******************** THIS BLOG HAS MOVED TO WWW.LEGALINSURRECTION.COM ********************

This blog is moving to www.legalinsurrection.com. If you have not been automatically redirected please click on the link.

NEW COMMENTS will NOT be put through and will NOT be transferred to the new website.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pravda: US Edition?

As the 2012 presidential campaign kicks into gear, President Obama's White House media operation is demonstrating an unprecedented ability to broadcast its message through social media and the Internet, at times doing an end-run around the traditional press.
[...] But while these innovative communications tools ostensibly offer greater transparency and openness, critics say they have come at a troublesome expense: less accountability of the administration by the independent, mainstream press.
Over the past few months, as White House cameras have been granted free reign behind the scenes, officials have blocked broadcast news outlets from events traditionally open to coverage and limited opportunities to publicly question the president himself.
Obama's recent signing of the historic New START treaty with Russia and his post-State of the Union cabinet meeting, for example, were both closed to reporters in a break with tradition. And during a recent question and answer session with the president and visiting Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the White House imposed an unusual limit of just one question each from the U.S. and Canadian press corps.
It seems President Obama is throwing all sorts of PR Hail Mary passes into the media. As if it wasn't friendly enough to him already...

Some people might miss the weight of this decision or think I'm blowing it out of proportion. Well, it seems David Perlmutter, the director of the Iowa J-school, and I are least on the same page:

"If Nixon had announced he was going to start the 'Nixon channel' and said they were only going to put up stuff he approved of, people would have said, 'Oh my God, this is like Communist Russian state media,'" said David Perlmutter, director of the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
"But now social media have a friendly face on them, so these media tools are not seen by the public -- particularly younger Americans -- as some sort of power grab by the president or government," he said. "They're just modern ways of reaching out and communicating."
Perlmutter says what he calls "state run media 2.0" might be just what younger generations, who polls show are disillusioned with the mainstream press, are looking for. And, he said, satisfying their "need to feel connected" could give Obama the edge among tech-savvy voters heading into the next campaign.

People my age want to like Obama. They want to have fluffy feel-good stories "behind the scenes" showing him looking decisive and cool, claiming that he is trying to make the world better. And maybe he is a nice guy in person, I don't really care. I care about my life and the decisions I can make, many of which are influenced by the power the president wields. The fact of the matter is, the fewer substantive stories that reflect President Obama's (destructive) policies, the bleaker my hope is for replacing him in 2012.

Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube
Visit the Legal Insurrection Shop on CafePress!
Bookmark and Share


  1. I noticed a change in the tone of Jake Tapper's tweets, and Political Punch reports, starting about the time the Win The Future campaign slogan surfaced. Jake is one of the few lefty reporters I respect, and though it could be forever in coming, I hope he will tell the truth about the riff. Someday.

  2. But........ but......... I thought this guy was going to shine light on the darkness that was the White House under the Evil Bush Boys.... I thought this president was going to tell them any and everything they wanted, whenever they wanted. Awwwwwwwwww..... this sure must hurt. After all, the press got him this job and he's not paying them back properly. *sniff* Are these tears of laughter I feel coming on?

  3. People of your generation (with some exceptions) tend to be pretty feeble-minded. I sincerely hope your generation does not again prove decisive in selecting the next president. And if it does, it richly deserves everything coming to it.

  4. And if it does, it richly deserves everything coming to it.

    Or taken from it, as the case may be.

  5. Today ABC news call it 'The State Run Media'.Rush found that to be very funny.

  6. People your age need to get a life and use logic more than emotion.

    It doesn't matter whether or not you like the POTUS. What matters is whether his policies contribute to the continued growth and development of the U.S.of A. So, the POTUS could be the worst toilet terrier on the planet, but as long as his policies produce positive economic and social results, we don't have to like him.

  7. Woah, woah, why all the frowning upon the internet generation? I do believe that the youth in the 1960s and 70s were just as misguided (remember the first Jimmy Carter?). For most, liberalism is a phase before people have responsibility and taxes. I just got lucky.

  8. The backup for a policy is a written plan, something more substantial than a scribble on a cocktail napkin. The U.S. deserves more respect than for a President, Senator, or Congressman to make up policy as he goes along.

    The public has already lost when the justification for legislation comes out of a press conference. The U.S. deserves more respect than for a President, Senator, or Congressman to limit explanation and justification to press conferences and speeches.

    There was no reasonable debate on healthcare, for example, because the Obama Team and Democrats in Congress did not release a readable document spelling out the researched policy that they wanted to implement. We needed to know why it was supposed to work.

    The government demands detailed, researched Environmental Impact Statements before starting a mere building. We should have Official Policy Statements before our representatives change our society.

    We need proposed results, expected evolution, methods, justifications, comparative studies, past successes of similar policy, funding sources, expected difficulties, the works. What has worked, not what might work.

    I hope people of all parties and positions could agree that this is fundamental. It is non-partisan to demand that the President and all politicians show the careful research behind their proposals. If there is no researched plan, then that is a horrible misuse of office.

    The Congress and Obama should proudly present the careful research that supports their proposed rearrangement of healthcare, and all other things.

    Each government program should have this explanation, revised and updated according to measured results. It should be the official product of government, not the product of academic papers.

    Where are the policy papers which explain and justify the giant experiments that our government is forcing on the people? Where are the measured results of government programs? These are things we can get if we merely ask, or demand, and shame them into a response.

    A Few Words About Policy

  9. Prof. Jacobson, you know what the worst part is? PRAVDA today is more of a free and open press than the MSM. Take a look! Show me ONE article in the MSM that even comes close to this PRAVDA post without being completely spun in favor of Obama!


    To be fair, there are some comparably unfavorable posts about Mother Russia there too. How the worm has turned. FYI I blog on this stuff for Breitbart on occasion. Makes you feel proud to be an American, doesn't it? /sarc off

  10. This country has always had its own version of Pravda - it's called the Washington Post!

  11. John, Kathleen wrote the post, not Professor Jacobson.

    As for Pravda, you must be kidding! Perhaps you found a needle in a haystack?

    Now, I've certainly never been one to commend our MSM columnists for balance or thoroughness in the pursuit of the narrative, especially when it comes to their apple polishing vis-a-vis to this President.

    But I must say that I cannot recall anything quite as risible as, for example, allegations that Don Imus was forced off the air a few years ago at the insistence of top American military leaders because Imus had threatened to reveal "secrets" on the air regarding United States government complicity in the 9/11 attacks!

    But Pravda printed it with a straight face.

    Sure, we used to see stuff like that in Weekly World News, but not on the networks!

    You all want to stick Pravda in the craw of the American media? Oh man! That is soooooooo harsh! Heh!

    As far as I'm concerned, Pravda hasn't moved much beyond the punch line of the old Soviet-era joke:

    Here's a little transliteration for you:

    "Izvestia nye Pravda, y Pravda nye Izvestia."

    Is that where we're headed?