If there's one thing the info war between the White House and Jodi Kantor has made clear, it's that waging a successful whisper campaign in Washington is damn near impossible.
Since Kantor's book The Obamas came out last week, the two sides have launched covert attempts to shape the public's impression of the 368-page tome. The point of a successful whisper campaign, of course, is to remain anonymous while disseminating damaging or calculated information about something. But while electronic communication has made it easier for Kantor and the White House to reach influential reporters and TV producers, it also leaves a digital trail leading to the original author. In this case, both sides have been caught red-handed.
On Tuesday, an email Kantor sent out to reporters was leaked to Politico's Dylan Byers, in which Kantor, a New York Times reporter, asks her "friends and colleagues" to help combat negative depictions about her book. Importantly, the e-mail begins with a request. "Can I ask for your help, off the record?" Obviously, the request was not honored by someone.
"I've had a weird problem with my book release, which is that many folks on cable tv and twitter, who barely seem to have read the book, are characterizing it in ways that just aren't accurate," she wrote. "I realize it's a little annoying to be asked to tweet things, because the medium is spontaneous, but in this case so many people have misdescribed the book that I want to ask for your help."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.