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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

No, It's Not Just About Golf. It's Much Worse Than That

I firmly believe that one of the big -- if not the biggest -- reasons that our political environment is so completely effed up is because our media is so completely effed up. If the press covered things that actually mattered and bothered to inform people, it would be very hard for charlatans to gain political purchase. But they don't. What we get instead is not substantially different from celebrity "news" shows; the coverage is about personalities, not issues. We get plenty of stories about who's fighting who, but very little information on what they're fighting about.

For example...

Politico:

White House Correspondents Association president Ed Henry is standing by his complaints about the lack of press access to President Obama, pushing back against critics who say he and his fellow White House correspondents are just "whining" and don't respect the president's privacy.

"This is a fight for more access, period," Henry told POLITICO late Monday night. "I've heard all kinds of critics saying the White House press corps is whining about a golf game and violating the president's privacy. Nothing could be further from the truth."

"We're not interested in violating the president's privacy. He's entitled to vacations like everyone else. All we're asking for is a brief exception, quick access, a quick photo-op on the 18th green," Henry continued. "It's not about golf -- it's about transparency and access in a broader sense."


↓ CONTINUED AFTER THE JUMP ↓

No, it's not about golf. At least that much is true. But it's also not about journalism. It's about the President hanging out with Tiger Woods. Celebrity meets celebrity -- big news. Ed Henry is just whining. And he's whining about not being able to cover the not-news.

In this assessment, I'm joined by none other than Charles Krauthammer -- who proves conclusively that it's as impossible to always be wrong as it is to always be right. Politico reports Krauthammer's take on all this: it's all unbelievably stupid.

Charles Krauthammer is blasting the media for complaining about a lack of access to President Barack Obama over the weekend while he golfed with Tiger Woods, calling it “the biggest non-story” since the Kardashian weddings.

“If the guy wants to play golf, the guy deserves a couple of days off. He wants privacy — big deal. This is the biggest non-story that the media have created since the Kardashian weddings,” Krauthammer said on Fox News on Monday. “I don’t understand what the story is and what the outrage is."

Of course, this is the same Charles Krauthammer who thinks the press should be wall-to-wall Benghazi coverage, 24/7. He's hardly a credible voice on the subject of proper media focus. He's more an example of a busted clock being right twice a day. But when even Charles Krauthammer passes up an opportunity to criticize this president on any subject, that tells you something about the validity of Ed Henry's complaint.

If the White House press corps wants better access to celebrity gossip, they should get a gig with Entertainment Tonight.

-Wisco

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