Texas Monthy: The fundamental change in the way people consume the news had to change the way we executed a communications strategy at the White Ho
December 7, 2007

Texas Monthy:

The fundamental change in the way people consume the news had to change the way we executed a communications strategy at the White House.

Q. How much attention did you pay to the programs on cable?

I never worried about a certain cable show. What I was looking for were trends that were shaping the narrative and the conventional wisdom and whether we had to be in front of or behind those things.

Q. What about the blogs?

We had to set up a whole new apparatus to deal with the challenges they pose. Are they real journalists? The Washington Post, for example, has journalists who are now bloggers. Do you treat them as bloggers? Do they get credentials?

Q. Let's think of it as a practical matter. If one of those journalists-turned-bloggers, Chris Cillizza, e-mails you to say he needs an interview, and at the same time one of the Post's print reporters-say, Dan Balz-e-mails you and says he needs an interview, and you can do only one . . .

Balz.

Q. Because the print edition of the Post has more of an impact?

Because Balz is on multiple platforms. He's booked more easily on television. He's read by more people. He influences people a bit more. Now, the question might not be as much Chris versus Dan as maybe, "Is it Dan Balz or one of the guys at [the conservative blog] Power Line?"

Q. Yeah, or what if [conservative blogger] Hugh Hewitt called?

That's when you start going, "Hmm . . ." Because they do reach people who are influential.

Q. Well, they reach the president's base.

That's what I mean by influential. I mean, talk about a direct IV into the vein of your support. It's a very efficient way to communicate. They regurgitate exactly and put up on their blogs what you said to them. It is something that we've cultivated and have really tried to put quite a bit of focus on.

Uh huh. That's what I thought.

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