Behold the suck-up brigade, said Glenn Greenwald. More than half a dozen Washington journalists are working on books about the Obama White House, each one dependent on “access to top White House officials” to generate the kind of behind-the-scenes gossip that makes for a lucrative best-seller. All of them are dreaming of the millions made by the authors of the best-seller about the 2008 campaign, Game Change.
So rather than cover the administration aggressively and alienate potential sources, these reporter/authors—including NBC’s Chuck Todd and Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter—compete “to curry favor with top government officials.” This explains the steady stream of vigorous defenses of Obama’s policy flip-flops by the likes of Todd and Alter, and glowing puff pieces from their colleagues about top White House aides such as Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.
Even in ethics-challenged Washington, people are grumbling about the obvious conflict of interest faced by journalists with contracts to write books about the Obama administration. “How can one possibly purport to be a ‘watchdog’ over the very political officials on whom one’s livelihood and hope for riches depend?”