White House denies calling bloggers, gay marchers, progressives the “Internet left fringe”

Well, if Dan Pfeiffer at the White House is going to suggest that NBC’s John Harwood is a liar, then I think the White House needs to give John Harwood permission to reveal his source. Because this isn’t the first time the White House has “reportedly” criticized bloggers, or progressives. In August, they dismissed anyone who had concerns about how health care reform as “the left of the left” – which is awfully similar to the current accusation that we’re “the Internet left fringe.” Then a few weeks later, the president said that blogs don’t fact check, and are all “people shouting at each other.”

And the fact that the White House holds conference calls with bloggers is nice. But let’s not exaggerate here. Those calls are as much, if not more, for the White House’s benefit than for ours.

Bloggers are the only key members of the Democratic noise machine who have been shunned by the president. He met with liberal talk radio, with the partisan pundits on TV (Rachel and Keith), and even invited a conservative blogger (Andrew Sullivan) and conservative writer/activists Bill Kristol and David Brooks. But no such meeting has ever been scheduled with the liberal political blogs.

There is a pattern of disdain for, and distrust of, the blogs that started with the Obama campaign two years ago, and now has extended into the Obama White House. Privately, both the campaign and the White House have been happy to ask the Netroots for help when the going gets tough (Joe and I alone, via this blog, raised $50,000 for Barack Obama – and I suspect Jane and Markos and Duncan and others have raised a lot more than that). And in spite of our differences with Barack Obama, the Netroots have been happy to help the President when called upon. But publicly, Team Obama keeps us, like much of the core Democratic constituencies, at arm’s length.

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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