Journalists: If You Can't Beat Them, Buy Them
We can speculate about The Fourth Estate's motives and loyalties and our conclusions can be dismissed as partisanship but two facts scream bias. 1. The Obama Administration has hired a record number of mainstream reporters to work for them. 2. The Obama Administration has employed at least four relatives of high level news people.
Let's examine the second statement first. David Rhoades is the president of CBS News. His brother, Ben Rhoades is a White House national security battle.
Virginia Mosely is a CNN Vice President and Washington Bureau Chief. She is married to Tom Nides, a Deputy Secretary of State in the Obama Administration.
Former White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, is married to ABC News senior national correspondent, Claire Shipman.
Another president of a network news division, Ben Sherwood of ABC News, is the brother of special adviser to Barack Obama, Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall.
In the old days, we would call this graft. This behavior might be legal but it is highly unethical. Whatever credibility the Fourth Estate might have had left in its account, it has squandered it in the Obama Administration.
Not quite as egregious is the Obama Administration practice of hiring journalists on a scale never before seen. That practice has a long tradition and I am not of the opinion that reporters should be blackballed but the Obama Administration exceeds with excess.
On May 5, 2009 Ed O'Keefe of 'TheWashington Post” wrote an article on the bumper crop of administration jobs awarded to news people. Eleven lucky recipients not counting David Axelrod, who is a former reporter at “Chicago Tribune.” One of the mentioned was a Bush Administration holdover, Geoff Morrell.
Warren Bass: Former deputy editor of The Post's Sunday Outlook now serves as an adviser and speechwriter for U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.
Rosa Brooks: The former Los Angeles Times op-ed columnist now advises Michelle Fluornoy at the Defense Department.
The aforementioned Jay Carney: The former TIME Magazine Moscow bureau chief and campaign chronicler (and husband of ABC's Claire Shipman) now serves as communications director for Vice President Biden.
Linda Douglass: Former Congressional correspondent for CBS and ABC and writer/editor at “National Journal” left journalism last year to serve as traveling press secretary for the Obama campaign. She'll help guide the administration's communications efforts during this summer's battle over health care reform, working out of the Department of Health and Human Services and the White House.
Peter Gosselin: The former “Los Angeles Times” reporter now writes speeches for Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
David Hoff: The “Education Week” reporter and blogger started yesterday on the communications staff at the Education Department.
Beverley Lumpkin: A former Justice Department reporter/producer for ABC and CBS, she left journalism, worked for the Project on Government Oversight and joined DOJ last month as press secretary, turning sources into colleagues.
Geoff Morrell: A holdover from the Bush administration, the former ABC newsman became spokesman for Defense Secretary Robert Gates in 2007.
Rick Weiss: Former Washington Post science reporter left for the Center for American Progress and now serves as communications director and senior policy strategist for the White House Office of Science and Technology.
Jill Zuckman: The former Washington correspondent for “Chicago Tribune” works with Ray LaHood as communications director at the Department of Transportation.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta: The CNN/CBS reporter and Atlanta-based neurosurgeon threw his hat into the ring for the surgeon general job, but eventually withdrew because of the "timing."
The previously mentioned David Axelrod: President Obama's senior adviser once worked as a Chicago Tribune reporter.
On February 17, 2012 Paul Bedard of the“Washington Examiner” listed 19 reporters and news executives who had gone to work for the Administration. Bedard reported that to be a record number of news people hired by an administration.
Records are made to be broken. On September 12, 2013, Elspeth Reeve reported at The Wire that the Obama Administration had hired its 24th journalist, former “Time” managing editor, Rick Stengel.
The following list is from Reeve's column. We will omit Hoff, Zuckman, Weiss and Douglas.
Douglas Frantz, decades-long media hack at “New York Times” and “Los Angeles Times” went to work for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2009. In May, 2012 he went to work as “Washington Post” national security editor. In September, 2013 he was employed by the State Department.
In January 2013 “Boston Globe” online politics editor Glen Johnson went to work for Secretary of State John Kerry as a senior adviser.
Former “The Washington Post” Federal Diary columnist Stephen Barr went to work for the Labor Department as senior managing director of the Office of Public Affairs in February 2012.
Shailagh Murray of“The Washington Post” became the Vice President's communications director in March 2011.
Rosa Brooks of “Los Angeles Times” was counselor to undersecretary of defense Michele Flournoy from April 2009 to July 2011.
Former “The Washington Post” film critic Desson Thomson went to work as a speechwriter for the U.S. Ambassador to UK, Louis Susman.
Roberts Baskin, TV journalist and Cneter for Public Policy administrator went to work at HHS in August 2009 as a senior communications adviser.
Washington Post Outlook section deputy editor Warren Bass was hired by then-UN ambassador Susan Rice as director of speechwriting in 2009.
Former CNN senior political producer Sasha Johnson became a spokesman for Department of Transportation in May 2009. she later became chief of staff for Federal Aviation Administration.
“New York Times” reporter Eric Dash went to work for The Treasury Department's public affairs office in 2012.
MSNBC producer Anthony Reyes also went to work at The Treasury Department's public affairs office in 2012.
Aneesh Raman left CNN to work for Obama's campaign in 2008. He would later be employed as an Obama speechwriter.
CNN national security correpondent Jim Sciutto went to work for U. S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke as chief of staff from 2011 to 2013.
“San Francisco Chronicle” reporter Kelly Zito went to work for the EPA's public affairs office in August 2011.
Samantha Power went from reporter to working for Senator Obama to working for president Obama to ambassador to the United Nations.
Not mentioned in any of the articles listed above are the graduates who went to work in media. Robert Gibbs was hired at MSNBC before founding The Incite Agency. His successor, Jay Carney ended up at CNN. Peter Gosselin went from “Los Angeles Times” to speechwriter for Timothy Geithner to Senior Healthcare Analyst for “Bloomberg Government.”
The miasma of Ted Baxters serving the Obama Administration was rationalized by a poor economy and mainstream media's vanishing audience in both print and electronic media as well as the opportunity to participate in the highly noble mission of creating the most transparent administration in US History (insert laugh track here.) But it does seem in the examples of Gibbs, Gosselin and Carney, that old media has plenty of opportunity for Obama loyalists.