I was more than a bit troubled by the message contained in an October 14 fundraising appeal from the Obama campaign.
With “They got it wrong” in the subject line, the message bashed the media for reporting that small donors have been less than enthusiastic in contributing to the upcoming presidential campaign.
“Sometimes the media gets so caught up in its own echo chamber that the storyline separates from the facts,” Rufus Gifford, National Finance Director for Obama for America, wrote in the message.
The message does not contain one word about why Barack Obama deserves to be re-elected or what he has accomplished in the Oval Office. Instead, it encourages donors to open the wallets to prove the media wrong.
To make matters worse, the news story that apparently drew the Gifford’s ire was in fact an accurate portrayal of campaign fundraising status at the time it was published. He identifies it only as a story published by an unnamed “major newspaper” with the headline: “Small donors are slow to return to the Obama fold.”
The unnamed newspaper is The New York Times and the story can easily be accessed online.
Judge for yourself.
I was happy to learn that my niece was reading a book about Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run and even happier when I looked inside and discovered the author had quoted from my 1980 New York Times op-ed on efforts to make the song New Jersey’s official state anthem.
Back in 2000 when country music superstar Garth Brooks took part in New York Mets spring training to raise money for his children’s foundation, he quickly learned that major league pitching was not the only thing to which he had to adjust. Although Brooks was used to dealing with the press as an entertainer, he discovered that professional athletes have a much different relationship with the media.
“There are no reporters in Brooks’s dressing room when he goes from town to town on a concert tour,” Tyler Kepner wrote in a New York Times article about the musician’s excursion into the world of baseball. “Fans do not know where he stays on the road. He gives interviews when he has a specific reason to do so. ‘If I don’t want to be got to, no one can touch me,’ Brooks said.”
Brooks’s story comes to mind this month because of a series of news reports, columns and blog postings about another individual who now finds himself dealing with the press under a different set of rules – Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie. Read more…