TLP: Reporter Tells You What Reporters Do While Waiting for Obama

Sunday, May 30, 2010 , , 1 Comments

obama media pool
The last time The Lazy Paperboy wrote about the annoying media habit of talking about the media covering an event as a way to turn the media into the story, he used the phrase "public masturbation." Now, if he had consulted Jr Deputy Accountant about his terminology, she no doubt would have schooled him a bit on keywords and what can follow. Let's just say the interest has not flagged. (Third! Thanks, disturbed Googlers!)

So, it is with a bit of trepidation, but more than a little mischief, that TLP describes this episode of journalistic self-regard as a circle jerk.


Some days, White House “pool duty” can be more interesting than others, even when you don’t get to see POTUS.

That’s pool-speak for President of the United States, and first a primer: Wherever a president goes, a “pool” of roughly a dozen reporters and photographers follows, though often not close enough to see him. A newspaper reporter writes “pool reports”– often mundane accounts of POTUS sightings, what he’s wearing (gym, golf or business clothes?) and movements of his motorcade (including the far-in-the-back media vans). Those reports then go out to many others by e-mail.

It is a distribution circle that in the Internet age has grown ever-wider, and is no longer limited to media with White House credentials.

So it is that a series of pool reports last night by this reporter have been widely picked up and mined by bloggers, though Mr. Obama never appears in them.
Got that? The subject of the media's supposed interest was not even in the reports. (They were waiting for him outside a friend's house, where the Obama family had gone for a cookout.) Instead, readers (if any stayed with the account that far) got a full dose of everyone who wandered down the sidewalk, what the Secret Service was doing and a discussion of the need to take a leak. The best part is that it's a story about a pool report about nothing, that actually includes excerpts to prove the point.

Don't miss the kicker.

A final word: There is some talk among White House newspaper reporters about somehow restricting the distribution of their pool reports. Whether the above reports have added to that sentiment is unknown.
Come on, now, you're smart enough to figure that out.

The Lazy Paperboy

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.