The White House is watching the old media paradigm disintegrate with just a touch of opportunistic glee, reports Jon Ward of the Washington Times. “There are so many places that are driving the news that, in the end, nothing gets driven,” says press secretary Robert Gibbs. That makes it harder for Obama to form a “central narrative,” but easy for the White House to contain damaging stories.
In the past, Washington was “held hostage by a very small number of elite media outlets,” said one anonymous White House official. Now there are far more outlets, all far less powerful, and “Obama is more popular than all of them combined.” Obama has spoken derisively of the daily news drumbeat as mere “cable chatter,” and White House aides admit they “disdain” most media coverage. “I think it’s, uh, White House-wide,” says a deputy communications director.