April 30, 2022

THERE’S A DEMOCRAT IN THE WHITE HOUSE, AND POLITICO IS “UNEXPECTEDLY” BORED ONCE AGAIN: The Rise and Fall of the Star White House Reporter.

Washington reporters have long considered the role of White House correspondent to be the crown jewel of American political journalism. It has launched high-profile television careers, scored countless reporters book deals and been bestowed on media veterans for years of ink-drenched work.

But during the age of Biden, a perch inside the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room has become something altogether different. It’s become a bore.

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The Obama press room launched a whole cohort of journalists into media stardom. The Trump press room launched another. The Biden press room?

“I can’t think of any [stars],” said a well-known television news executive. “I don’t really watch the briefings.”

The dulling down of the White House beat is not due to a lack of reportorial talent in the room. Nor has it meant that the work being done hasn’t been important: major stories are being broken regularly on everything from the Covid fight, to the war in Ukraine, to inflation, immigration and legislative battles over the social safety net. Rather, what is happening is the fulfillment of a central Biden promise. Running for office against Donald Trump — the most theatrical, attention-seeking, Beltway-panic-inducing president in living memory — he pledged to make Washington news boring again.

And, well, mission accomplished sir.

“Jen [Psaki] is very good at her job, which is unfortunate,” one reporter who has covered the past two administrations from the room said. “And the work is a lot less rewarding, because you’re no longer saving democracy from Sean Spicer and his Men’s Wearhouse suit. Jawing with Jen just makes you look like an asshole.”

Notice the name of that last “reporter” isn’t given in the article. But let’s review: Russia at war with Ukraine, and our being dragged in; our disastrous pullout from Afghanistan, with Americans still stranded there; an out of control border; out of control gas prices, and the return of Jimmy Carter-style stagflation; a schizophrenic Dr. Fauci; and the tapping of the appropriately named “Misinformation Czar.” Not to mention Biden frequently in full “Trunalimunumaprzure!” mode, leading to his occasional threatening of Putin, and his staffers having to walk said threats back an hour or so later.

Just think of the media as Democratic Party operatives with bylines, and the return of their Obama-era boredom makes perfect sense.

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