Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 18, 2009

REVOLVING DOOR WATCH.... Many conservatives have voiced outrage over some media figures making the transition from major news outlets to Obama administration service. I can't help but notice, though, that it's much more common to see people make the transition from the Bush administration to major news outlets.

[Yesterday], CNBC discussed a congressional proposal to create a systemic risk regulator for the financial industry. To analyze the feasibility and necessity of such a regulator, CNBC introduced one of its newest "contributors," Tony Fratto, who most recently served as former President Bush's Deputy Press Secretary. But rather than comment on the merits of the systemic risk regulatory plan, Fratto simply claimed that Congress is "dangerously" motivated to over regulate by a thirst for "vengeance" stemming from the current financial crisis.

Now, CNBC has come under fire lately for its coverage of the financial world, but if network executives hope that adding Fratto to the news team will improve matters, they're likely to be disappointed. Fratto, who's also served as Rick Santorum's communications director, has been wildly wrong on economic issues for quite some time.

But even if we put that aside, let's not forget how appalled conservatives were when some people left the media to join the Obama administration. Both the Weekly Standard and the National Review complained of a "revolving door" between the media and Democrats. Brent Bozell, president of the conservative Media Research Center, added, "If you are in journalism, and you can so easily fit in the world of politics, it tells you something -- that you were not that detached from it when you were in journalism."

And yet, for those keeping score at home, the number of "loyal Bushies" getting hired by major news outlets keeps going up. I know of at least eight prominent examples: Michael Gerson (Washington Post), Sara Taylor (MSNBC), Tony Snow (CNN), Frances Fragos Townsend (CNN), Nicole Wallace (CBS News), Dan Bartlett (CBS News), Jeff Ballabon (CBS News), and, of course, Karl Rove (Fox News, Newsweek, and Wall Street Journal).

If there's a "revolving door" between government service and the media, there are quite a few Republicans taking a spin.

Steve Benen 8:30 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (11)

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Comments

And loyal Bushies didn't start the trend either. There are Pat Buchanan, Joe Scarborough, Tony Blankley and John Kasich, for example.

Posted by: Danp on March 18, 2009 at 8:39 AM | PERMALINK

Okay... but Tony Snow is dead.

Posted by: weboy on March 18, 2009 at 8:40 AM | PERMALINK

Fratto brings up one thing that I am worried about but in reverse. Congress will get off throwing around how much they will tax AIG bonus babies (90%, 98%, 100%). But, in the background lobbyists will work on them to limit future regulations that might prevent what we are seeing now.

By the way, like the ballplayer who "always" gives 105% I haven't heard this number thrown out yet.

Posted by: CarlP on March 18, 2009 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

The thug counterargument, ONLY during the early years a Democratic admin will be that, talented recent former government officials are eminently qualified for responsible media positions, but the opposite is not true. It pays to be flexible.

Posted by: Michael7843853 on March 18, 2009 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

"If you are in journalism, and you can so easily fit in the world of politics, it tells you something -- that you were not that detached from it when you were in journalism."

Because it works out so much better for Republicans if journalists covering the world of politics don't know anything about it and don't spend time with politicians.

Posted by: Dennis-SGMM on March 18, 2009 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, he's dead, but wasn't Tony Snow an example of the very thing that's giving the Repubs the vapors: before he was Bush's Press Secretary, he was a Fox News anchor. Where was Brent Bozell's outrage back in '06?

Posted by: dmd76 on March 18, 2009 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, Mr Snow is dead, but, is the Detroit Free Press, for which he worked prior to going to DC, far behind?

Posted by: berttheclock on March 18, 2009 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

Don't forget Tori Clarke. She went straight to ABC from the Pentagon, and settled in nicely.

Posted by: NHCt on March 18, 2009 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

Steve, you should start blogging on important matters. This crap is meaningless and stupid except for those who can't stop sucking the beltway bottle.

Posted by: grinning cat on March 18, 2009 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

oops wrong thread.

Posted by: grinning cat on March 18, 2009 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

Fratto, who's also served as Rick Santorum's communications director, has been wildly wrong on economic issues for quite some time.

In which case he'll fit in perfectly with the rest of the investment-illiterate, swamp-sucking twits over at CNBC....

Posted by: Steve W. on March 18, 2009 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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