spin campaigns

Will More Reporters Please Reveal How the Obama Administration Is (Re-)Writing Elena Kagan’s History?

Elena Kagan will surely face an uphill battle against Republican senators, who won’t be happy with her attempt, as Harvard Law’s dean, to ban military recruiters from campus because the armed forces discriminates against gays. That’s why the Obama administration and its allies are working overtime to convince the media to write nice, or at least nicer things about Obama’s new Supreme Court pick. Like they did with the Times. And even, apparently, The Daily Beast‘s Peter Beinart, who explains the reaching out like so:

The day after the [Times] story appeared, I received an email from a prominent Democratic lawyer offering me the same kind of assistance that the Obama administration seems to have provided the Times. In a previous Beast column, I had criticized Kagan’s action as dean, arguing that barring recruiters from Harvard Law School because the military discriminates against gays was as counterproductive as banning ROTC from Harvard during Vietnam. That comparison, my correspondent insisted, “rests on a fundamental category mistake…what happened at Harvard Law School [during Kagan’s tenure] was not anything like the anti-military policies of the ‘70s that were directed at the military because they were the military.”

[…] My correspondent went on to argue that I was wrong to call Harvard’s ban on recruitment “anti-military” since the school’s anti-discrimination policy applied to all employers

Ah, the art of spin — a concept that is not the same as “disinformation.” Since the White House won’t offer it, maybe journalists covering Kagan’s confirmation might sneak in a little transparency?