The NYT gives Obama a credibility refund
As you probably know by now, the New York Times decided they had indeed overplayed their hand, and decided to refund most of Obama's credibility by stealth-editing their harsh judgment into "The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue."
Apparently they still think he's entirely credible when he says things like, "If you like your health-care plan, you can keep your plan." And in every other respect, his transparency and accountability are super-awesome, as the Times was doubtless assured by one of the many crooks and liars Obama has promoted to reward their loyal service, at some behind-closed-doors off-the-record meeting.
I think you and John are right about the pantomime nature of all this - I call it "Fifty Shades of Grey Lady" - but it's somewhat significant that Obama's loyal lapdogs feel the need to stage this little snit at all. These things are remembered; eventually some number of Low-Information Voters begins to dimly realize they were reading a bunch of stories about Obama's secrecy and dishonesty just the other day, but the same media has returned to anointing him as the reincarnation of George Washington. They vaguely remember the President escaping from scandal by claiming he's a hapless boob who doesn't know what his own White House is doing... but now the media is back to declaring him the Smartest President Who Ever Lived, the czar of all czars.
Can that mounting level of cognitive dissonance ever catch up with a politician the media and entertainment industry love and worship? We'll find out, perhaps during the 2014 midterms. The best thing Obama has going for him is perfectly illustrated by the Times stealth edit: the media will never assemble a Narrative tying all of these scandals and outrages together. They'll always break even the worst stories down into little isolated islands of controversy. They'll always say they question his credibility on one specific issue, rather than treating him like a Republican and writing meta-pieces about how he's constantly being caught lying, and it's absurd for the most powerful man on Earth to pretend he's helpless, or for a man who claimed to be smarter than all of his advisers to claim he only knows what he reads in the papers, and how everyone around him seems to "spontaneously" decide to abuse their authority in ways that further his political ambitions.