June 8, 2008

Meet The Press

Obama Shoots Shell

The no-spin zone is part of the Obama campaign’s identity, with the candidate stealing a phrase from John McCain in telling crowds he wants “a politics that’s not based on PR and spin but is based on straight talk.”

–From: Team Obama Is Courting Everybody But the Press (Kurtz – WAPO)

I don’t think Russert’s little kumbaya moment the other day (“It’s a role I think the media can play, in really trying to keep pushing this back to this big debate on big issues…”), or Scott McClellan’s broadside at the press for enabling BushCo., or the joint Obama-McCain announcement declaring the networks will no longer be hosting the presidential debates are isolated incidents.  Not at all.

I also don’t think this fascinating portrait of Barack by Callie Shell (and its companion, Obama’s photo of a bashful Shell), taken back in April, was simply innocent and playful on Obama’s part, either.

The press doesn’t know it yet, but the days when the media felt free reign to a.) make up its own narrative, b.) focus almost exclusively on the horse race, or c.) render an impressionistic elaboration of the talking points is about over.

What’s that third line on the wall?  Something about the drama becoming real?  (Also like how BHO stands in for the CHANGE sign.)  Whereas the Bush Administration alternately patronized and intimidated the press into dramatization, I think Obama — if using authenticity as its own form of PR — plans to subvert the relationship, throwing focus back on the media to stick to the facts.

McCain and Obama Decline Invitation to New York Forum (6/9/08 – NYT)

Dan Rather Hits Press Coverage of War — and ‘Corporate News’  (Greg Mitchell – E&P)

Obama Endorses Creative Commons-Licensed Debates (Obama Media)

US: Obama’s ‘spinless’ PR seduces press (Editors Weblog)

The McCain and Obama Talkalot (Slate)

(image: Callie Shell. April 2008. Montana. via TIME White House Photoblog)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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