In another example of politicians cozying-up with the media, David Plouffe, the lead architect of President Obama's 2008 election victory and his senior aide in last year's election, is joining Bloomberg TV to discuss politics, business, and technology.
“David has one of the sharpest political minds in the nation ... We’re thrilled he’s joining the Bloomberg team to provide his unique insight and analysis to our coverage of business and politics,” said Andrew Morse, head of Bloomberg Television in the United States. Plouffe is hailed as a master political strategist, and has helped shape candidate Obama's platform starting in 2004 for the Illinois state senate.
He has worked on several other high profile candidacies, starting in 1990 with Sen. Tom Harkin, Deval Patrick's 2006 race for Massachussetts governor, and even chairing the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during a record-high fundraising tenure.
David is not the only one of the successful Obama campaign team to take on paid media roles. David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs have joined MSNBC as contributors since the campaign, and Jim Messina is heading the grassroots organizing Obama For America Super PAC.
Fox News has been repeatedly lambasted for being a mouthpiece for the Republican party, and MSNBC shares a similar status on the Democratic side. When politicians assume a perceived role of authority as a media commentator, they receive unfair advantages for promoting their platforms or the platforms of their colleagues.
These politicians-turned-commentators, including most prominently Sarah Palin and Karl Rove, would be taken more seriously if their arguments were coming from a place of non-partisan and fact-shaped ideas. It has been plainly obvious that instead these politicians are simply spewing their political agendas under the veil of news reporting.
One can argue that Fox News is a far more aggressive and blatant violator of journalistic principles in its use of politicians in their reporting, therefore giving the Democratic party a justified pass to beef up its own media relations. However, that consistently edges out fact and objectivity from media reports in favor of well-known faces and divisive politicking on live TV.
It is yet to be seen how David Plouffe's commentary will take shape, but if he is to be respected not only by the public but also by journalists then he will have to show willingness to criticize the Obama administration when it falters, and even praise Republicans when they show any hint of progress, strategic or political.