Nice catch, Prof. Mrja. Obama has been amazingly stingy with the media. For a guy who is generally a better communicator than most of his predecessors,
From Fox News (yeah, really, a liberal quoting Fox):
“According to Martha Joynt Kumar, who scrupulously tabulates presidential communication as a political science professor at Towson University, Obama’s adopted a striking pattern of keeping beat reporters at bay – at least when compared to his two predecessors.
“Kumar’s data shows Obama’s 47 exchanges with reporters in short question and answer sessions pale next to the 147 George W. Bush held in the first year of his presidency and the 252 Bill Clinton conducted in his first year.”
I’d say Obama is too enamored of message control, or his handlers are. We don’t deserve only a message of the day from our president. We deserve access to his thinking, to his reactions, to who he really is, not to just PR spin.
Fantastic that you found those stats. I haven’t seen them before but will file them away for use in a brilliant lecture someday entitled “Presidents and the Press.”
As a candidate, No Drama Obama was fantastic as a communicator. When have you ever seen that much excitement for a politician as you saw on Inauguration Day? Well, OK..there was that one time Sarah Palin walked into a room.
But my point is how could he have changed so much when it comes to dealing with the press? He does not support the journalistic shield law, wants to keep and increase FOIA exemptions, has shown no movement toward closing down USA PATRIOT Act provisions that offend civil liberties of every one. And now this.
I don’t think Pres. Obama’s wit and repartee are in the same league as JFK’s but certainly Obama can handle anything a member of the press throws at him. He is not prone to making the same sort of goofy gaffes George W. Bush made. (“Fool me once, shame on you. Shame me twice..you won’t get fooled again.”) Why hide?
You make another good point about “his handlers” – Whoever they are, they are doing a terrible job of making their boss look good. With poll numbers continuing to slide and after seeing tonight’s Super Tuesday results, if I were he I’d fire the lot of them and start over with a new team and a new program plan.
Finally, Bruce, I thought you promised me you had given up your addiction to Fox News. You can do it. You just have to commit to yourself and I know you can get that monkey off your back.
The media has served Obama’s purpose.
When he needs the again (Q1 2011), he’ll be back in touch.
Seems clear enough… But the press still doesn’t get its predicament or does and avoids the alternatives?…
Well, he can be okay with the media when he wants to talk, but I often find him carrying an attitude that borders on sanctimonious.
What I find completely shocking is members of his administration who rip on the Arizona law and even talk about suing the state — then confess they haven’t read the law yet.
Now, criticize something all you want, but this is the hottest issue in America right now (no pun intended) and you don’t have time to read it.
I know the response. They have others who read it for them. That sounds really stupid when you say it out loud. If that’s what we’ve come to, it’s no wonder government struggles.
Ellen, every time I think I can kick the Bill O’R habit, I feel such a strong jones for insufferable condescending arrogant ignorance that I just have to stick my tongue directly into the socket. Yow!!!!
Walter Mosely, an African-Amercan author and social critic was speaking to a packed auditorium at Macalester College a few years ago. As I recall his appearance coincided with his just published nonfiction book: “What Next? A Memoir for World Peace”. He was especially critical of the silence of black leadership in America following 9/11. An audience member expressed enthusiasm for Barack Obama, who had not yet captured public imagination. Mosely was skeptical, if not cynical. All politicians, he declared, however noble their intent, are destined for emasculation–paralyzed by the bureaucracy or those institutions that funded their candidancy. I wonder.