REVOLVING DOOR WATCH…. Many conservatives have voiced outrage over some media figures making the transition from major news outlets to Obama administration service. I can’t help but notice, though, that it’s much more common to see people make the transition from the Bush administration to major news outlets.
[Yesterday], CNBC discussed a congressional proposal to create a systemic risk regulator for the financial industry. To analyze the feasibility and necessity of such a regulator, CNBC introduced one of its newest “contributors,” Tony Fratto, who most recently served as former President Bush’s Deputy Press Secretary. But rather than comment on the merits of the systemic risk regulatory plan, Fratto simply claimed that Congress is “dangerously” motivated to over regulate by a thirst for “vengeance” stemming from the current financial crisis.
Now, CNBC has come under fire lately for its coverage of the financial world, but if network executives hope that adding Fratto to the news team will improve matters, they’re likely to be disappointed. Fratto, who’s also served as Rick Santorum’s communications director, has been wildly wrong on economic issues for quite some time.
But even if we put that aside, let’s not forget how appalled conservatives were when some people left the media to join the Obama administration. Both the Weekly Standard and the National Review complained of a “revolving door” between the media and Democrats. Brent Bozell, president of the conservative Media Research Center, added, “If you are in journalism, and you can so easily fit in the world of politics, it tells you something — that you were not that detached from it when you were in journalism.”
And yet, for those keeping score at home, the number of “loyal Bushies” getting hired by major news outlets keeps going up. I know of at least eight prominent examples: Michael Gerson (Washington Post), Sara Taylor (MSNBC), Tony Snow (CNN), Frances Fragos Townsend (CNN), Nicole Wallace (CBS News), Dan Bartlett (CBS News), Jeff Ballabon (CBS News), and, of course, Karl Rove (Fox News, Newsweek, and Wall Street Journal).
If there’s a “revolving door” between government service and the media, there are quite a few Republicans taking a spin.