Buried in a recent New York Times profile of senior White House advisor David Axelrod was this nugget of information: he used to be a reporter with the Chicago Tribune.
The fact is hardly a secret -- the White House notes Axelrod's brief stint at the Tribune on its website. But that bit of information was an interesting element of a predictably laudatory profile. One of President Obama's chief message-men was a political reporter for a major newspaper. Who knows better how to address journalists than a former journalist?
For its part, the Times skipped over any discussion of the significance of Axelrod's experience in journalism. The paper simply noted his former position in passing.
Of course Axelrod is far from the first reporter to join the Obama administration. As of early last month, NewsBusters counted fourteen instances of the revolving door between the White House and the mainstream press. The most recent was Washington Post reporter Desson Thomson, who joined the Administration as a speechwriter.
NewsBusters Editor at Large Brent Baker compiled a comprehensive list:
Warren Bass: Washington Post deputy editor (of the Outlook section) > adviser to United Nations Ambassador Dr. Susan Rice.
Daren Briscoe: Newsweek Washington correspondent > Deputy Associate Director of Public Affairs for the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Jay Carney: Time magazine Washington bureau chief > Assistant to the Vice President and Director of Communications for Vice President Joe Biden.
Linda Douglass: ABC News Washington correspondent (previously with CBS News) > senior strategist and senior campaign spokesperson on the road for the Obama campaign, now Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services and leading spokesman for Obama's health reform.
Kate Albright-Hanna: CNN producer > director of “new media” (online video) for the Obama campaign, “content lead” for the Obama transition Web site.
Peter Gosselin: Los Angeles Times Washington correspondent > speechwriter for Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.
Sasha Johnson: CNN senior political producer > Press Secretary at the Department of Transportation.
Beverley Lumpkin: Justice Department correspondent for ABC News > Press Secretary at the Justice Department.
Aneesh Raman: CNN Middle East correspondent > worked in communications for the Obama campaign.
Vijay Ravindran: Chief Technology Officer for Catalist, a voter database provider which worked for the Obama campaign > Chief Digital Officer and Senior Vice President of the Washington Post Company.
Rick Weiss: Washington Post science reporter > communications director and senior policy strategist at the White House Office of Science and Technology.
Jill Zuckman: Chicago Tribune Washington correspondent > Director of Public Affairs for the Department of Transportation.
Shortly after Baker compiled this list, MRC reported that Roberta Baskin joined the Department of Health and Human Services as a communications advisor.