Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Obama Media

Everyone agrees that Obama used the new media brilliantly throughout his campaign. The genius of having on the home page of his website a place where one could type in their zip code and be given the location of where they were supposed to vote (ads to click on this page to find your location were everywhere on the net). Of course you were required to type in your e-mail address as well. You were then on a mass e-mailing list, which even today his staff uses to inform. Money talks as well. Obama had a 3-to-2 advantage over Mr. McCain on network TV buys. Obama outspent McCain in every state in media buys.

Of course it didn't hurt that the old media was and is in his back pocket either. Looking back at the big picture of the campaign, it's no surprise that he won. The surprise is that McCain received almost 60 million votes. But we all know a certain "spark" in McCain's campaign brought so many to the voting booth for him (hint: everyone still underestimates her).

Trying to manipulate the media is nothing new, but Obama having the media slobber along like a love starved puppy was new.

But the Obama administration knew that in all love stories there are spats, anger, and sometimes breakups. Which brings me to what the administration is doing now to make sure a positive spin is put on, well.....everything they do. And guess what? You and I are paying for it.

From to Accuracy in Media:

Barack Obama's White House is spending more than $80,000 a week to staff its old and new media offices. Add the price of speechwriters and the White House communications tab reaches nearly $100,000 a week, or nearly $5 million a year-and that is for salaries alone.

Based on the coverage the President has garnered so far, it is money well spent.

Accuracy In Media gathered the data from the White House's annual salary report to Congress, which was released last week. AIM identified a total of 66 staffers with some connection to Obama's messaging machine-press secretaries and assistants, communications directors, new media specialists, speechwriters, and the staff of the new Office of Public Engagement.

The latter group, which employs 13 people at a cost of $1,090,200 a year, organizes events like last week's online healthcare forum in Virginia to take the White House's message directly to the public. Valerie Jarrett, who earns the top White House rate of $172,200 a year as assistant to the president for public engagement, hosted the event.

Add to this the carefully staged ABC primetime healthcare special that aired from the White House, and how CNN, CBS, and MSNBC cater to Obama, you have positive Obama coverage all day, all the time, except for one lone Fox News.

But that is not enough for Obama:

But it's obvious from the way the White House has been controlling reporters at press conferences, producing its own pool reports and orchestrating faux town halls that Obama wants even more unfiltered control over both his message and his public image than past presidents.

He is willing to pay millions of taxpayer dollars to achieve that goal.

It's disturbing to me that so much of our own taxpayer dollars are being used against us. Used to sell rosy pictures of programs that will eventually bankrupt our country. Without Fox News and talk radio we would never hear the other side or understand the critics concerns.

But as long as the Obama administration can control most of the media, they control the message. Our voices, here on the Internet, are nothing but distant whispers in the vast media of today.

Remember this as things get progressively worse here in this country. When you start to wonder why. When you wonder why you keep hearing blame put on anyone but the Obama administration. When reality is ignored on the news. Remember that millions of dollars are being spent to make sure you don't get the reality of why.