An oft-repeated complaint among conservatives is that the news media isn't nearly as critical of President Obama as they are of Mitt Romney. That's legitimate criticism, everyone knows it. But as noted in a story by Politico today, Obama's campaign has also tightened the national press's access to the candidate to a greater extent than Romney's team has. That limits the opportunities for Obama to publicly stumble:
Obama’s team has always been wary of the beat reporters who cover him most closely in the West Wing, but seldom has access been so pinched. He’s been less available to the working national press than Romney — who has suddenly increased his accessibility to the media.
When Obama’s team makes him available, it’s not to the political press but to state and local media more likely to give him unfiltered access to battleground voters.
And his few national appearances are tightly controlled. Over the past several weeks, Obama has delivered a series of light-on-news appearances on “The Late Show with David Letterman” and “60 Minutes.” His most serious grilling came at the hands of a Univision anchor — a necessary risk to capture the critical Hispanic vote. But most of the time, his staff has safeguarded his reputation, going so far as to request clearance of some quotes from author Michael Lewis, who interviewed Obama for a Vanity Fair profile.