter. Where is the reporting from other outlets involved in these media-management seminars?