In chapter 12, we discuss the ways in which political figures try to shape media coverage. The Politico finds that the Obama White House has helped ensure favorable treatment of its Afghanistan policymaking:
But a detailed examination of news coverage of the reassessment issue in the major national newspapers, primarily The Washington Post and The New York Times, suggests that many angles and details of the stories were being carefully fed by White House aides to all-too-willing reporters who dressed it up as the inside dope. In reality, many reporters were steered into spinning the story exactly the way the White House wanted it told, with relatively little skepticism or criticism.
AP explains that the White House is also adept at handling bad news:
As with past administrations, Friday looks like a popular day to "take out the trash," as presidential aides on the TV drama "The West Wing" matter-of-factly called it. Along with weekends, holidays and the dark of night, the final stretch of the work week, when many news consumers tune out, is a common time for the government to release news unlikely to benefit the president. Among recent examples: On Friday, Nov. 13, the Obama administration announced it would put the professed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on trial in civilian court in New York. It also disclosed the resignation of the top White House lawyer, who had taken blame for some of the problems surrounding the administration's planned closing of the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.