Commentary Magazine


Topic: helpful reporter

Job Hopping

Rahm Emanuel wants to be mayor of Chicago. Robert Gibbs is angling for a broader strategy job, touting his disdain for Israel. (“He did chime in during last month’s escalating tensions with Israel, if only to make sure the president understood the ‘conventional wisdom’ promoted in the media, that Obama’s toughness with Likud hard-liners would potentially erode his domestic Jewish support. ‘For a lot of reasons, he would discount that,’ Gibbs said, referring to the president.) Well, that should help his stock with this crowd.

There is something a bit peculiar about all the public jockeying and self-promotion, the likes of which I am hard-pressed to recall in any prior administration. Moreover, the degree to which the mainstream media is enlisted in the job hunt is a bit startling even for them. Did the Post reporter merely stumble upon a whole slew of current and former White House aides touting Gibbs’s strategic abilities? How does this work — Gibbs picks a helpful reporter, pitches his credentials, finds some quotable allies, and presto — we have a “news story”?

Perhaps if Emanuel and Gibbs spent more time on their current jobs, the country would be better served and they wouldn’t look quite so craven.

Rahm Emanuel wants to be mayor of Chicago. Robert Gibbs is angling for a broader strategy job, touting his disdain for Israel. (“He did chime in during last month’s escalating tensions with Israel, if only to make sure the president understood the ‘conventional wisdom’ promoted in the media, that Obama’s toughness with Likud hard-liners would potentially erode his domestic Jewish support. ‘For a lot of reasons, he would discount that,’ Gibbs said, referring to the president.) Well, that should help his stock with this crowd.

There is something a bit peculiar about all the public jockeying and self-promotion, the likes of which I am hard-pressed to recall in any prior administration. Moreover, the degree to which the mainstream media is enlisted in the job hunt is a bit startling even for them. Did the Post reporter merely stumble upon a whole slew of current and former White House aides touting Gibbs’s strategic abilities? How does this work — Gibbs picks a helpful reporter, pitches his credentials, finds some quotable allies, and presto — we have a “news story”?

Perhaps if Emanuel and Gibbs spent more time on their current jobs, the country would be better served and they wouldn’t look quite so craven.

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