Norah O’Donnell Hearts White House Correspondents

Norah O’Donnell, who recently left NBC to become the chief White House correspondent for CBS News, thinks she’s joining a very exclusive club:

Cognizant of her potential path, O’Donnell has embraced the opportunity to make her mark on the political media sphere. “Brian Williams had that job, Dan Rather held that job,” she says. “The people who have been chief White House correspondents are legendary and the very best journalists in American history. And, so, that was really decisive for me.”


The best journalists in American history? The White House press corps is predominately made up of spineless toadies who rarely ask an important question and even more rarely ask a follow up question that punctures the fog of tired cliches offered by the official spokespeople. Have you ever heard President Obama pressed about his position in the State Secrets Privilege? It’s happened one time, about 3 months after he took office. He lied through his teeth and neither he nor his spokesmen have been asked about it since, despite having his lie revealed even more starkly with every case his administration uses it in.

With all the appalling positions his administration has taken in legal cases, have you ever heard a White House spokesperson question them? Have you ever seen a report on those positions on any news show, network or cable? I don’t recall one. The problem with White House correspondents is the same problem with the rest of the mainstream media — they’re made up largely of sycophants, not real journalists.

Comments

  1. Michael Heath says

    Norah O’Donnell:

    The people who have been chief White House correspondents are legendary and the very best journalists in American history.

    I gagged on the latter assertion as well for the very same reason. I also don’t perceive the correspondents as a population as legendary beyond the pedantically narrow definition they’re well-known. So “famous” or “celebrities” would have been far better descriptives. In fact I’d argue describing them as legendary misinforms the public; not a good start for someone about to hold a senior journalism position.

  2. azportsider says

    Really, Norah? Legendary? The very best journalists in American history?

    Allow me to introduce you to Jeff/James/Gannon/Guckert.

  3. Dennis N says

    Ah, I am in the very last few pages of Great American Hypocrites, specifically where Greenwald quotes verbatim the Press Corp acting like pathetic high schoolers.

  4. ManOutOfTime says

    Shoot. There’s a word that comes to mind but it’s inappropriate to use in describing a female, so I’ll stick with “charlatan.” Brian Williams is a whore.

  5. Modusoperandi says

    Now look, you can ask the “hard questions” or you can sit at the popular table.
    You do want to be cool, don’t you?

  6. Michael Heath says

    Azsportsider:

    Really, Norah? Legendary? The very best journalists in American history?
    Allow me to introduce you to Jeff/James/Gannon/Guckert.

    In fairness to the White House correspondents, he’s obviously an outlier who in no way describes the general population.

  7. azportsider says

    Well, Michael, I don’t think they deserve any slack on this. Outlier though ‘Gannon’ may have been, it wasn’t the incurious and supine sycophants in the White House press corps that evinced any curiosity about him. They treated him as just another member of the club. It was the DFH bloggers who discovered who he was and what ‘Talon News Service’ actually did.

  8. coryat says

    Am I missing something or isn’t Les Kinsolving also a White House correspondent (for WingNutDaily)? Prestigious company indeed!

  9. Michael Heath says

    coryat:

    Am I missing something or isn’t Les Kinsolving also a White House correspondent (for WingNutDaily)? Prestigious company indeed!

    If we apply your argument to scientists, we can villify the entire community of scientists simply because of the atrocious behavior of a handful of creationists and global warming denialists who happen to be scientists.

  10. coryat says

    Well Mr Heath (Michael? Michael Heath? How would you prefer to be addressed?), my comment was intended as a rather light-hearted response to Norah ODonnell’s equally silly rhetoric; apologies for not making that clearer. However, doesn’t your position beg the question? We know that creationists and other cranks are an unrepresentative fringe – a fact demonstable statistically. Given however the craven behaviour of White House correspondents Ed describes in his post, does this apply to White House correspondents, (i.e that most are good and a very few are cranks), or is Les Kinsolving not particularly atypical?

  11. Michael Heath says

    coryat,

    I watch a handful of press conferences per 4-year term. From my perspective the Gannons and Kinsolving’s are outliers, which is what I noted earlier. I think my perspective is valid when comparing the full set of correspondents as well as weighting the size of their respective audiences.

    I wouldn’t conflate Ms. O’Donnell with those two but instead include her with the group I criticized in my first comment post on this thread.

    As for my name, I really don’t care.

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