I heard an interview today with writer Michael Lewis on NPR’s Fresh Air (podcast here ) on his stunning (and long) aticle published in Vanity Fair (here) on the unprecedented time he spent with Obama.
Now before you jump to the conclusion that this is a left wing mouthpiece writing a fluff piece, you should know that before this he was probably best known for covering, and being close friends with, John McCain, for being a Bloomberg writer, A New Republic writer and for his books: Moneyball: The Art of Winning an unfair Game (made into a movie), Liars Poker, The Big Short, Inside the Doomsday Machine, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game.
So…He asked for something no journalist has ever ased for, nor been granted. Basicaly, unfetered (ff and on) day to day access to Obama. From his NPR interview- it’s clear Obama immediately took to the idea. James Carney, his pressman, was “ok” with it. While much of the rest of the white house opposed it.
He got to sit in on meetings, travel with Obama- both domestically and internationally, take part in the basketball games at the FBI with Obama, caddy for him on the golf course, spend hours with him at the white house…
Regardless of what you think (and what you thin you know of Obama) I highly, highly, highly recommend reading both his article and listening to the NPR interview.
And as a final note- he does discuss in the NPR interview the much maligned “censorship” of quotes. Saying that first off – it has become standard to submit quotes for review regardless of whether you are interviewing a poitician, a ceo, or anyone important. And more importantly- despite the pages and pages of quotes he submitted they had no meaningful objections- mostly just worrying about how someone could take a quote out of context for political advantage.