Chuck Todd: Blame Obama, Not His Staff, for Keeping Press at a Distance
Deep in a Chuck Todd profile by Howard Kurtz in Monday's Washington Post, Todd says blame President Obama, not his staff, for his press aversion:
Despite his newfound prominence, Todd, like his colleagues, has limited access to the man he is covering. "Obama himself is the one who doesn't like dealing with the press," he says, exonerating the White House staff. "You can't even do shouted questions."
How would Sam Donaldson survive? They lived to shout questions at Ronald Reagan. Todd explains that since his 2004 Senate election, Obama hasn't needed to woo the had-us-at-Hello press, so he's naturally icy:
Todd, who first met Obama in 2002, when the then-Illinois state senator came to a meeting at Hotline, has a theory about Obama's frequent criticism of the 24/7 media culture. Once Obama was elected to the Senate in 2004, "he didn't need to woo the press anymore. The press was there at the drop of a hat. To him, almost all the experience with the press is invasive....He's developed this disdain for us."
Not that Todd is complaining too loudly. White House officials, he says, are quite responsive "to those of us with bigger platforms" -- which obviously includes television anchors.
That's true in any White House. It's also true that in any White House, there will be limited media access to the president. What's new is the bizarre concept that Obama would seem so hostile to a media that seems so supine.
The anointment of "Skywalker" Obama was especially sickening in the first Newsweek of 2005.