THINGS WE KNEW  1:42 pm April 2, 2010

Washington Press Corps Just One Big Book-Publishing Scam

by Jim Newell

Isn't it awesome that we own all reporters?There are, in 2010, only two types of political books that get published. Actually there are more, but let’s just say there are two. The first is for elected or appointed officials or staffers, whose financial incentive is to not fix or help the country in any way while on the job, quit after a few years, and immediately sign a memoir deal about how your unpopular, failed boss never listened to your brilliant advice that could have saved everything. The second is to get a fake but fancy-sounding job like “White House Correspondent” and use it to write fluffy or superficial odes to the Administration, in exchange for hot backroom gossip that can be leveraged into a book deal. The latter happens to be what every senior political reporter or White House correspondent is doing right now.

Howard Kurtz wrote the other day about how competitive it’s become among reporters to get face-time with top Administration officials, since, again, every White House reporter is working on a stupid superficial anecdotal laundry list book about the White House. Some are even working on their second!

The blitz has created complications for presidential aides, who have a country to run, and frustrations for the authors, who are clamoring for face time with their sources. One White House official calls the mounting demands “a pain” in the posterior, saying: “We try to engage when we can. No one is getting as much time as they want.”

With the publishing world nourishing a deep appetite for all things Obama, those working on such books include Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter, NBC’s Chuck Todd, MSNBC’s Richard Wolffe, The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and David Maraniss, the New York Times’ Jodi Kantor and two New Yorker writers — editor David Remnick and Washington correspondent Ryan Lizza. Time’s Mark Halperin and New York magazine’s John Heilemann, whose campaign chronicle “Game Change” became a huge bestseller, have just signed a deal with Penguin Press to chronicle the 2012 contest — for an advance reported to be about $5 million.

Aside from killing all of one’s fellow tradesmen, what sorts of things can reporters do to win access in this competitive atmosphere of crappy forgettable useless and Very Serious Obama-book publishing?

Ah, here’s one idea. Reporters can get on their knees for a hot suckin’. Steve Clemons explains:

But the kind of books that sell need “inside access” and this is something that the communications team at the White House doles out minimally, and increasingly, only when favors are part of the arrangement.

What I have learned after discussions over the last several days with several journalists who either have regular access to the White House or are part of the White House press corps is that there is a growing sense that access is traded for positive stories — or perhaps worse, an agreement that things learned will not be reported in the near term.

The White House is working hard to secure deals that yield fluffy, feel good commentary about the Obama White House. One American White House reporter used colorful terms to describe the arrangement. The reporter said, “They want ‘blow jobs’ first. Then you have to be on good behavior for a bit or be willing to deal, and then you get access.”

And Mark Halperin gives the best head in Washington D.C.

[The Washington Note]
[Washington Post]

 

Hola wonkerados.

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{ 30 comments }

ArugulaTeleprompterz April 2, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Mark Halperin is sure to get all sorts of inside access in 2012, from anyone that has never read Game Change.

UnattendedConsequence April 2, 2010 at 1:49 pm

You really have to wonder, What would government be without blowjobs?

Serolf Divad April 2, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Don’t presidential pets write books, too?

SmutBoffin April 2, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Alternate alt-text:

Gibbs: Chuck Todd says he’s naked and waiting in the Lincoln Bedroom.
Barry: Shit, no! Tell him that something came up and we can’t make it. Nuclear war or whatever.

V572625694 April 2, 2010 at 1:57 pm

“What I have learned after discussions over the last several days with several journalists who either have regular access to the White House or are part of the White House press corps is that there is a growing sense that access is traded for positive stories…”

Reporters reporting on reporters reporting, and citing each other as sources without identifying said sources. This kind of George-Orwell-level truth-telling is just what we need more of in Warshington DeeCee.

Ruhe April 2, 2010 at 1:59 pm

OK, obviously the first name that comes to mind when you use the words “fluffy” and “hot backroom” in the same sentence while discussing the White House Press Corps is Jeff Gannon. And I imagine that his response to the whole access for BJs analogy would be “well, natch. But you have to learn to see the BJs as the good part.”
Isn’t it possible given the sad level that journalism has reached that the deal being offered by White House staff is just “please write something thoughtful and informative when we give you access and not some fact-starved crap that skips over all the complexity of the issues.” I mean, is it really a blow job for access deal when by blow job they simply mean, you know, your actual job.

Lionel Hutz Esq. April 2, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Just another problem in DC that could be handled by instituting Thunder Dome. Two reporters enter, one reporter leaves and gets an interview with the 3rd undersecretary for domestic policy at HUD.

magic titty April 2, 2010 at 2:05 pm

Is this how one gets a job at The Wonkett?

Suds McKenzie April 2, 2010 at 2:08 pm

[re=547630]SmutBoffin[/re]: I want Fuck Toads book cover to look like this

http://www.jewcy.com/files/images/george-1.img_assist_custom.jpg

ForTheTurnstiles April 2, 2010 at 2:08 pm

“Mark Halperin gives the best head in Washington D.C.”

I’m totally calling that Halperin guy. I got some inside juice he could put to use… if I close my eyes and think of Jane Fonda.

FMA April 2, 2010 at 2:09 pm

[re=547630]SmutBoffin[/re]: Chuck Todd, punishing dildo mallet.

Doglessliberal April 2, 2010 at 2:10 pm

I know you said two, but one cannot forget the vomit-inducing, ego-filled apologia genre, which includes the vile excretia just produced by Karl “I and George Bush are right, everyone else in the world is wrong” Rove. No, I did not read it, but even reading about it and quotes from it was enough to produce spasms of nausea and flashbacks.

[re=547635]Lionel Hutz Esq.[/re]: good idea. Who plays the Tina Turner role?

mardam422 April 2, 2010 at 2:11 pm

[re=547630]SmutBoffin[/re]: I think we have a winner.

An Outhouse April 2, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Once it became acceptable to use completely anonymous ‘sources’, the flood gates were released.

Moonbatting_Average April 2, 2010 at 2:12 pm

[re=547621]ArugulaTeleprompterz[/re]: nice handle, needs a dab of dijon tho ;-)

mardam422 April 2, 2010 at 2:13 pm

[re=547635]Lionel Hutz Esq.[/re]: Sorry, I hadn’t read all the comments. This is boss.

sati demise April 2, 2010 at 2:21 pm

[re=547634]Ruhe[/re]: yes, I agree, but only because there has to be something to counteract all the bullshit from Fox “News” and the “liberal” media

( if anyone is ever successful in proving that the media is not and never has been ‘liberal’ then they should get blow jobs for the rest of their life)

Fuck Toad April 2, 2010 at 2:24 pm

You assume the “blow jobs” are given in exchange for access to write the book. I can give you inside information that the “blow jobs” are the only reason I’m writing the book in the first place. I mean, everyone knows that the books will go from the printer to the shelves to the remainder rack to the garbage dumpster in about five weeks, right?

I’m hoping to get a chance to upgrade from Gibbs to dreamy shouty Rahm, though.

S.Luggo April 2, 2010 at 2:24 pm

[re=547624]Serolf Divad[/re]: They ghost, but don’t auhor. Barney in currently under contract to a former Washington pol who early last year relocated to Dallas. Off the record, on the QT, and very hush-hush

lochnessmonster April 2, 2010 at 2:31 pm

$, $, $, Money! I should have told my kids to become journalists…who knew you could make so much by reporting fake news?

Cape Clod April 2, 2010 at 2:32 pm

What are they complaining about? The White House Easter Egg Hunt is this weekend. They’ve got plenty of hard news to cover with that event.

Mr Blifil April 2, 2010 at 2:34 pm

Given the shit that went down with Gore and Clinton from as far back as 1988, I’m not surprised any Dem would be overly cautious and apply a loyalty test. And what says “loyal” more than a nice wet blow job?

Ruhe April 2, 2010 at 2:59 pm

[re=547675]Mr Blifil[/re]: Are you waiting for Bill Clinton to answer that question?

Wingnutia April 2, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Well, let’s just say with an arrangement like that I’d give Tamron Hall secrets anytime she asks. Back to Gannon, isn’t it hilarious that with salacious jokes (or maybe not jokes at all considering Ken Mehlman) about reporters trading head for access that conservatives actually produced a guy who WILL trade head for access? Next time there’s a Republican president we’ll all awake to find James O’Keefe in the press corps front row. You know those old ass conserva-pervs like Hannity, etc. looked at him and thought “You’ve got a perty mouth heh, heh”

Joshua Norton April 2, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Sheeyit! Access, Schmaccess. What they don’t know they can always make up. Kind of like what Mark Halprin does – or any repig on “Meet the Press”.

sarcasticusername April 2, 2010 at 3:55 pm

“The White House is working hard to secure deals that yield fluffy, feel good commentary about the Obama White House. One American White House reporter used colorful terms to describe the arrangement. They want ‘blow jobs’ first. Then you have to be on good behavior for a bit or be willing to deal, and then you get access.”

it’s a good thing this is the first administration to clue in to the village circle jerk! imagine if the cheney admin. had done this; we’d have missed out on all that hard hitting reporting, which helped prevent the public from falling for the “evidence” that necessitated the clusterf*ck in iraq! and to think those blowhards weren’t even trying to sell election year books when they were sucking at their jobs, they just wanted to keep getting invited to the latest wingnut welfare cocktail party.

Jukesgrrl April 2, 2010 at 4:46 pm

[re=547635]Lionel Hutz Esq.[/re]: [re=547645]Doglessliberal[/re]: There’s one too many -izzas in the Washington press corps. Thunderdome should start with them. (Hopey will no doubt get Beyonce the Tina role.)

southern mark smith April 2, 2010 at 5:02 pm

Fuck and Savannah did an awesomely pathetic “why does the President hate us so much?” piece this morning. They answered their own question at least 19 times during the two-minute segment.

Seanyboy April 3, 2010 at 3:27 am

“And we have newspaper people on the payroll, Don’t we, Tom?” -Michael Corleone

zhubajie April 3, 2010 at 7:03 pm

Does anyone actually read these political books? None of them are like The Secret History, are they?

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