(NaturalNews) The left-wing media loves to portray President Obama as the smartest guy in the room and someone who is engaging, fair and truly interested in what others have to say. But the truth is, Obama is singularly focused on his own policies and is maniacal about controlling the narrative. He's not interested in what others have to say; he is only interested in getting others to listen to, and abide by, what he says.
As such, it should surprise no one that the president, who has dozens of journalists working for his administration (http://www.theatlanticwire.com), would want to have an off-the-record talk with them - so he can control what is put out and what is discussed.
"He likes the intellectual sparring element of it," a source familiar with the president's thinking told Politico. "He likes talking to reasonable adversaries."
By "reasonable," of course, the president prefers speaking primarily to like-minded journalists. Politico published a partial list of them - a virtual "who's who" of left-wing columnists:
[David] Brooks, the New York Times columnist, is a frequent guest, as is Joe Klein of Time Magazine. From The Washington Post: E.J. Dionne, Eugene Robinson, Ezra Klein and Fred Hiatt, the editorial page editor. On foreign policy: the Post's David Ignatius, Bloomberg View's Jeffrey Goldberg, and the Times' Thomas Friedman.
"He also holds the occasional meeting with conservatives," the liberal web mag reported.
'it's not an accident who he invites'
There's more one-sided reporting:
He also likes talking to the people he likes to read. The president is a voracious consumer of opinion journalism. Most nights, before going to bed, he'll surf the Internet, reading the columnists whose opinions he values [emphasis added]. One of the great privileges of the presidency is that, when so inclined, he can invite these columnists to his home for meetings that can last as long as two-and-a-half hours.
"It's not an accident who he invites: He reads the people that he thinks matter [my emphasis], and he really likes engaging those people," said one reporter with knowledge of the meetings.
"He reads people carefully - he has a columnist mentality - and he wants to win columnists over," said another.
Win them over is a clever attempt at saying, "Obama wants to control what they say."
"He sees columnists as portals," another journalist who has attended meetings told Politico. "It works - I feel it work with me. It's almost impossible to spend hours face-to-face with the president, unfiltered, then write a column or go on television without taking his point of view into account."
But what about actual reporters? No, Obama really doesn't care for reporters, because reporters, you see, tend to ask nosy questions about important matters of the day. And Obama - Mr. Control-the-Narrative - doesn't like to give up his control of what gets printed.
So he dodges the press. Nothing much to write if President Spin doesn't give you meat to grind.
Pressing columnists to support his war against Syria
More from Politico:
[T]he meetings are very much "off the record" in the sense that the White House stalwartly refuses to discuss any of the details, including who was in attendance. The answer to such inquiries is almost always the same.
"In addition to giving press conferences and interviews, the President meets on occasion with groups of reporters and columnists for off-the-record discussions," said Eric Schultz, the White House Deputy Press Secretary. "We don't provide lists of participants."
So in addition to influencing the narrative, Obama protects the identities of those he manipulates.
Politico tries to blow that off with this line: Such secrecy can stoke conspiracy theories about a liberal media plot - never mind that the president also meets with conservatives like Krauthammer and Gigot.
Only, as the writer, Dylan Byers, said a few paragraphs earlier, Obama "also holds the occasional meeting with conservatives," meaning such meetings are all for show, so the ideologically aligned press like Politico can claim somehow that this president is bipartisan and fair.
About that "influencing the message and narrative" thing? Oh yeah - absolutely true. The last time was when Obama personally met with editorial writers at The New York Times to get them to help support his push to bomb Syria (http://www.theblaze.com).
Why anyone believes a thing Obama says - or what his like-minded liberal sycophants write about him - is incomprehensible.