Nope. This is not intentional parody. https://t.co/2LY0KQ9AmG
— Dana Houle (@DanaHoule) April 6, 2021
From the ‘Short Attention Span’ file, by an experienced Washington Post reporter:
… Juicy details about the president’s behind-the-scenes conduct and decision-making? No one seems able to dig up anything interesting.
Early forecasts of major policy proposals on the horizon, a.k.a. the grand tradition of the Washington trial balloon? A story we’re not getting to read these days.
Insider accounts of West Wing rivalries, analyses of who wields influence with the president, detailed lists of Oval Office visitors? No such thing anymore.
Reporters drank lustily from the fire hose of leaks that emanated from the West Wing during the past four years. President Donald Trump’s inexperience and chaotic management style begot “West Side Story”-level infighting among subordinates, which translated into the drip-drip-drip of insider accounts, sometimes on a near-daily basis. The leaks were pooled into detailed narratives, featuring multiple sources. Despite periodic vows of a crackdown, the leaks ran nearly unplugged for four years, including during Trump’s final, desperate days in office.
Since then, the pipeline has gone dry…
“No question, the Trump White House leaked a lot, especially in the early days when the tribal rivalries were fiercest,” said New York Times reporter Peter Baker. “The Biden people have come in more disciplined so far, and we haven’t had as much insight into the behind-the-scenes fights and debates inside the White House.”…
Unlike Trump, who came into office with few long-serving aides, Biden is surrounded by a close circle of people who have worked with him, and with one another, for years. Senior White House adviser Anita Dunn is a holdover from the administration of Barack Obama. Chief of staff Ron Klain was one of Biden’s chiefs of staff during his vice presidency, as was current senior counselor Steve Ricchetti. Another senior adviser, Mike Donilon, has worked with Biden since 1981.
The senior staff’s experience and evident familiarity with one another has created a different operating environment, White House reporters say, with fewer apparent power struggles. At least none that have been leaked.
“There’s no real competing for his attention” among aides, said a veteran White House correspondent. “I think he listens to new people, but at the end of the day, he’s around the same familiar faces. So, [there’s] less jockeying.” (The reporter spoke on the condition of anonymity because her employer, much like the White House, doesn’t permit unauthorized comments to reporters.)…
As the shades are drawn tighter in Biden’s White House, it’s incumbent upon journalists to find ways to peek behind them, said Jonathan Karl, ABC News’s chief Washington correspondent and the author of still another Trump-era bestseller, “Front Row at the Trump Show.” “Reporters need to work hard to give readers and viewers a sense of what is really going on in the White House,” he said…
A whole two and a half months, and yet no drama! Truly, TFG’s Oval Office occupany spoiled our Very Serious Media, possibly irreversibly. They loved those four years of a non-stop peep show, where every news cycle was a new ‘reality show’ episode. What are they supposed to do now, find their own stories?
Seems to be some misunderstanding on this channel about what a leak is. Yes, *sometimes* it's mere gossip. But lots of it is important–even vital. Watergate. NSA surveillance. Corruption of many flavors. How do you think stories that officials don't want you to know get told?
— Paul Farhi (@farhip) April 6, 2021
For once, the replies are worth reading…
I think they realize we know that, too, since we literally watched them do exactly that during Trump's administration. That's why the media seems to be wildly overcorrecting with the current admin.
— Dark Elf On the Shelf (@fishingsideques) April 6, 2021
Boy howdy, do I ever miss breathless Tweets from Maggie every two hours. How shall we keep ourselves busy?
It kills me how they say this like it’s a problem with the Biden administration.
@trollhattan: If I ever hear from Access Sally again, it will be too soon.
….but the vast majority is mere gossip.
That was an awful piece, and it justifies every single one of Jen Psaki’s “you’re really an oblivious dishonest idiot, aren’t you?” seemingly-polite answers.
Like, say, a large infrastructure bill that’s being promoted by several Cabinet secretaries through appearances on multiple media outlets? Yeah, I can see how that might have slipped past the DC press corpse.
patience is a virtue. If they’re patient they will have real stories about real policies that positively affect people instead of meaningless reality TV drama that only inflames things without having any positive effect on how we live.
Maybe they like that better?
Which Kardashian is this one, again?
Can one ever be a “former reality TV star.” Isn’t that an own-goal you carry for life?
I hope the recall fuckers get curb-stomped. By the time the election hits Covid lockdowns will be done and the economy will be humming. Maybe Gavin can buy himself an email server.
Is Betty C. moonlighting?
I ? “Access Sally.” Kudos!
If it weren’t for leaks, we never would have learned about Major’s transgressions.
Maybe there are no leaks because there’s no scandal to leak?
Huh, so Mr. Farhi is complaining that they have to investigate to find stories rather than just take dictation. Reporters, not stenographers.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
“Corruption of many flavors”?
Who was shopping with Dr Jill when she picked out those tights? whose turn was it to walk Champ the day the dookie was found on the Red Room rug? Is Joe just pretending to like ice cream because it’s such a normie dessert? We need to know these things.
This is a really cute low-budget LOTR from 1991 Russia:
In his replies on Twitter, he keeps on trying valiantly to pretend that he’s really talking about serious shit like corruption and “important stuff.” However, his article specifies:
“Juicy details about the president’s behind-the-scenes conduct and decision-making?”
“Early forecasts of major policy proposals on the horizon, a.k.a. the grand tradition of the Washington trial balloon?”
“Insider accounts of West Wing rivalries, analyses of who wields influence with the president….”
“… inside-the-room scenes of aides hashing out the president’s priorities.”
Note the absence of any “important stuff” in that list. Later on in the article, he mentions, “… whose interests it may favor, and whether rules, norms or laws have been broken in the process,” but those are things you can (and should!) determine without leaks.
“How can we know what is really going on if insiders aren’t anonymously leaking gossipy titbits to us over expense-account lunches? Don’t you cretins know that this is how democracy dies?!?”
Amigo, I do not think you are good at the job you incorrectly think you are doing.
Have you considered transferring to something more your speed? Like pooper-scooping your local park?
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@trollhattan: I guess Caitlyn Jenner has made enough money from that show to be a target for the kind of grifters who qualify as “campaign consultants”.
I can’t remember the exact numbers, but I read a piece last week arguing that Newsome’s approval is under 50%, but not by nearly enough to make this recall a serious threat, certainly not enough for a Republican to win statewide.
@trollhattan: the second election nullification in recent memory makes me feel all stabby. The gall these recall fuckers and cavalcade of candidates to waste the voters time and tax dollars to demand a do over because they feel like is California’s unique version of voter suppression and the tyranny of the minority. Add me to Team Curb Stomp.
I unfollowed Haberman on January 20. Before that, she gave some insight into the disaster under way at any given time.
One of the gems in Farhi’s article is that one of the sources was the same John Barron who leaked to reporters about Trump’s love life before he was president. Think about that. When reporters said “a high-placed source” they were talking about Trump himself. The story would have read very differently if they had said who the source was.
David ? ☘The Establishment☘? Koch
Smithsonian Air Museum exhibit Wonder Woman’s airplane (photo)
@David ? ☘The Establishment☘? Koch:
It’s bigger than I expected.
What is the White House hiding?
Cheryl from Maryland
My comment at WaPo: So now journalists have to work for a living rather than watch the Trump version of Gossip Girl?
David ? ☘The Establishment☘? Koch
I wonder how they keep it so clean
It would be interesting and potentially useful for the press to dig into why the Biden Administration doesn’t leak. My suspicion is that one reason is that Biden is someone who wants to build consensus, both within his Administration and at the national level. I keep thinking about what he did with Warren when she dropped out of the race, incorporating some of her ideas into his platform so that her endorsement wasn’t just about acknowledging that he was going to be the winner, but also about him seeing and appreciating her thinking. So while Biden makes the decisions, he has built a team that is inclined towards consensus and agreement, which limits the extent to which people feel like they need to push their individual agendas.
Jonathan Karl a product of the collegiate network, and tfg profiteer getting pissy about the lack of shit talking out behind the White House – and purposefully ignoring the lack of scandal is not a person anyone ought to listen to about anything ever full stop.
These idiots in the media do the equivalent of walking around with toilet paper hanging out of their pants, or stuck to their shoes, and apparently have no idea of how ridiculous and foolish they look.
And they do it to themselves, day after day!
And because the press sucks.
TMZ on the Potomac! I think I like that better than the Tiger Beat version because it makes the drooling narrow-minded gotcha-questing much more obvious.
TFG literally did that!
@laura: I’m not a huge fan of Newsom, but I’ll happily send a few bucks his way to put an end to that nonsense if it comes to that.
With the ethos of the National Enquirer in mind, maybe Pecker-on-the-Potomac?
@?BillinGlendaleCA: It was so telling that not one single person on his staff told him about it. They just let him look the fool.
Though at least we could TOTALLY laugh about that, because he wasn’t hurting anyone extra by doing that.
A trans Governor would be pretty cool, IF she were competent. There is no evidence that she’s up to the job.
They could report on stuff that’s actually happening – and rather than give breathless stories about which party is up or down or using what strategy to try to win support, they could report on what a given bill might actually DO, what effects it might have on people’s lives.
I know, that’s policy. Bo-RING.
I’d like to kick ’em all in the butt.
Hadn’t heard that one before. I love it!
Trump’s strategy was to flood the zone. He doesn’t care if people say good or bad things about him, as long as they talk about him. Meaning: the leaks were part and parcel of the media strategy, and one of the leakers was John Barron himself.
Maybe in a couple of cycles, Danica Roem will have the chops to run for Governor of Virginia. She’s pretty smart, and that would be awesome.
Jonathan Karl: “what is really going on in the White House”
What is really going on is they are working. They are setting priorities and developing working plans to improve America’s health, economy, foreign policy, infrastructure, etc. But that’s neither fun nor sexy, the way that leaks and scandals and gossip are. So Karl and his ilk can’t believe there’s nothing more there. Just public servants doing their jobs. Yawwwwwn.
This motherfucker writes for the Washington Post?!
When did the Post become a gossip rag? (I know. I know.)
Sorry, Biden’s administration is too busy governing for the people! One might say that’s what 71+ million of us wanted!
This motherfucker can go fuck himself with rusty farm implements!
@randy khan: I think your take is insightful.
Amy Acton stepped out of race for Rob Portman’s Senate seat. I am so so relieved. She is amazing but not an actual long term politician in Ohio’s currrent toxic environment.
Still rooting for Tim Ryan.
@Cheryl Rofer: That was obvious at the time (anything that was trying to make Trump look better probably came from Trump himself). The fact that that these reporters refused to identify their “source”, while they breathlessly repeated his lies and bullshit, just points out their professional worthlessness and moral bankruptcy.
Maybe someone can show them how to do actual research and investigation to come up with their articles, as reporters used to do, but IDGAF if they flounder for the rest of their lives.
Just what the world needs, another reality star turned politician.
Eugene Robinson was assistant managing editor of WaPo’s style section and has never completely left elements of that beat behind since entering the hallowed halls of punditry.
My god, the thought that there might be competent, caring (even loving, if you will) people doing good work, with nothing newsworthy about their interactions (sure, the occasional spat/snub/etc., but that *is* gossip, not news) just doesn’t even occur to some people as a possibility.
She threw a pretty good javelin. It could get interesting.
David ? ☘The Establishment☘? Koch
I’m old enough to remember No Drama Obama. There were no leaks back then, either. And no, penny ante telephone metadata doesn’t count, that story was originally printed 8 years earlier on May 10, 2006 and nobody cared¹. In fact, telephone metadata tripled under Dump and nobody cared². It was only blown up under Obama because of the administration’s lack of drama.
Her support for Trump should make any interest completely transitory.
for me it’s the anger and frustration exhibited when the 46 Administration “refuses to do their jobs for them” with offering up enternewsment items. Maybe there needs to be a new metric of not qualifying newsworthiness by the number of clicks. How about writing stories that are researched and documented regarding real questions and real policy.
Seems to me that there are plenty of topics that could be covered in depth that are sorely under-reported
So, rather than support the billionaires that own and set editorial direction for outlets such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, ABC News, etc., are there news sources that do actual research on actually important topics? I subscribe to Talking Points Memo, but have room in my budget for additional subscriptions if anyone has suggestions. Established outlets would be fine, but as an old I’d really like to support some up-and-comers.
Lazy reporters are lazy, film at 11.
Policy reporting is hard and dull. It’s not entirely surprising that a significant percentage of political reporters don’t want to cover policy and prefer to gossip, but it still is infuriating.
Just Some Fuckhead
We need some good election horserace coverage so reporters don’t have time for the gossip-as-politics beat.
At the very least.
Just Some Fuckhead
@David ? ☘The Establishment☘? Koch: Obama brought it all on himself by wearing a tan suit. Who does that???
Just Some Fuckhead
Gotta say I’m loving the new partisan edge to MSNBC’s night time lineup. Like they’re no longer even trying to operate in that fake both sides paradigm Chris Matthews was so famous for. I guess former Republican Nicole Wallace made it okay to just state the blunt truth about Republicans.
@Baud: 71+ million covers that! ?
James E Powell
Just because, I checked out her twitter feed. Nothing but re-tweets and a few stray remarks about matters of little or no consequence.
A few of my reasons I’m really having a hard time taking this ridiculous complaint seriously
1. this Admin has only had full access to the federal agencies for < 3 months, bc there was no proper transition. Reporters aren’t going to get leaks if their old contacts don’t know anything. And w all the holes TFG punched into the agency process, I’m sure those contacts won’t even be able to leak “normally” for a while.
2. That obsessive 2+ week press corps windup to the 1st press conference & the questions asked during it basically told me the WHCA is still not serious about investigating anything, they want their performative sound bites.
3. All the Major Biden stories & trips to Delaware stories also tell me they’re not serious about investigating real things.
I knew Roem was the real deal when she beat a notorious nut job for her seat in the House of Delegates by letting him spout off about bathrooms while she concentrated her campaign on fixing a local road that is a notorious bottleneck. I think the closest she came to responding to his trolling was to wonder why he refused to talk about the things people in the district actually were concerned about.
James E Powell
@David ? ☘The Establishment☘? Koch:
Obviously you’re forgetting the Great Solyndra Scandal.
We voted for Biden so we could stop watching CNN every night in terror.
Attacking a media as fake news when they have been lickspittle supporters for decades is such a CIA propaganda technique I can’t stand it. Accuse your opponents of what you’re doing first so that when you’re caught people will think it was them.
The anonymous source people should burn in hell.
One benefit of being an old is memory. When Farhi cites Watergate as a defense of White House reporters, it’s a joke. Two junior Metro section reporters broke that story. Didn’t he at least see the movie?
PS: Leaks happen when people are unhappy. This is also Journalism 101. Does it occur to anyone that maybe the reason the Biden White House doesn’t leak is that so far it’s a happy ship? Probably weren’t too many leaks from the Baylor basketball team the last month either.
I still remember the look on my grandpappy’s face the day he took me aside and said, “lil Benw, pray every day that you never suck at your job as much as the DC press sucks at theirs.”
James E Powell
I stopped watching all cable, let my AT&T TV account lapse when they did the changeover to the new app. There is nothing there worth $70/month.
@James E Powell:
Funny how Republicans never talk about the loan guarantees that Tesla got under that program. At the time, no lender on Earth would have shoveled out $465 million to Tesla without them.
Imma add this to my list of problems regarding that plaintive article.
@James E Powell:
Well, shit, no wonder the press is unhappy. People aren’t hate-watching (or reading) anymore.
Mike in NC
The Village Idiots were addicted to the performance of an illiterate, racist snake oil salesman and sexual predator who hosted a couple of shitty reality TV shows, and ultimately tried to install himself as the American Putin, dictator for life.
By comparison this Joe guy from Scranton is positively dull!
@Geeno: I see what you did there, and it was awesome!
As fae as I know, Caitlyn (née Bruce) Jenner has no political credentials whatsoever. But I am aware that this was not a problem for the Austrian-American bodybuilder, whose name escapes me.
Arnold, the Governator.
It’s a reporter griping that his once-cosy beat that was such an easy fount of stories has now dried up, forcing him out of his comfort zone and mking him do real work.
To my embarrassment as an American, the qualifier “Austrian” is necessary in that sentence.
@Amir Khalid: Eh. Caitlin Jenner doesn’t really have the statewide appeal that Ahnold did. Ahnold was this huge and entirely positive (if shallow) appeal, and he’d done a fair amount of charity work and so on.
Caitlin Jenner is just sort of there. Most famous for being THE famous Trans person of recent years, and otherwise famous for being Trump friendly and being on reality TV. I don’t think this is going anywhere.
To quote noted philosopher Fred Sanford: “I’m comin’, Elizabeth! I think this is the big one!!”
silent-q (not paranoid Q)
Geesh, I’m so dang grateful to not have to know every minute, never-ending detail of fuckery within the White House.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got standards for a president. But I’m so very weary after 4 years of TFG that a normal, boring administration what doesn’t want me dead is so refreshing. May G-d bless the House of 46 for allowing me a respite from the worry.
Apparently, the WH Press Corpse has a problem with that. They can go kick rocks — or play in traffic which is fine, too.
(and poop on Qanon. I’m reclaiming my nym. )
This confirms my belief that the D.C. press needs a 12-step program to break their addiction to the chaos of the former guy’s administration.
@sab: Yes but is he officially a candidate for Portman’s seat? If he does I would donate.
Maybe retooling journalism should be part of the infrastructure package.
@HalfAssedHomesteader: As a local journalist, I second this emotion.
David ? ☘The Establishment☘? Koch
yup, Arhnold had 40 years of positive, glowing media as foundation. His wife was also very popular with the public and media (of which she was a long time member). People also like him because of his self deprecating humor and liberal social positions. Jenner has nothing like that.
@burnspbesq: Thank you.
J R in WV
Yes there are — one is ProPublica, another is Mother Jones, both supported by donations rather than advertising dollars. There are others, but I’m old and tired and don’t recall them…
ETA: The Southern Poverty Law Center isn’t strictly a journalism outlet, but they do research and publish reports on their study and sometimes file law suits on their findings.
What was so fucking hilarious about that article is that the WH reporters were like “well, the Leak-O-Rama gravy train has stopped. Sux to be us,” etc., etc. Then on one hand, they acknowledge that the staffers who “leaked” under Trump were mostly doing so to gossip and gain leverage over and/or ratfuck other staffers. But then Peter Baker and others are touting leaking as a venerable democratic tradition that holds the president accountable by revealing how deliberations about important policy or legislation really went down. So what is it? Vicious gossip that allows reporters to become tools of inter-WH turf battles? Or clever gumshoeing that provides a modicum of transparency onto high-level politics?
What’s left unsaid, of course, is: “A leak-free WH is annoying because then none of us get to feel all important by being leaked to!”
The Pale Scot
To paraphrase Mona Lisa Vito,
..a product of early wingnut welfare, that is, starting out with one of I think many Buckley funded sht sturring newspapers at scary liberal campuses. Not sure if that’s what you meant, but that’s what it was.
All I can say is, when the former squatter in the White House lost J Karl, I got some hope about the election.
The Moar You Know
Knew it. These sons of bitches made billions off of Former Guy and the income stream has dried up. So they’re going to start making shit up and throwing ALL the shit at the wall to try and get some of that sweet sweet cash.
The morally bankrupt press put Trump into office and will do it again, if necessary, to get their money stream back. Fuck. Just fuck. This is a problem that needs to be dealt with and I have no idea of how to go about that and not violate the shit out of the constitution.
Now reporters are anonymous sources? Bwahahaha
Operational discipline in the White House. How boring. There just isn’t any human drama unless something is f&cked up. The least exciting Star Trek episodes are ones from The Next Generation, early in the series, where procedures are being followed such as keeping the captain on the bridge rather than running around on the planet surface with the redshirts.