The most challenging investigative task a prominent Washington journalist could ever face in his or her career is to cover the White House Pool Report beat, where our greatest reporters take turns following the President during off-hours — just in case anything like a sex affair or juicy “gaffe” happens — and then share the vital journalism information with each other for common use. (This is a form of Communism.) The rotation has traditionally been composed of reporters from the Washington bureaus of the top 30-ish newspapers and magazines, and the average fare usually features three or four muckraking sentences about how a deputy press secretary made a funny joke about another reporter who every reporter knows to have a wacky reputation for the exact thing the deputy press secretary made a joke about… oh you wouldn’t get it, ha ha ha. But this is all over now, due to the recent addition of two left-wing bloggers into the rotation.
It’s allllways the New York Times guy to fire the opening salvo of snobbery:
And in this transition, there will inevitably be some friction as online news organizations, which may or may not be bound by the same professed standards of objectivity, begin taking on the responsibilities of long-standing print publications.
That’s been apparent this week, as White House reporters have privately discussed and debated the recent addition of sites like Talking Points Memo and Huffington Post to the White House in-town press pool. It’s not that reporters are criticizing the work of either Christina Bellantoni or Sam Stein, but some have expressed concerns about pool reports coming from left- or right-leaning news organizations that will then be used by the rest of the press corps.
“This is really troubling,” said New York Times reporter Peter Baker in an e-mail to POLITICO. “We’re blurring the line between news and punditry even further and opening ourselves to legitimate questions among readers about where the White House press corps gets its information.”
Baker said he has no problem with outlets like Huffington Post, which he described “an important part of the marketplace of ideas.” But the site, he said, has a mission “to produce pieces with strongly argued points of view” and that puts the Times — or other nonpartisan news organizations — “in a position of relying on overtly ideological or opinionated organizations as our surrogate news gatherers.”
Oh man, we love this stuff. It is of the gravest national security concern to America, right now, that these two commie cyberfarts (each of whom has a fine background in reportorial work) not be allowed to taint the integrity of a modest daily briefing that’s usually about how Mike Allen saw a bunch of people he knows telling funny jokes about other reporters at the president’s closed-off Fourth of July barbecue.
Anyway, to the point of this post: WHITE HOUSE WHITE HOUSE CAN WONKETTE PLEEEEEEEASE JOIN THE ROTATION PLEEEEEASSSSEE??? We’ll be good. If the President takes a shit, we’ll dutifully note it, objectively, without bias. NO THAT WAS A JOKE we want to do this so badly. (Mostly just to watch “Peter Baker” literally die when he hears the news!) THAT WAS A JOKE TOO Peter Baker is a responsible tool journalist. POOL JOURNALIST, honestly, just a typo there, not “tool” journalist, that would be preposterous.
(…psst Josh Marshall wears girl’s underwear pass it on…) Whoa did you guys hear that Josh Marshall wears girl’s underwear and should probably be replaced in the pool rotation with the less idiosyncratic Wonkette?
New W.H. pool rotation sparks debate [Mike Calderone]