The New York Stimes  has confirmed that the White House held an off the record press gaggle for selected media lap dogs:
Speaking privately at the White House on Monday with a group of mostly liberal columnists and commentators, including Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann of MSNBC and Maureen Dowd, Frank Rich and Bob Herbert of The New York Times, Mr. Obama himself gave vent to sentiments about the network, according to people briefed on the conversation.
Then, in an interview with NBC News on Wednesday, the president went public. “What our advisers have simply said is that we are going to take media as it comes,” he said. “And if media is operating, basically, as a talk radio format, then that’s one thing. And if it’s operating as a news outlet, then that’s another.
It appears that the Slimes respects Obama’s private remarks no more than she did Bush’s(43). Shocked? Chris Arlen, TVNewser , has identified the Obama lap dogs who attended:
The White House has sent TVNewser the complete list of those who attended the off-the-record briefing Monday: Eugene Robinson , E.J. Dionne , Ron Brownstein , John Dickerson , Rachel Maddow , Frank Rich , Jerry Seib , Maureen Dowd , Keith Olbermann , Bob Herbert , Gloria Borger , and Gwen Ifill . Several members of the staff also attended.
Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann and Maureen Dowd, hardly what I would call the best and the brightest. Obama lap dogs are long on commentary, but short on journalism skills. Is the one’s A-Team?