Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Times and the White House: A love story

According to Raw Story, National Review is demanding that the White House kick them out of the Press Room.

This is the best possible thing that could happen to the Times. A large part of their problem is the leverage that is exerted on reporters by the White House by threatening to withhold access. It works in large part by targeting specific reporters. So Rove can say "Hey, if you don't play ball I'll blackball you and Bill Keller will send another up and comer over here". If the Time is blackballed en masse, that leverage is gone. Which is why I don't think the White House will do it. They need the Times to be part of their Stockholm Syndrone network of media outlets. The last thing they need is to have the Times out there as Ronin writing stories critical of the White House. The last thing an abusive spouse wants is to lose control over their victim.

I tend to believe that the White House rhetoric on prosecuting the Times is gauged to intimidate more than anything else. The Time is way more useful to them as a pack of gullible rubes pimping their latest spin job than as a martyr dedicated to exposing their crimes.

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