Friday, July 03, 2009

Jennifer Loven of the AP: Barack Obama's Personal Publicist

I'd call Jennifer Loven of the AP a useless sycophant and a slavish mistress of the Obama administration, but that would understate her remarkable lack of journalistic ethics. She is, to be sure, a publicist disguised as an objective reporter. After all, that's how one gets those cherished one-on-one interviews with President Obama. To put Jennifer Loven in perspective, consider the headlines of her bylined stories over recent months.

07/02/2009: Obama: More work needed to create new jobs
07/02/2009: Obama: too many jobs lost
07/02/2009: Obama cites Michael Jackson as entertainment icon
07/02/2009: Obama troubled by indefinite detention
07/02/2009: Court 'moving ball' on racial hiring, Obama says

06/26/2009: Obama says US, Germany oppose violence in Iran
06/25/2009: Obama touts deal with drug firms
06/25/2009: Obama says he's committed to immigration reform
06/24/2009: Obama condemns violence against Iranian protesters
06/23/2009: Obama talks tougher on Iran violence

06/05/2009: Obama offers America's hand in peace to grateful Muslims
06/04/2009: Obama highlighting ties to Islam
06/04/2009: Obama troubled by Iran election but sees change
06/03/2009: Obama visits Saudi king on eve of key speech
06/04/2009: Obama extends hand to Muslim world in speech

06/05/2009: Obama sees 'serious progress' for Mideast peace
06/06/2009: Obama, Sarkozy, agree on Middle East strategy
06/06/2009: Obama: North Korea must engage in diplomacy
06/06/2009: Obama marks D-Day's solemn 65th anniversary
05/21/2009: Obama fights to take command of Guantanamo debate

05/12/2009: Obama seeks to block release of abuse photos
04/27/2009: From Obama: swine flu action, reassuring words
04/27/2009: Obama team offers calm, experts for swine flu
04/27/2009: Obama administration: Stern border enforcement not yet necessary
04/27/2009: White House asks lawmakers for $1.5b for flu

04/21/2009: Obama open to Hill probe of harsh interrogations
03/19/2009: Obama defends Geithner
03/12/2009: Treasury Secretary says global action needed to combat recession
02/28/2009: Military shaped Obama's Iraq plan
02/28/2009: Obama's balancing act on Iraq withdrawal

Now compare and contrast: Jennifer Loven stories from her years covering the Bush administration.

07/26/2005: White House: Judge Roberts writings out of bounds
06/08/2005: Bush, Blair agree to forgive Africa debt, at odds over aid
05/01/2005: Bush to keep pushing Social Security changes
02/11/2005: Bush threatens to veto Medicare changes
10/03/2004: Bush assails his foe on outsourcing security

09/01/2004: Troops got the message, but no one told Bush
04/14/2004: Bush, Cheney taxed less in '03
04/02/2004: Bush signs measure giving more legal rights to fetuses
03/06/2004: Bush Says He'll Relax Security Checks on Mexicans
02/21/2004: Bush defends decision for War in Iraq

12/15/2003: White House soft-pedals Baker's mission
12/14/2003: Bush sounds like candidate in radio talk
12/03/2003: Steel tariff decision dogs Bush
02/16/2002: Bush tells nation to relax a bit
12/03/2001: Affordable housing crunch persists for poorest

10/03/2001: Report Growing gap between wages, cost of renting
08/27/2001: 1 in 32 people in corrections system
08/03/2001: Democrats thwart Bush's consumer products nominee
12/07/2000: Pentagon: Project Falsely Justified
11/02/2000: LaHood continues effort to abolish Electoral College

The Loven agenda -- and by extension, the mission of the AP -- is as clear as glass.

Update: "State-Run Media Smears GOP for Pushing Family Values".

Update II: In 2006, Tom Blumer offered valuable background on Loven:

Jennifer Loven of the Associated Press is one of AP's regular reporters covering Mr. Bush and The White House... She also has an obvious conflict of interest, as her husband, Roger Ballentine, was a senior adviser to John Kerry on energy and environmental issues during the 2004 presidential campaign. Ballentine is currently president of Green Strategies, Inc., an environmental consulting and government relations (read: lobbying) firm. He also continues to be actively involved in the politics of energy and the environment, as this appearance at a renewable energy conference in December 2004 and the promotion for his October appearance on "E&E TV" show.

It has apparently never occurred to AP that her husband's point of view could affect the objectivity of Ms. Loven's reporting, though, as this post at Powerline supplied by me back in September 2004 shows, she went so far as to ridicule a 2002-2003 Bush Administration environmental initiative in one of her "objective" reports using language that parroted her husband's environmental advocacy statements.

Whether it's Iraq, the Joe Wilson charade (a report that led Powerline to call her a "Democrat Operative"), or the economy, Ms. Loven's reports on day-to-day happenings in the administration have been consistently negative and sometimes even hostile.

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