There has been a LOT of complaining about the poor messaging coming out of the White House. It’s hard to find anyone on the anti-Obama left that doesn’t have some negative thing to say about it, in fact. What most people don’t realize is that the White House has pretty fantastic messaging when it comes to the main media sources. From Daily Press Guidances that give the next day’s events along with background to official White House statements, press releases and speech transcripts, they are providing America’s media with plenty of fodder for their reporting. So far as I can tell, the vast majority ends up in the trash folder.
I am on the White House Media Office mailing list so, every day, I get the same emails every major media outlet gets. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t see evidence that the White House team is on message, on target and doing all they can to let America know, through the media, what they are thinking, planning and trying to accomplish.
Let me give you an example. Here is a snippet of comments made by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest to journalists aboard Air Force One yesterday on their way to Scranton, PA.
The President is traveling to Scranton today to urge Republicans in Congress to join Democrats to ensure that taxes don’t go up on 160 million Americans, including 6.8 [million] hardworking Pennsylvanians. By extending and expanding the payroll tax cut, we would save Pennsylvanians $7.8 billion next year. In fact, the President will meet with a family in Scranton today who would benefit from the extension and expansion of the payroll tax cut. We’ll have a little bit more on them later this afternoon.
As you know, the President included an extension and expansion of the payroll tax cut in the American Jobs Act. Republicans voted against the American Jobs Act, citing their opposition to increasing taxes on millionaires and billionaires.
And even as we parsed out specific pieces of the American Jobs Act, Republicans continued to oppose those measures, citing their opposition to increasing taxes on millionaires and billionaires.
So there’s obviously a proposal on the Senate floor to help communities fund new police officers and firefighters. Republicans opposed it and said they didn’t want to increase taxes on millionaires and billionaires.
There’s a proposal on the floor to make important investments in our roads, railways and runways. Republicans voted against it, citing their opposition to raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires.
And now there’s some talk as the Senate considers extending and expanding the payroll tax for working Americans that Republicans will not go along with it, citing their opposition to increasing taxes on millionaires and billionaires.
So the question for today is we’ve obviously seen Republicans demonstrate a pretty aggressive defense of the tax cuts that are enjoyed by millionaires and billionaires. The question is if they are going to join Democrats in aggressively fighting to protect the tax cuts of 160 million working Americans.
From my perspective, that’s great messaging. The main thrust, that Republicans are working hard to protect millionaires and billionaires, even at the expense of rebuilding infrastructure, giving tax relief to the 99%, and getting our economy jump-started, is repeated in clear language.
Did you read about this anywhere? Chances are good that you didn’t. Because there are too many shiny things for “journalists” to report. It’s not “news” in their minds that the GOP is intentionally and hypocritically sabotaging our economy to score a political advantage. The evidence is there. The White House message is there. But it’s not making headlines. And it should.
President Obama and his staff are doing what they can to get their message out since the media in our country are failing so miserably at their jobs. But, when you hear someone tell you they are doing nothing to speak the truth to Americans about what is happening, it’s bunk, pure and simple. It’s far more enticing to report that Herman Cain made over 60 calls over a four-month period with a woman who claims she had an adulterous affair with the pizza mogul. It’s much sexier to give coverage to a twice-divorced former House Speaker who left two wives when they became ill and had an illicit affair while he was impeaching the President of the United States for adultery. It’s much more fun to cover a Texan idiot who thinks the 2012 presidential election will be on November 12th and that people 21 or older can vote or that New Hampshire has a caucus rather than a primary.
In this new pathetic media landscape, it’s damn hard to get attention when you’re talking sane, rational efforts to improve our country’s economy. But never doubt that they are doing everything they can to get that attention. Because they are.
P.S. Did you know that President Obama issued an Executive Order this week to modernize the management of federal records? He did. It’s major step forward in transparency, historical documentation and cost savings. And it went nearly unreported.
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 28, 2011
We Can’t Wait: President Signs Memorandum to Modernize Management of Government Records
Today, President Obama took the most significant steps since the Truman Administration to improve the management of federal records. Today’s Presidential Memorandum directs agencies to move into a digital-based records keeping system, a move that will save taxpayer dollars, promote accountability, and increase government transparency. Today’s action delivers on a commitment the President made in September 2011 when the White House put forward the Open Government Partnership: National Action Plan for the United States.
“The current federal records management system is based on an outdated approach involving paper and filing cabinets. Today’s action will move the process into the digital age so the American public can have access to clear and accurate information about the decisions and actions of the Federal Government,” said President Obama.
Over the last 10 years, the National Archives and Records Administration has taken in an average of 475 million pages of records per year. Recently there has been significant growth in the volume of electronic records being accessioned, and total archival electronic holdings currently total 142 terabytes. According to a recent report by the National Archivist and Records Administration, agencies have done a poor job of managing the increased volume and diversity of information that come with advances in information technology. Many are unlikely to fully comply with legal requirements under the Federal Records Act. The Records Management Presidential Memorandum responds to this underlying problem.