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Obama Visits Washington Post

Obama.jpgBarack Obama visited the Washington Post to meet the editorial board and national staff, but his tour of the 5th floor newsroom nearly stopped the presses.

Staff writers, photographers, editors and employees from other departments lined the hallway after word spread that the President-elect would be walking through the newroom.

At about 3:15 p.m., Obama entered through a back hallway and began shaking hands, as professional newsmen and women reached over to shake his hand and take pictures. Obama was trailed by advisor David Axelrod, assistant Reggie Love, Post Chairman Donald Graham, Publisher Katharine Weymouth and Editor Marcus Brauchli.

“I want to talk about the Redskins and the Nationals,” Obama said, as he made his way down a defacto rope line made of office cubicle dividers, behind which Secret Service agents asked the journalists to stand. Asked by a reporter if he had any quotes he wanted to get in the paper for tomorrow, Obama, referring to the National staff and editorial board, said: “They all got the scoop.”

He added: “Where’s the weather person? What’s Tuesday looking like?”

Later, he was asked, "Are you having a good time?" Obama responded, "If I didn't have to move twice in five days I would be happy."

At one point, after passing the foreign and national desks, Obama turned a corner and Graham introduced him to David Ross, 66, an electrician who has worked at the Post since 1960.

According to Ross, Graham said: “Barack, I want you to meet Dave Ross, the longest serving person at the Washington Post.”

Obama reached for Ross’s hand, then pulled him into the aisle and put his arm around Ross, telling the Secret Service, “For Dave, I’ll make an exception.”

Ross quickly called his daughter, Rebecca Kousa, an elementary school teacher in Arlington. “I’m glad I didn’t retire,” he told her.

Obama left the newsroom around 3:30 p.m.

“There goes our journalistic objectivity,” one reporter quipped, as people traded stories and pictures.

Story by David Nakamura, Photos by David Betancourt

By David A Nakamura  |  January 15, 2009; 3:45 PM ET  | Category:  Post Coverage
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“There goes our journalistic objectivity,” one reporter quipped, as people traded stories and pictures.

No, there goes your integrity. There goes the difference between WaPo and the National Enquirer. There goes any hope for scrutiny of Obama for four years.

You know, I've been accusing the WaPo of bias in its treatment of Obama for months now. But, I really didn't want to believe it. This incident put paid to that illusion. The WaPo has jumped in the tank, sunk to the bottom, and couldn't be happier.

But, hey. That's why you became a journalist in the first place, wasn't it? To be the spokesman for a political party.

Posted by: grohlik | January 15, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

“There goes our journalistic objectivity,” one reporter quipped, as people traded stories and pictures.

Look on the bright side, WaPO, you can't loose something you never had.

Wonder why people aren't reading newspapers anymore?

How long will it be before you ask Congress for a bailout and then WaPo can become a legal instrument of the government. Won't that be fun?

2008. The year journalism died. But that's okay, because you touched Obama.

Here's a secret...he doesn't have any superpowers. He's a person just like everyone else.

Posted by: miltwnow | January 15, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse


Umm...reporters are human. If someone famous comes into the workplace, they will naturally want to whip their cameras out. I'm fairly certain that if President Bush, or any other high profile conservative figure visited the Post, the same thing would happen. The overall reporting by the Post may or may not be biased, but this incident isn't an example of anything other than that Post reporters like to take pictures of and shake hands with famous people, just like the rest of us. Use your head please.

Posted by: asdfqwertyuiop | January 16, 2009 4:01 AM | Report abuse

"I'm fairly certain that if President Bush, or any other high profile conservative figure visited the Post, the same thing would happen."

Other reports indicate there were cheers and coffee-cup toasts for the President Elect.

Do you honestly believe President Bush or Sarah Palin would have gotten the same reception? If so, call me. I have a very prime piece of Florida real estate for you.

Posted by: MDH3 | January 16, 2009 6:45 AM | Report abuse

There's nothing wrong with a reporter *liking* someone, however when it clouds their objectivity in reporting a story that's when it becomes a problem.

Were you NOT paying attention during the election? Where was Obama's difficult questions? To this day, I don't know where he stands on any issue, yet I'm lead to believe with a simple wink from Obama, all the nation's ills will be solved.

Thanks to the media' idol worship of this person (he's a regular human being), a lot of us feel as if we don't know anything about him and that's scary.

And with this recent display of love, it's disturbing. Very disturbing. And leaves us wondering: will the media actually report the facts when it comes to this new administration -and that means the good and bad, which will happen.

From the looks of it, probably not. I think WaPo shot themselves into the foot by doing this article. It's silly and sophmoric, and shows that they aren't even a paper, more an entertainment journal.

Now, we are left with the question who can we trust to provide an objective view of the new administration?

Posted by: miltwnow | January 16, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Dang it. Obama called the Washington NFL team the "Redskins." I was hoping he wouldn't use that word.

Posted by: tommycummings | January 16, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

"There goes our journalistic objectivity"

When did any of you at the WaPo have any in the first place? You and your ilk reek of complicity in the biggest fraud perpetrated on the American people. God help everyone of you when the torches and pitchforks come out because that day is coming. This wasnt an election it was a very long season of American Idol.

Posted by: tad923 | January 16, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

There goes wapo's objectivity?!

NO, there EXPOSED wapo's humbuggery.

But you think the neo-"journalists" running the places such as wapo and nyt have the wit and lucidity to understand the varnish is off and they've become nothing but a vaudeville show?

Posted by: pouran-doukht | January 16, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

“There goes our journalistic objectivity,” one reporter quipped, as people traded stories and pictures.

Oh, that's just laughable!

The WaPo's journalistic objectivity was declared DOA decades ago!

Posted by: NeverLeft | January 16, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

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