On Thursday, Fox News’ Ed Henry tweeted that MSNBC hosts Ed Schultz and Lawrence O’Donnell, as well as Ezra Klein of the Washington Post and Fox News’ Juan Williams, had been invited for a private off-the-record chat with President Obama. Obama’s signature program, Obamacare, has been flailing in the press for weeks, and Obama apparently believes that it is about time to reshift the narrative:
MSNBC hosts relocated to West Wing today; @WeGotEd @Lawrence @ezraklein arrived for apparent meet w/President (Fox’s @TheJuanWilliams too)
— Ed Henry (@edhenryTV) November 21, 2013
Juan Williams refused to describe what Obama himself said, but he did state that the White House is in “full fight mode over the Affordable Healthcare Act right now.” He added, “They feel as if they had a major systems failure, a major management failure, and they’re trying to get back on track.” Williams said that the biggest messaging issue has related to President Obama’s lie that if Americans wanted to keep their health insurance plans, they could. “There is frustration, that’s clear from everybody who I was talking to this morning at the White House,” Williams concluded.
This is not the first time that the White House has wooed specific groups of journalists. In October, as Breitbart News reported, Obama met with The Washington Post‘s Charles Krauthammer, the Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Paul Gigot, National Review‘s Washington editor Robert Costa, former CNN co-host Kathleen Parker, and Byron York of the Washington Examiner. In May, the White House held a session on Benghazi on “deep background.” In September, Obama met with select reporters to discuss the situation in Syria.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.
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