The DC Press Corpse has a one-size-fits-all solution to the disagreements between President Obama and the Republican Congress: a better personal relationship. Take, for example, Dana Milbank’s latest:
“I’m a pretty friendly guy,” President Obama said near the end of his White House news conference Monday afternoon.
The claim might have been a touch more plausible if he hadn’t spent the bulk of the previous hour demonstrating just how adversarial he could be. Indeed, there was no precipitating event that led him to schedule the last-minute session in the East Room — lending credibility to the theory that he summoned reporters so he could bait Republicans.
Or how about Jackie Calmes’ question at yesterday’s press conference:
I’d like to ask you, now that you’ve reached the end of your first term, starting your second, about a couple of criticisms — one that’s longstanding, another more recent. The longstanding one seems to have become a truism of sorts that you’re — you and your staff are too insular, that you don’t socialize enough. […]
Since the solution is so simple, let’s apply it to another fractured relationship, the one between the New York Times (Calmes’ paper) and the Washington Post (Milbank’s). Just look at the editorial pages of those two newspapers, which display a shocking lack of comity in the once-peaceful world of major media. What can we do to rectify that awful situation? When’s the last time Pinch Sulzburger flew Don Graham to Manhattan in the Times’ jet for a show? Don “likes” a lot of Dalia Lithwick’s work at Slate on Facebook, but are Don and Pinch even Facebook friends? Do they follow each other on Twitter? Has there been an exchange of sepia-toned images on Instagram?
We all know that Pinch’s son is an accomplished journalist – at 28 he already had a byline at the Times – so why isn’t he writing for the Post, Luke Russert style? The Times could trade him for Don’s daughter Laura, who’s working at Slate (a Post property). Am I being silly to think that an arranged marriage might be the solution to what ails the Times/Post relationship?