Lest we forget, the national media will be looking for any controversy to build their coverage of the new administration around. If there isn’t any drama, they will manufacture it.
Jamison Foser of Media Matters writes:
Midway through Bill Clinton’s first year as president, Time magazine reported that among the new president’s problems was “a staff that has almost no White House or executive experience,” pointing to then-political director Rahm Emanuel as a prime example.
Fast-forward 15 years: President-elect Barack Obama has chosen Emanuel to serve as his chief of staff. With years of high-level White House work under his belt, not to mention the connections and clout that come from having been one of the most powerful members of Congress, it would be quite a stretch to say that Emanuel lacks the experience to effectively serve Obama. So this time, some in the media have a different complaint. As CNN’s Anderson Cooper put it, Emanuel is “probably the ultimate Washington insider. … [T]he critics will say, well, look, if Obama is talking about change, why is he having a Washington insider?”
So: Emanuel was insufficiently experienced to serve as political director in 1993 — and now we’re to believe that he’s too experienced in Washington to serve as chief of staff? What gives? Was there a brief window in 2003 in which Emanuel’s level of experience was just right? Or is there something strange about the media’s assessment of President-elect Obama’s staffing decisions?
That Time assessment of Emanuel in 1993 was not unique. For 16 years, there has been near-universal agreement that the Clinton administration’s early struggles (real and perceived) were in large part due to a lack of White House and Washington experience on the part of Clinton’s staff.
[Continue reading Media Matters – Media Matters: When did experience become a flaw?]
Just like the public vetting of the Clintons, which turned out to be mostly based on allegations that there was dirty contributions to Bill Clinton, any little angle will be relentlessly hyped. Is it too soon to write off the corporate media?