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What about “access bloggers?”

Glenzilla writes in White House access is a jackpot for reporters:

The conflicts in having “journalists” report on the administration while simultaneously begging top White House officials for highly lucrative book-access are as self-evident as they are corrupting.


Is it even remotely conceivable that this stable of access-desperate reporters would write negatively about the White House or the President, or conversely, refuse to do their bidding?


How can one possibly purport to be a “watchdog” over the very political officials on whom one’s livelihood and hope for riches depend?

I’m in agreement with Glenn about the affect of “access” on objective reporting. But the same principle applies to blogging.

The Chicago Cubs will win a dozen World Series before I ever get invited to a White House briefing. Outside of the other frontpagers at The Confluence my email contacts include exactly three bloggers, and one of those has a blog that is now defunct. I also get no income from blogging.

But if I depended on blogging for my livelihood, whether by salary, advertising or from subscriptions/donations, having insider access at the White House would be like money in the bank. Would it corrupt me?

Oh, you betcha! It would corrupt anyone. To paraphrase Lord Acton, “Access corrupts, and complete access corrupts completely.” Which makes me wonder: How it would affect someone who is already swilling Kool-aid?

Someone like John Aravosis, Duncan Black, Matt Yglesias, Chris Hayes, Thom Hartmann, Oliver Willis, or any or the others that have been invited to visit 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Access Bloggers at the White House


Chris Bowers brings the stoopid, and Boo-Hoo-man takes it to illogical extremes:

For me, ‘progressive’ means ‘committed to progress’ which may be incremental or sweeping, but which doesn’t get bogged down in ideological roadblocks. There is no such thing as ‘noble failure’ when failure means that the current incarnation of Republicans is restored to power. A wise president works with what he’s got and doesn’t add more burden than the beast can bear. That’s different from triangulation. Triangulation is passing your opponent’s agenda on your terms and then taking credit for it. Obama is passing his agenda on the terms the system will bear. And that is progressive enough for me.


54 Responses

  1. I for one welcome our corrupting access limiting overload. Assuming they send me money.

  2. Very good post! That level of corruption and self interested bias must be assumed for anyone with access. And they should not be taken seriously because of it. It is by definition not journalism.

  3. This strikes at the heart myiq—and until they all swear off access it will only get worse. The interesting thing is that so many are sucking the access teat that Fox is able to make a bundle by moving sharply in the other direction. (along with Rush and conservative talk radio).

    I think this access bubble is perhaps more dangerous than corporate lobbyists. The latter represent a lot of different interests that are sometimes in conflict so they sort of mediate each other. But the msm and koolaid bloggers are all about the same thing—their personal access. Like 0 they don’t really believe in anything but themselves.

    • I’m sure they rationalize how they are doing the right thing and aren’t really corrupt.

      Very few people want to believe they are bad.

  4. I found this comment from Boo-Hoo-man interesting:

    Bowers focuses on Obama’s amazing success in developing Obama for America (now, Organizing for America). The work of the OFA not only goes largely unreported by the progressive netroots, but it has been openly resented. Back in 2007-08 it was an open secret that the big-hats in the netroots felt snubbed by Obama’s decision to do an end-around of traditional progressive organizations and build one for himself.

    An open secret? It’s news to me. How many of you knew about this?

    • Which Obama slamming progressive netroots is Booman referring to when he suggests he’s more mature than that. Seems to me most of the prog blogs are pretty much on board, twisting themselves into pretzels just like him to justify everything BO is doing.

      The bigger picture is that we have a Democratic president who is on the whole keeping faith with his campaign promises but who is also facing a vicious idiot-wind of opposition.

      These campaign promises? FISA, FOCA, DOMA, DADT, GITMO, NAFTA, public option, transparency, lobbyists, corporate bailouts, financial reform, jobs in new sectors, no middle-class taxes, tackling poverty, climate change, drilling, cutting troop redeployments, direct negotiations for peace. What promises has he kept.

      • Must be some other guy we haven’t heard of yet. Sure as hell can’t be Obama.

      • These people are so stupid they think opposition was invented in 2008. According to digby, in 1965 everyone was basically on the same page politically. I think it has to do with their self-centeredness, history didn’t exist before they were born and nobody’s ever struggled like they’ve struggled. So heroic. Myiq and the others have pointed out many times that Clinton had fewer advantages than Obama and many of his compromises may have been necessary, but they continue to insist that every mistake he made was out of malice and he could have made all these sweeping changes with no opposition. Meanwhile, Obama was the magic man and he has every advantage in the world, but it’s an endless stream of excuses for why he can’t do the simplest thing and goes out of his way to rub their faces in it again and again. How’s the off-shore driling working out?

          • Lol I hope Booman saw this little gem from DU, ” He stole their top issue and will impliment it responsibly. It’s pure hell for Republicans.” He’ll want to incorporate it into his triangulation vs. progress dissertation.

        • Like I said on another thread: Clinton compromised with a republican majority to keep worse legislation from happening and still made the country a pretty good place to live. Obama compromises with a republican minority because he has the self image of someone who brings both sides together and he likes their crappy ideas in many cases.
          Clinton was a damn good Democrat. Obama is an Obamacrat and he is giving away the store for no reason whatsoever.

  5. I used to deal with a local rag, submitting ads for clients. Everytime they changed the rules to their benefit and my and my clients detriment, I squawked. The answer, unfailingly, was “butbutbut… it’s progress!”. It would seem from the above that I’m the only one that doesn’t understand the concept. And the triangulation definition doesn’t make sense to me either.
    Maybe it’s time I jumped back in my skeptic tank.

  6. Ouch, that stress reduction kit gave me a headache!

    Excellent points once again, myiq. Thanks for staying on top of them.

  7. I see a circle with words in it, but after reading the explanation about how triangulation (Clinton!) differs from progress (Obama!), my head is spinning so fast I can’t read what the words in the circle say…

  8. I wonder what’s going on at Buzzflash.com?

    Haven’t visited in ages…

    During the primaries, I was still contributing to that site several times during the week…foreign news round-ups and fairly regular essays.

    One weekend, the vitriol directed at Hillary Clinton simply revolted me, and I quite immediately (although I think they still have my name up at the bottom in the list of “credits” and columns).

    I knew that the guy who runs it had recently lost his own P.R. firm’s contract with some sort of political/social group …Since Buzzflash is based in Chicago I strongly suspected at the time that he had signed on somehow with the Obama crew because the site went so nuts against Hillary!

    • Sorry, that’s QUIT immediately.

      …And they didn’t seem especially sorry to see me go. I often wonder about all the fundraising they were doing as they expanded…and where else the money may have been coming from.

      Speculation, of course, but…

      • Back in 2007-2008 it wasn’t the sudden Obamalove that surprised me as much as the sudden Hillaryhate.

        • and all of it such a combination of right wing and Naderite talking points. If they couldn’t get you with one POV they tried the other. It was incredible.

    • Buzzflash is outraged at Obama now.

  9. Why don’t we just call Booman and Bowers racists–accompanied by some convoluted rationalization for it (something in post-structuralist academese is probably best)–and watch the sparks fly?

  10. There were a lot of interesting books about the Bush administration. I doubt if the ones on Obama’s administration will be. Unless you’re still in the dark about Obama being a Republican who is carrying on Bush’s crimes.

    • The Kool-aid rationalizations of how it was different when Obama did it will be classics.

    • Why do people refuse to believe that Obama is really a republican, when I constantly read on numerous blogs in 07′ and beyond that Hillary was one and that’s why the ultra left refused to vote for her. OMG, he has continued every one of George Bush’s policies and even screwed more than the ever did with healthcare. It’s appalling, but I still can’t go to the dark side, I’ve tried, I just can’t. When I turn on TV or read a rethug blog I get sick to my stomach.

      • Because if they admitted they were so incredibly wrong about everything, they’d look like fools. They went so in the tank for Obama and so far down the road of Hillary hate that they’re kind of stuck justifying Obama and trying to pretend their judgment has been validated. It would be extremely humiliating and take a tremendous amount of character to admit all the ignoble reasons they went along with it. Lying and sniveling and weaseling and making self-evidently ridicuous arguments is humiliating, but not as humiliating.

      • there are other solutions connie, mine is to vote for women no matter what party first and democratic males second…. but no anti-choice male democrats. I will write in my own name in those cases.

  11. Somehow this sounds oddly like I don’t know, having a state run media.

    • It’s kinda like neo-colonialism. The media is technically independent but effectively controlled by the government.

    • Until about 25 years ago, everyone in the world pretty much only had state run television, except us with ABC, NBC, CBS and some cable. Now everyone everywhere has commercial television, and maybe we’re the ones going back to 1984 – except we still have commercial sponsors, the large ones probably approved and partnering with the federal government.

  12. Uppity Woman is on a jihad against Peeps

  13. On a related point, Vastleft sez:

    * Again, Glenn did better than most, while continuing — with between-the-lines reluctance, it seemed — to legitimize “PO” as a goal. Purely speculation here, but I can’t help but wonder if Glenn’s reluctance to bust “public option” wide open, an agenda he acknowledged was designed to “placate progressives” — was a manifestation of the reluctance of A-listers (and activism partners) to publicly challenge each other.

    Seeing how ugly things have gotten now that Jane has taken a principled stand against the Dem orthodoxy, one can well understand such reluctance, even if it is painfully disappointing and frustrating given the vital need for a blogosphere built on candor and wholesome policy objectives.

    • I wonder if there’s been some sort of summit meeting where they’ve worked all this out, or if they’re just wimps who’d be lost without Obama.

    • We took a principled stand against the Dem orthodoxy long ago. Too bad Hamsher wasn’t paying attention then. Of course we don’t have access, so we don’t count.

  14. Some of the bloggers don’t surprise me. They have always been faux progressive by my lights.After all how many core liberal belief did they hold dear durtng the primary? Certainly not women’s rights or a value of fair play. Obama has put together a coalition of neo liberals who are really moderate conservatives who are embarassed by what the repub party has become.He was their trojan horse.

    My moderate Republican brother who voted democrat for the first time when he voted for Obama thinks he is just peachy.

  15. Great minds think alike. I was noting the Bowers-type stoopid as manifested in B0botland

  16. How soon they forget:

  17. Local news:

    A sign on a Fresno overpass says “Buck Ofama”

  18. From the boo-hoo-man piece

    self-styled progressives

    {{{wipes beverage from screen}}}

  19. Are Obama and company paying people to make positive posts about his administration?


    • Yes. At least three of the posters in the list are paid propagandists.

      What is really interesting is that the post has had more than 2800 views and only 36 recs. A month ago that comment would have had over 200 recs. Things are not going well at DU.

    • OMG… look at this idiot!

      I pull my hair out when I see those teabaggers. And imagine some black people there, what the fuck are they thinking? They should go read ‘Black like me’? But in every ethnic group, there are assfucks, sorry to say!

      Everything this dolt knows about being black he/she learned in the 70s from “Black Like Me”…… lol

  20. I actually think Glenn Beck looks like he’s been hitting the bottle again. Too much lying will do that to you.

    • A golden oldie

      • Lol I remember being on a non-political blog and the blog owner, an author and Democrat, was talking about how irritating Obama’s supporters are and that she’d literally seen them running around in circles. Then a bunch of indignant Obots materialized to debate whether or not they’d literally run around in circles. Good times.

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