Dominating the News
by Jonathan Singer, Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 05:47:18 AM EST
In the weeks since election day, there has been a great deal of discussion within the establishment media about the growing number of leaks out of the Obama transition. The press, it seems, can't seem to fathom why those surrounding the President-elect, who had been so reticent for nearly two years, have begun to talk in a seemingly uncoordinated or unapproved manner.
Yet one thing that is too often overlooked by many fascinated by the leaks from the Obama world is the extent to which Obama now dominates the news -- even more than one might expect from a President-elect. Every single day -- every day -- there's a new story out of the transition that owns the day's political news coverage. Today, it's the creation of a new board of economic advisors including Paul Volcker and Austan Gooslbee. Yesterday it was Obama's news conference. The day before it was the announcement of Obama's Treasury Secretary. It goes on.
It's certainly true that any incoming President will garner a significant amount of news coverage. Yet this transition feels different. Not only is Obama dominating the news, he is doing it on his own terms. Some news comes through official channels on the record, some news comes on background, and some leaks out, but by and large, with the exception of the emphasis on the mode of dissemination in the case of leaks, the coverage is positive and, importantly, portrays Obama as strong and decisive. Even before he is sworn in, Obama looks on the ball. And in that regard there's little reason to complain.