The arrangement described here is so journalistically incestuous I was considering hanging an NC-17 (or worse) rating on this post.
You see, the husband of a former longtime ABC reporter held a Democratic National Committee fundraiser at the couple’s home Thursday night at which President Barack Obama appeared for 15 minutes. The reporter’s husband was on the Obama campaign’s national finance committee and now is the chairman of a White House commission. As if it really matters, the former ABC reporter, Linda Douglass, who left to work for Obama’s presidential campaign and who then joined his administration for 18 months until landing a media management gig at the Atlantic, says she was “not involved” in the event.
Keach Hagey at the Politico took a bit longer to describe things, accompanied by what I think was supposed to be a flattering picture of Ms. Douglass (seen above, but cropped for this post):
Linda Douglass explains DNC fundraiser
A D.C. power couple with close ties to the Obama White House hosted a fundraising dinner Thursday night for the Democratic National Committee at their DuPont Circle home.
President Barack Obama dropped by, spoke for 15 minutes “standing in a doorway between two dining/living areas set with dinner tables, to make eye contact with either side,” according to the White House pool report, and then went back off into the stormy night. The event was supposed to raise $1 million for Democrats.
No news there, except that one of half of the couple, Linda Douglass, a former network reporter who worked in the Obama campaign and the Obama White House, is now the vice president for strategic communications at Atlantic Media, which owns a host of publications that cover politics, including The Atlantic, National Journal and Government Executive.
Douglass told POLITICO that because of this connection, she regrets that it was not made clear that the fundraiser was entirely organized by her husband, John Phillips, who was on the Obama campaign’s national finance committee and is currently the chairman of the White House Fellows Commission.
… Douglass emphasized that her current job is on Atlantic Media’s business side, separate from the management of its magazines.
“I don’t make editorial decisions,” she said Friday. “But that said, I should have made it much clearer in every possible way that this was my husband’s event, not mine.”
Douglass said Atlantic Media does not yet have a policy on the political involvement of its employees.
… During the event, Phillips introduced Obama, saying, “I can remember walking down those snowy streets of Des Moines in the primary…We sleep so much better knowing that you are our president at this difficult time,” according to the pool report.
He (Obama) also thanked Phillips for still talking to him after he took Douglass on the campaign and into the administration for 18 months.
I don’t know why Douglass thinks that Atlantic Media doesn’t have a policy on employee political involvement.
(I’m kidding on the following, in case anyone doesn’t get it) I could swear I’ve seen it in fine print somewhere in the masthead of one of its publications, or perhaps in the agate type below the circulation figures somewhere. It reads as follows: “We will help Democrats, liberals, and leftists whenever we can, and wherever we can.”
Or maybe I saw it at the Columbia School of Journalism.
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.