Andrea Mitchell blows the whistle on Obamaganda [Karl]
Appearing on MSNBC’s Hardball last night, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell pulled back the curtain on the Potemkin press coverage of Barack Obama’s visits to Afghanistan and Iraq.Ã‚Â Newsbusters has the video and transcript:
MITCHELL: Let me just say something about the message management.Ã‚Â He didn’t have reporters with him, he didn’t have a press pool, he didn’t do a press conference while he was on the ground in either Afghanistan or Iraq. What you’re seeing is not reporters brought in.Ã‚Â You’re seeing selected pictures taken by the military, questions by the military, and what some would call fake interviews, because they’re not interviews from a journalist.Ã‚Â So, there’s a real press issue here.Ã‚Â Politically it’s smart as can be.Ã‚Â But we’ve not seen a presidential candidate do this, in my recollection, ever before.
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about access to the troops, Andrea.Ã‚Â A lot of African-American faces over there, very happy, delighted faces.Ã‚Â Is that a representation of the percentage of servicepeople who are African-American, or did they all choose to join someone they like, apparently?Ã‚Â What’s the story?
MITCHELL: I can’t really say that.Ã‚Â Being a reporter who was not present in any of those situations, I just cannot report on what was edited out, what was, you know, on the sidelines.Ã‚Â That’s my issue. We don’t know what we are seeing.
At the aptly-named Crooks & Liars, John Amato is aghast:
Is the military not capable of performing interviews? Where does she draw the line? Saying they are Ã¢â‚¬Å“fake interviewsÃ¢â‚¬Â really goes too far.
Consider this story in the context of: excluding from the tripÃ‚Â New Yorker writer Ryan Lizza, whose Obama profile was the reason for the magazine cover Camp Obama complained about for days; excluding the foreign press; taking an Ã¢â‚¬Å“uncompromising approachÃ¢â‚¬Â to when and whereÃ‚Â he would grantÃ‚Â interviews to the network news anchors on the trip; complaining about the New York Times analysis of its own most recent poll; stonewalling the press to this day about the black liberation theology of his longtime church;Ã‚Â stonewalling the press on his relationship with convicted fraud and real-estate partner Tony Rezko; walking out on a press conference after eight questions, and so on.
Academics like Jay Rosen like to write about how the Bush Administration treat the press as illegitimate.Ã‚Â The New York Times, PBS, Salon and others have all clicked their tongues over government-produced video news releases broadcast as news.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â When Barack Obama and does it?Ã‚Â And our television networks all join in?Ã‚Â Crickets.