We’ve gotten used to the Obama White House and the nation’s news media working hand in glove on most issues, but the sequester is quickly becoming a case study worthy of Harvard. Soon, if this collaboration persists, it will start to feel like the Mayans were off by only a few weeks with their end-of-the-world predictions.
It’s gotten so bad that Mike Allen’s POLITICO Playbook this morning pointed out that close to 20 regional “stories” were posted at 10 p.m. Sunday, just two hours after Obama’s press team released 51 “fact sheets” detailing horror stories among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The top story in today’s Washington Post also noted these White House talking points, prompting Allen to observe, “FIRST TIME EVER that a White House fact sheet made the lead of the WashPost!”
Not to be outdone, the Huffington Post, one of the most popular news websites in America, sent a message to its readers to solicit stories on the impact of sequestration on local communities. The email includes a direct link to the White House “fact sheet” for Virginia.
The Huffington Post email cites the White House claim that low-income families will be dropped from a federal health and nutrition program. The HuffPost Open Reporting team is seeking stories to reveal the impact of sequestration — a tactic similar to the campaign Obama is using to connect the cuts to individuals. Obama, in fact, will visit Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia on Tuesday to make the case for stopping sequestration in favor of more tax increases.
Here’s the Huffington Post email:
A Message For Our Readers In Virginia
Monday, February 25, 2013
Hello from HuffPost Open Reporting –
This is a one-time email to our readers in Virginia.
With the possibility of $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts looming in Washington, the White House has released a series of reports describing the effect those cuts would have in day-to-day life.
Among other things, the reports note that “approximately 600,000 women and children would be dropped from the Department of Agriculture’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC),” a health care and nutrition program for low-income pregnant women, young children, and mothers of young children.
We want to know the impact this would have in your town. Would you, or anyone you know, be affected by the cuts to WIC? If so, we’d like to hear from you.
Would you be affected by the cuts in any other ways? (See here for a full list of Virginia programs that would receive cuts.) We’d be interested to hear about that too.
Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org, or just reply to this email. We will never publish your name or identifying information without your permission.
Thanks for your help,
The HuffPost Open Reporting team