NY Times Focuses on Obama's Populist Sub Shop Stop in NJ, Skips Glitzy Manhattan Fundraising Tour

July 29th, 2010 7:25 PM
New York Times reporters David Herszenhorn and Jackie Calmes reported on Obama's politically calculated visit to the Tastee Sub Shop in Edison, N.J. in Thursday's "Obama Trumpets Party's Small-Business Bona Fides."

The paper's political team let Obama fully sell himself as a down-home populist by completely skipping (in the print edition) the fact that Obama would be departing from a town in New Jersey to two glitzy fundraisers in the Times's home town Manhattan. The Washington Post, on the other hand, did notice that Obama later traveled by helicopter to a fundraiser at the Four Seasons in Manhattan, then went on to Vogue editor Anna Wintour's townhouse for another.

Calmes filed a report on the fundraisers Wednesday night for the paper's "Caucus" blog: "After an afternoon of populism, lunching with small-business owners in New Jersey and gabbing with the opinionated ladies of ABC-TV's "The View," President Obama ended his day on Wednesday at separate $30,400-a-person fundraisers here in Manhattan."

But those politics-as-usual details didn't make it into the print story, leaving room for these vital nuggets: Obama "ordered a 'super sub with everything,' to highlight his party's small-business agenda....Mr. Obama ordered a six-inch 'super sub' -- he declared that at nearly 49 he can no longer eat the 12-inch variety -- and sat down at a table with the owner, Dave Thornton, and the owners of three businesses in nearby towns."

Peter Applebome's Thursday "Our Town" column in the Times made a glancing reference to the fundraisers, calling the president's sub shop stop "the populist portion of the president's visit to the region before decidedly less-modest stops in New York."

In contrast, the Washington Post managed to notice the disparity in Thursday's print edition, "On midterm campaign trail, Obama mixes populist appeal with wooing of big donors."
President Obama's message to voters this election year is simple and full of populist zeal: Democrats are on the side of the little guy, not the Wall Street brokers, celebrities and chief executives....In town after town, the president is holding events that highlight his party's work on behalf of the average Joe -- but that are carefully scheduled to leave plenty of time for unpublicized fundraisers with people who are anything but.
They certainly weren't publicized in the New York Times.