Dear Mr President,
I don’t care about the fragile egos of the prima donnas in the Washington Press Corps, but I’m afraid I think you should. Is it that hard to spoil them just a little bit? I know they’re annoying and ask a lot of stupid, lazy, trivial, and irrelevant questions and I know that half the time, when they do ask one worth answering seriously, they can’t comprehend it when you answer in detail. I understand why you think you don’t need them. But you really do.
You need them to shut up and stop whining about their hurt feelings. You need them to listen up and pay attention and stop talking over you, as it were, that is, stop reporting what they’ve told each other over lunch what you really meant and what you really think and what it all means. You need them to actually want to do their jobs and report the news. And to do that, you have to make them feel like insiders. They think of themselves as players. They believe their reporting has influence---not on their general readers and viewers, whom they only care about as discrete clicks, but with the real insiders and players.
The sense of being insiders and players they don’t get from you they get from Republicans who are only to happy to indulge their vanities and inflate their egos simply by pretending to like them.
So, please, Mr President, coddle them a little. Do a little spoiling. You don’t have to pretend to like them. Just pretend to think they matter.
Just so the rest of us can hear what you’re saying without having to strain to listen through their preening and their pouting and their carping and kvetching and their sulking and their whining.
PS I could go on and on but, as usual, Charles Pierce is ahead of me and quite willing to go on and on in his own distinctive idiom, although he’s addressing the prima donnas themselves and not annoying the President with his rants: “Jaysus, will these people never stop whining?”
And precisely how is my ability "to independently monitor" what the government is doing compromised by the fact that [Insert name of press corps prima donna here] doesn't get a glimpse of Millionnaire X in his tux, bending over the shrimp tray and staring down the blouse of the server?…
Let me share a lesson I have learned from my time as a sportswriter. Are you sitting down? Pens at the ready? OK, here it comes.
NOBODY GIVES A FCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Trust me. I know from lack of access. I know from unhelpful media liaisons. But here's the thing. Your audience simply doesn't care. Your audience expects you to work around it, and to inform it anyway. There's something else I learned in clubhouses and locker rooms, too: your subjects, be they nose tackles or presidents, have no obligation to make your lives easier. (For a master class in this basic truth, I refer you to Professor B. Belichick, Route 1, Foxborough, MA.) The obligation runs one way -- you to the public. And, by the way, if your complaints about access affect your coverage of the administration in other areas, you are unprofessional and should be fired.