Tom Foreman | BIO
Reporter's Note: The president has a new press secretary. With a little luck, perhaps he’ll get to read my daily letters!
Dear Mr. President,
So your new press guy seems to have survived his first day at the big podium. Good for him. I always like to see people have a decent start to a job, especially a tough one.
On the other hand, I have very mixed emotions about the whole idea of press spokespersons or, as I like to call them, reporter wranglers. See, the thing is, I generally don’t trust them any more than they trust us. They always say things like, “We’re here to make sure you get the right information,” and “We’re going to get you everything you need,” but I just can’t believe it.
I mean, honestly, if presidents wanted us to have the whole story, couldn’t you all just open the doors to the Oval Office and let us come in once every couple of weeks and tell us the score? I guess that sounds crazy, but I believe press relations used to be largely handled that way. The press and the president were not pals, but each side respected the need for information to flow, so they opened the spigot from time and time. Directly.
Probably wouldn’t work these days. Too many reporters, too many pressing issues, too much at stake if something is said at the wrong moment or in the wrong way. Still, it would be nice.
For the record, I would make a terrible press secretary, precisely because I would be really awful at keeping secrets. I’d just start laying everything out.
“How does the president feel about what is happening in the Middle East?”
“Frankly, I think he’s as baffled as the rest of us. I mean who the heck knows how that’s going to turn out?”
“There have been a lot of complaints about the new budget proposal. Any thoughts?”
“Yes. People suck. I mean, seriously, do you really think we’re going to get out of our deficit problems without cutting services and raising taxes? No way.”
Something like that.
Anyway, like I said, congrats to your new guy for a decent start. It’s late. I’m tired. More tomorrow.
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