Alex Massie

Hold that Vegetable Garden Exclusive!

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Commenting on this post about the Damian McBride Affair, Shippers makes an excellent point: things are

just as bad, if not

worse, on the other side of the Atlantic. Consider this example, culled from Politico's daily Playbook:

The WashPost's First Dog exclusive - which the WP says the First Lady's office offered in March to stave off a premature story about the White House vegetable garden, which had been promised as an exclusive to The New York Times (we're not making this up) - is rained on by weekend Web leaks. But the WP has first word that the adorable black Portuguese water dog, a gift from Senator and Mrs. Kennedy, will be named "Bo." (And that the Obamas will make a donation to the D.C. Humane Society, since he didn't come from a shelter.)

at least the lobby demands a higher price than that

WaPo

UPDATE: I guess the Post would say that it played this game with the White House because these stories are so trivial, but readers might be forgiven for thinking otherwise. If the Post - and other papers - will bargain with the administration on this, what stories wouldn't be subject to such a cosy arrangement?

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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