Former House Speaker John Boehner said at an event in Las Vegas last week that he used to “sneak into” the White House to see President Barack Obama to avoid scrutiny from the “right-wing press,” according to a report by the Washington Post, which obtained a videotape of Boehner’s remarks.
Boehner also lamented the fact that Americans now have too many choices of where to go for news and information.
“What’s making everything even worse today is because we have so much news, people get to choose where they get their news,” Boehner said, according to the Post. “It used to be we had three big TV networks, five big newspapers, and five big radio stations and whatever they said was the news. Everybody else followed what they do.”
Here is an excerpt from the Washington Post story about Boehner’s remarks:
“Any interaction with a Democrat risks being covered by conservative outlets as a potential betrayal of the GOP, he said.
“Boehner blamed figures on the right who purchase lists of conservative activists and then position themselves as leaders of a movement. He said talks between party leaders can be ruined by ‘one person who creates a committee to preserve the Constitution’ and can ‘blast out information quickly.’
“’You used to have a little breathing room--24 hours, 48 hours before it actually got in the press. Well, that’s gone. Everything today is instant,’ he said.
“Boehner recalled that when he used to visit President Obama, he would frequently “sneak into” the White House to avoid being seen by reporters.
“‘If I didn’t sneak in, if I went in like I would normally go in, the right-wing press would go crazy. “What is Boehner up to?” The left-wing press would go just as crazy. “What is Obama doing? He’s going to let Boehner roll him again.” You’re dead before you even have an agreement,’” he said.
“Boehner pointed to the fragmentation of the national media as another reason for the paralysis and what he sees as alarming intensity and partisanship in politics.
“’What’s making everything even worse today is because we have so much news, people get to choose where they get their news,” Boehner said. “It used to be we had three big TV networks, five big newspapers, and five big radio stations and whatever they said was the news. Everybody else followed what they do.’”