The White House Press Corps is pushing back — again — at administration efforts to avoid mainstream media and taking its case “directly to the people.”
CBS News’ Bill Plante tells a CNN media program, “this administration has the tools to reach people on their own. They don’t need us as much. And to the extent that they’re able to do that, they’re undercutting the First Amendment, which guarantees a free press through many voices. If they put out their own material, it’s state-run media.”
Plante was objecting most recently to Obama’s appearance on Funny or Die’s Between Two Ferns, to promote the health care website.
The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza noted this week that Obama hasn’t agreed to an interview with his newspaper since 2009.
Obama’s “Between Two Ferns” appearance comes on the heels of a sitdown with former NBA great Charles Barkley, an interview that ran during the All-Star game weekend last month. He’s also done a podcast with Grantland’s Bill Simmons. And a sitdown with Steve Harvey. He’s done “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart six times — including twice as president.
Now, compare those appearances to the number of times Obama has sat down with more “traditional” media outlets. The last time the Washington Post had an interview with Obama was in December 2009. The last time the New York Times had one was July 2013.
In that one interview with the New York Times, public editor Margaret Sullivan noted at the time, the newspaper reporter didn’t ask a single question about the top story at the time — government surveillance.
When he was given a lifetime achievement award last night by the Radio Television Digital News Association, Plante seemed to lament the changing nature of news…