It was a rare two-fer, like the day back in 1975 when Bruce Springsteen made the covers of both Time and Newsweek.
Readers of The New York Times and The Washington Post opened their papers Thursday to find strikingly similar articles about President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, retired four-star Marine Gen. James L. Jones Jr.
Funny coincidence—coming seemingly at random after 108 days in office. The stories, which featured some of the same anecdotes, weren’t pegged to any particular event or policy, but focused on his management style.
And in all liklihood their convergence was hardly a coincidence at all.
The echoing articles offer a window into perennial efforts by White Houses to manage the portrayal of West Wing insiders. In this case, the results were mixed: Both papers had been given interviews, and some of the most discordant quotes came from Jones himself.
It’s a standard Washington ritual to make top officials available in an effort to dilute or derail a potentially damaging storyline. Even the most seasoned reporters who’ve been listening to outsiders or rivals bad-mouth a top official inevitably temper their stories after a sit-down with the subject—if for no other reason than the final product has a healthy dose of positive quotes directly from the official.
Read the rest:
From Obama’s Side: Why All The Hate, Bile, Anger?
It’s All Obama All The Time: He Was On The Phone Today and Congress Worked On College Football
“The Obama White House Press Corps is In Love”