Why the White House Struggles to Be Heard

Administration bemoans death of bully pulpit
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Oct 25, 2010 12:39 PM CDT
President Barack Obama departs the Minneapolis St. Paul Joint Air Force Reserve Station, Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010 at the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport in St. Paul, Minn.   (AP Photo/Hannah Foslien)
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(Newser) – Even if it seems like the president is constantly on TV and in the press, the White House says it’s struggling to get its message out: the “bully pulpit” is no more, writes Howard Kurtz for the Daily Beast. “There’s an alternative story here that we’re trying to tell,” says the president’s communications director. "But there’s an element of spitting in the ocean.”

“A narrative takes hold, and trying to beat those narratives can be challenging and frustrating,” he adds. Kurtz agrees. Though Obama can command TV time whenever he wants, he's competing with everything from Glenn Beck to SNL to baseball for the public's attention, and the media prefers stirring conflict to giving compliments. So Obama's successes "have all but vanished into the ether,” and even when others are to blame, the White House is an “easier and cheaper” target for the press.

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