Friday, March 11, 2005

Peering through the gates, courtesy of the MSM

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article today (available, at least for now, without subscription) about the growing accessibility of White House pool reporters transcripts online.

For many years, these reports have been available only to the White House reporting corps. But now that they're distributed by email instead of in hard copy, they're available on the Internet.

The irony is palpable. A highly select group of reporters are invited to follow the President in exchange for reporting on his every move to the rest of the White House press corps. Knowing their audience, the reporters sometimes make flippant remarks, which, as the article says, don't make it into the reporters stories. Until the Internet, the White House press corps was able to keep the gates to the President closed to the rest of us, letting out only the information they thought appropriate.

Now that the transcripts are available online, they are available for perusal and interpretation to allcomers. The gates have been opened. The MSM is caught between a rock and a hard place - they have to have the pool reports to do their jobs, but the existence of the pool reports is making their jobs, at least as they perceive them, obsolete.

Note: After searching for a while, it seems Wonkette is by far the most reliable source of White House pool report transcripts. Lots of people quote bits and pieces, though. If anyone knows of an equally reliable or better source, I'd like to know about it.