Wary Obama Dances With the Press

Tech-savvy president doesn't bypass traditional outlets
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2009 8:34 AM CST
Wary Obama Dances With the Press
President Barack Obama is interviewed in Washington by Al-Arabiya last month. It was the Obama's first formal television interview as president given to an Arabic cable TV network.   (AP Photo/Al-Arabiya)

Barack Obama has made unprecedented strides using the Internet as a means of direct communication with constituents—but the president still relies on the old-school strategy of buttering up the White House press corps. Since taking office Obama has spoken to reporters nearly every weekday, and had sit-down interviews with every network news anchor. But he's not open about everything, points out Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post.

While he freely admitted he "screwed up" Tom Daschle's Cabinet nomination, he plays down other issues, such as the restoration of funding for nonprofits that promote abortion. He also decides beforehand which reporters he'll call on at a new conference. One Bush adviser sympathized with Obama's attempts to placate the press: "It's just wicked hard to tame the media beast these days. You reach out to feed it, and you get your arm gnawed off." (More Barack Obama stories.)

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