I'm sure cutting on Mark Sanford is a lot more fun, and there's been serious work to do covering the Delaware budget crisis and the death of Thurman Adams, but....
[He said with a sense of assumed whimsy:] You do kind of wonder exactly how they'd explain this one as no big deal.
I think the long piece in the New York Times [which you should read completely] sums it up best:
The problem is not just that Mr. Pitney, for just one day, was afforded a cherished seat in the room or given an airing for his question. And no one is diminishing his work that has drawn accolades for his devoted attention to an issue. Rather, the criticism is that he was cherry-picked, with a call-upon hours and hours beforehand, and handed a status that no one among the so-called elite of the press corps receives on any given day.
While that may indeed be a thorn in the feet of the corps who toil daily, the perception of a favored one who got exceptionally advance notice may send signals — far and wide — as to what lengths the administration will go to stage and control the message the president wants to send.
That is what has gotten lost in all the old vs. new media antagonisms. It’s not about Mr. Pitney’s work or for that matter, the question he asked. It’s about how the administration finagled the position in which he became an actor for the president’s agenda.
My best guess, by the way, is that our local adherents would say it is about time a Democratic President played media/spin hardball the same way the ReThugs do.
But I guess I'd just love to hear them spin it in their own words.