NPR Enables Obama To Publicize His Courting of Reporters

Howard Kurtz concluded his Monday "Media Notes" column in the Washington Post with a story about much-hyped Democratic star Barack Obama, and how smooth he is at courting reporters, especially ones he's previously miffed. Obama recently relied on National Public Radio to sweeten the apology: 

Nicklaus Lovelady says he tried to ask the Illinois senator a question at a news conference two years ago, only to have Obama say the event was for professional media only. When Lovelady protested that he worked for the local newspaper, Obama said: "I thought you were a college student. You have such a baby face." That putdown, writes Lovelady, caused a "pretty young thing" he'd been courting to give him the cold shoulder.After Lovelady wrote about the incident two weeks ago, Obama called to apologize "for messing up your game . . . I feel terrible." And, he added, if the woman "was that superficial, she wasn't worth it." What's more, Obama's staff taped the call and sent it to the National Public Radio [game] show "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me." How's that for damage control?

The taped call aired on the NPR show on November 18. (It can be heard on "Opening Panel Round.") The crowd assembled for the game show broke into laughs when Obama apologized for "messing up your game." Usually, Obama's problem with reporters is getting them to stop pushing him to run for president immediately.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis