Sunday, March 13, 2005

CJR Daily: Archives --
Air Fleischer recently had some interesting things to say:

On January 20, 2001, I think it's fair to say that White House reporters breathed a sigh of relief because there was a very regular habit in the Clinton administration of giving exclusives to one newspaper in substantial part to punish another newspaper if they didn't like a story. Particularly as it dealt with the president's ethical issues. And so if the New York Times wrote a story that people in the White House really objected to, the next day the Wall Street Journal might get an exclusive story on an unrelated policy initiative of President Clinton's. . .

. . . I think they were really relieved on January 20 2001 when I said to them, "We're going to treat everybody the same. We're going to try to have the president make the news, we're not really going to do a lot of that -- maybe sometimes we will -- but that's not the Bush administration's typical way."

Some interesting comments. I don't doubt for a moment that the Clinton White House was exactly like that. On the other hand, it's an interesting non-denial that the Bush administration acts similarly. "Yeah, we do it, but we're not nearly as bad as the other guy" is the gist of the matter.
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