Obama's Pet Columnists

Look who's coming to dinner! |||Politico has an
out about President Barack Obama’s increasingly
frequent off-the-record White House meetings with various opinion
journalists and columnists. Here are some named names:

Participants vary depending on the issue of the day, but there
are regulars. [David] Brooks, the New York Times columnist, is a
frequent guest, as is Joe Klein of Time Magazine. From The
Washington Post: E.J. Dionne, Eugene Robinson, Ezra Klein and Fred
Hiatt, the editorial page editor. On foreign policy: the Post’s
David Ignatius, Bloomberg View’s Jeffrey Goldberg, and the Times’
Thomas Friedman. He also holds the occasional meeting with
conservatives. This month, he met with Washington Post columnist
and Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer, Wall Street Journal
editorial page editor Paul Gigot, and other influential
representatives from the right.

Also named are New York magazine columnist Jonathan
Chait and NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd. No,
Reason hasn’t been invited. Sniff.

More details:

He also likes talking to the people he likes to read. The
president is a voracious consumer of opinion journalism. Most
nights, before going to bed, he’ll surf the Internet, reading the
columnists whose opinions he values. One of the great privileges of
the presidency is that, when so inclined, he can invite these
columnists to his home for meetings that can last as long as
two-and-a-half hours.

Especially when you're wrong. |||“It’s not an accident who he invites: He reads
the people that he thinks matter, and he really likes engaging
those people,” said one reporter with knowledge of the meetings.
“He reads people carefully — he has a columnist mentality — and he
wants to win columnists over,” said another.

These anonymous quotes from the journalists invited to these
off-the-record bull sessions are kind of hilarious.

Sometimes, the aide will then reach out to the columnist to ask
his or her opinion, which has had the unintended effect of spurring
the columnist to write a piece expressing his thoughts on that very

“It’s like, ‘The president wants to know what you think about
‘x.’ So you go, ‘I guess I better figure out what I think about
‘x,'” one columnist explained. […]

Said a columnist who has attended multiple meetings, “When you
can write your column with absolute surety, knowing that what
you’re saying is a true reflection of what the President of the
United States is thinking, how do you not do that?”

Read the whole emetic here

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/01/obamas-pet-columnists

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