This story about Richard Wolffe's coverage of the Obama campaign is more than a little bit snotty and frankly not surprising. I knew he was writing a campaign book about Obama and his coverage of the candidate reflected his need for access --- and his access. He was clearly not objective, but then neither was Fox News. It all came out fairnbalanced, village style.
But this is just sickening:
When the election ended, the Newsweek brass offered him a new job. Not the White House beat – a natural extension of his campaign coverage – but, he said, “a blog, no less.” He describes the genre in his book as the equivalent of “fried and fast” food, as compared to his own more nutritious “slow food.”
Wolffe took a Newsweek buyout instead. He said he “never talked to [the White House] about a job.” He wrote through the winter and early spring, and on April 1, he announced that he’d taken a position under former Bush communications director Dan Bartlett at Public Strategies. Wolffe said in an interview that he wouldn’t trade on his relationships with Obama and his aides in his new post.
“I do not lobby – I offer strategic advice to clients on how to interact with the public, whether it’s their stakeholders or public opinion,” he said.
Wolffe also continues to write and report for Tina Brown’s Daily Beast, and to offer his opinions on MSNBC, which identifies him as a political analyst, though he said he won’t talk about issues related to the firm’s clients.
And he suggested he’s not that different from other reporters in an era in which the business and the profession of journalism have gotten closer and closer.
“The idea that journalists are somehow not engaged in corporate activities is not really in touch with what’s going on. Every conversation with journalists is about business models and advertisers,” he said, recalling that, on the day after the 2008 election, Newsweek sent him to Detroit to deliver a speech to advertisers.
“You tell me where the line is between business and journalism,” he said.
There's nothing more to say.