The director of press advance at the White House has joined the press. The Los Angeles Times announced this morning the hiring of Johanna Maska, an aide to President Obama.
Maska reflects on the hard work it took to get Obama elected. "Major media outlets were saying we didn’t stand a chance — and I didn’t care. I believed in him. I drove more than 30,000 miles in eight months, to every corner of Iowa. I got less sleep than post childbirth. I was setting up events, arranging press outreach, anything to make sure my candidate had a chance to break through," Maska writes in a blog post for Medium describing her new career.
Since those start up days — eight years ago — I have traveled to 40 countries and more than 40 states. I have organized emergency briefings, international summits, traveled to war zones. I’ve seen first-hand how technology can transform and improve one of the oldest institutions we have: The Executive Office of the President."
Later, the former White House aide turned press-woman talks about the importance of an independent press. "Traveling with the President, I saw what countries without a vibrant free press look like. At our first Summit of Americas, in Trinidad and Tobago, I watched Hugh [Sic] Chavez lead a pack of paparazzi into a private setting so that he could shape his own image. At another summit, in L’Aquila, Italy I saw Muammar Gaddafi driving in an electric car with his own handlers, while media swarmed him — but never got an answer to a question," she writes.
"Without a robust press pushing the boundaries of power, absolute power will corrupt absolutely. And that is precisely why we need organizations like the LA Times to survive."
In a press release, the publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Times, Austin Beutner, says, “Johanna is uniquely skilled to help us bring the stories in the LA Times and the story of the LA times to the world.”
The U.S. State Department is looking to design and facilitate a media ethics course for journalists in India, and has even proposed appropriating the name of Robin Thicke's 2013 hit "Blurred Lines" as a title for the course. The U.S.
"Do you have a statement for the Palestinians?” “What about your gaffes?” “Do you feel that your gaffes have overshadowed your foreign trip?”
No, that wasn’t the press corps last week greeting Hillary Clinton on her journey into foreign lands (middle America). That was the press corps screaming at the top of its lungs at Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, at a sacred Polish site, the summer before the 2012 election. More to the point: That was when the press had a candidate it wanted to manhandle.
President Barack Obama's top adviser, Valerie Jarrett, went around the table and kissed reporters before an interview this morning on MNSBC's Morning Joe. The moment was briefly captured on live television before the network cut away to a commercial break.
The State Department has cancelled daily press briefings in Washington, D.C. three days in a row as John Kerry continues to try to strike a nuclear deal with Iran. Matt Lee of the Associated Press notes the schedule changes:
Since Politico, a politics-focused website and newspaper, launched its subscription-based news service Politico Pro in 2011, government agencies have increasingly turned to the service to keep abreast of the latest developments in their spheres of policy. Government records show fiscal year 2011 contracts with the owner of Politico, Capitol News Company, totaling $41,900.
During her press appearance today, Hillary Clinton acknowledged that about 60,000 emails, including sent and received, went through her home email server that she used during her tenure as secretary of state. About half of those, she said, were work related. UPI reports:
Hillary Clinton will be holding a press availability today at the United Nations in New York City. But all members of the press won't be able to attend. Only those who requested credentials 24 hours before the event (or about 18 hours before news of the availability leaked out) will be credentialed.
MSNBC's Alex Seitz-Wald reported on the arrangement just now on MNSBC:
President Obama, Michelle Obama, and Malia Obama are dining at the home of CNN executive Virginia Moseley tonight, according to the White House pool report. Moseley's husband is Thomas Nides, a former (and probably future) aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.