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View Diary: NYT Sunday FP Story: White House Spin Control On The Pfeiffer “Kerfuffle.” (A Teachable Moment.) (238 comments)

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  •  Sheryl Stolberg, (5+ / 0-)
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    3goldens, YucatanMan, EdSF, Agathena, ohmyheck

    the NYT WH correspondent who wrote today's piece, discussed her interviewing strategies in a column from 2008, here.  Among other things, she said

    Every presidential event has a message that the president wants to convey; in covering the White House, it is important to look beyond the scripted message for the subtext. That means getting information the White House doesn’t want reporters to have.

    To break through, my colleagues and I have developed what we often refer to as an “outside-in” strategy of reporting. Imagine a set of concentric circles; I begin by asking questions of people on the outermost ring — perhaps former administration officials, or members of Congress (they always like to talk), or experts who are consulted by the White House on policy matters.

    Then I work my way closer in, with the ultimate goal of getting aides to the president to talk to me.

    She used this strategy to write today's column by consulting six sources, Obama's record, and by quoting his own words.  I think it's pretty interesting that the beginning and penultimate paragraph of the piece depict him as a humanist with moral concerns, but that most everything in between shows him to be driven on the topic by political calculation and, in the end, a concern for legacy.

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