President Barack Obama has drawn criticism for inviting an all-star list of liberal and progressive media people — including three MSNBC hosts — but no conservative voices for a chat over coffee at the White House.
Tim Graham, director of media at the Media Research Center, observed: “In the Bush years, it was considered a major scandal for [Fox News chief] Roger Ailes to send a note to the White House, but MSNBC stars meet with Obama, and it’s just another day of ‘hope and change.’”
Chris Tapper of ABC News reported the Dec. 19 meeting in the Roosevelt Room: “The group chatted with the president about economic messaging, his agenda for 2012, the various campaign arguments against different GOP candidates, the desire among some Democrats for him to highlight his foreign policy accomplishments, fighting corporate influence and the ‘crappiness’ of the Senate filibuster, as one attendee put it.”
Those in attendance included Ed Schultz, Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes of MSNBC, Frank Bruni of The New York Times, Nation magazine editor Katrina vanden Heuvel, Ezra Klein and Greg Sargent of The Washington Post, Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post, Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo, Faiz Shakir of ThinkProgress, and Joy-Ann Reid of The Reid Report.
The Inside Cable News blog also found fault with the liberal coffee klatch: “All I’ll say is that if that many of [Fox News Channel’s] hosts and contributors had shown up at the same time for a Bush chat, it would be all over the Web and probably the media as well,” wrote the blog’s author.
“It makes me uncomfortable for MSNBC to let that many of its people have open access to the president. It may be innocuous but at the very least it looks bad/smells fishy.
“I want more distance between D.C. and the people that cover it.”