The White House press corps is the problem

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

Writing in the WashPost, Ana Marie Cox suggests the White House press beat oughta be ditched, or at least drastically reconfigured by news orgs, because WH reporters rarely break news. Instead, they sit around and wait to repeat doled out WH info.

Facing a paucity of real news, reporters turn to trivia, claims Cox:

Here are some stories that reporters working the White House beat have produced in the past few months: Pocket squares are back! The president is popular in Europe. Vegetable garden! Joe Biden occasionally says things he probably regrets. Puppy!

But then Cox, anxious to not offend her fellow Villagers, goes astray [continuing directly]:

It's not that the reporters covering the president are bad at their jobs. Most are experienced journalists at the top of their game.

That circle doesn't square. If WH reporters are wasting their time writing too much about nonsense like pocket squares and puppies and wardrobes and on and on, than they are, by definition, bad at their job. So why won't Cox say so?

Cox also ignores the fact that this never-ending trivial pursuit by the press under Obama is an entirely new, and completely voluntary, phenomena. i.e. WH reporters have routinely been locked out of juicy stories for decades, yet managed to not embarrass themselves the way they do today.

WH journalists are most definitely not at the "top of their game." And that's the real problem with beat.

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