Much has been said about the “mainstream media” and its “lapdog” mentality when reporting on the Obama administration. But how many journalists have left the public sector, only to be hired by the administration to deliver the proper message?
Time magazine Managing Editor Rick Stengel joined the Obama administration this week as under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, according to Politico. White House press secretary Jay Carney is also an alumnus of Time, where he worked before joining Obama’s staff. Stengel brings the total former media personnel now working in the Obama administration to 21, which appears to be an all-time high.
The Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe keeps track of the number of former journalists working for Obama, reporting 10 in
May 2009, 14 in 2010, and 13 in 2011. The Washington Examiner’s Paul Beddard logged counted 19 former journalists with the administration in February 2012, including one-time members of liberal advocacy groups as part of the “team.”
Here are the others who have left the media to work with the Obama administration, according to the Atlantic Wire:
- Earlier this month, Douglas Frantz went to work for the State Department, too, as assistant secretary of state for public affairs… For decades, Frantz reported for publications like The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times until 2009, when he got a job as an investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which was chaired by then-Sen. John Kerry. In May 2012, Frantz got a job as The Washington Post’s national security editor.
- Boston Globe online politics editor Glen Johnson went to work for Secretary of State John Kerry in January as a senior adviser.
- In February 2012, Stephen Barr went to work for the Labor Department as senior managing director of the Office of Public Affairs. Barr had written the Federal Diary column for The Washington Post, which he retired from in 2008.
- The Washington Post’s Shailagh Murray became Vice President Joe Biden’s communications director in March 2011.
- Rosa Brooks, an author who was a columnist for the Los Angeles Times, was counselor to Michele Flournoy, the undersecretary of defense for policy, from April 2009 to July 2011. Brooks now writes for Foreign Policy.
- In February 2010, Desson Thomson went to work as a speechwriter for the U.S. ambassador to the U.K., Louis Susman. Thomson had been a film critic for The Washington Post until 2008.
- Roberta Baskin, who worked as a TV journalist and ran the Center for Public Integrity, went to work for the Department of Health and Human Services in August 2009 as a senior communications adviser.
- Washington Post Outlook section deputy editor Warren Bass went to work for then-UN ambassador Susan Rice in January 2009 as director of speechwriting and senior policy adviser. He now works for the RAND Corporation.
- Education Week reporter David Hoff went to work for the Education Department in May 2009.
- Sasha Johnson, who worked for CNN as a senior political producer, became a spokeswoman for the Department of Transportation in May 2009, and, recently moved to be the chief of staff for the Federal Aviation Administration.
- The Chicago Tribune’s Jill Zuckman became the Department of Transportation’s communications director in February 2009. She was a commentator on MSNBC last year.
- Rick Weiss left The Washington Post to work for the Center for American Progress, then in March 2009 moved to be the communications director and senior policy strategist in the White House Office of Science and Technology.
- Former CBS and ABC reporter Linda Doulglass started working for the Obama campaign in May 2008. She was then communications director for the White House Office of Health Reform until June 2010. She then worked for the Atlantic Media as communications chief until June of this year.
- New York Times reporter Eric Dash joined the Treasury Department’s public affairs office in 2012.
- As did MSNBC producer Anthony Reyes.
- Aneesh Raman left CNN to work for Obama’s 2008 campaign. He’s now a speechwriter for Obama.