BuzzFeed wasn’t invited, which is probably the only reason we now know that President Obama had a secret meeting with selected members of the press on Monday afternoon. Is it possible the meeting was the administration’s Plan B following Attorney General Eric Holder’s lightly attended off-the-record media summit in May? The New York Times declined to attend that meeting, and BuzzFeed reports that New York Times reporter Peter Baker might not have gone to Monday’s meeting either if he’d known that President Obama would drop in to say hi — after reporters had agreed to keep things off the record.
Reporters who attended Monday’s session with the president were loathe to discuss it with BuzzFeed, citing the White House’s stipulation that the meeting remain off the record. But the session came after the White House announced a “travel/photo lid” for the day — White House parlance for no more events, and the signal for the pool reporter to go home — and reporters from The New York Times,Washington Post, Huffington Post, Time, McClatchy, Politico, Tribune, NPR,Bloomberg, USA Today, AFP, Yahoo and other outlets were milling around the briefing room waiting to be called in. In total, about two dozen reporters were included.
What’s creepy about that? At least the windows are still transparent … for now.