Wow, I think this story about Tina Flournoy, Chief of Staff to Vice President Harris making sure people don’t waste Harris’ time may contain almost everything wrong with what political reporting at national outlets has become.
So naturally I had to share. Brace yourselves! For the terrible tale!! Of Access Denied!!! (With extra not very sub subtext.)
Kamala Harris’ chief of staff has effectively shut out several of the vice president’s longtime political and business world allies as the Biden administration contends with several challenges, including battles over voting rights and the border, according to people familiar with the matter.
Oh no, an extremely busy person won’t forward calls to an even more extremely busy person. Quelle horreur and other exclamations of dismay. And that’s Vice President Kamala Harris to you, bub.
Harris has not been returning phone calls to people who have considered themselves members of her inner circle, including donors and people who supported her Senate and White House runs, according to some of the people with knowledge of the situation.
Ooo, how mysterious, whyever isn’t the Vice President of the United States taking time to talk with people who say they are members of her inner circle? It isn’t like the planet is overloaded with irritating shitheads with bloated egos who lie about how important and great they are. Could it be she doesn’t WANT to talk to these people and Flournoy is doing her job by making sure she doesn’t? No, it must be something else.
Under chief of staff Tina Flournoy’s watch, Harris speaks regularly to President Joe Biden, her family members, a tight group of friends, and her strategists, these people said. The people declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.
That sounds much more important and official like than “Didn’t want to be fired into the Potomac for being a gossipy idiot.”
But one sign that an article should have been hastily buried at a crossroads during the budget meeting is that the reporter takes great pains to limit useful information about the sources for the article.
That doesn’t mean information that allows the reader to identify the source, but there should always be something that lets you know the reporter took steps to make sure they weren’t jerked off by some jagoff and is wasting your time with the resulting mess. Here I can’t tell if the people with knowledge of the situational matter are some of the people who aren’t being allowed to pester Harris on a whim or people who are in the room when Flournoy does her job or a friend of a friend of a cousin of someone who overheard a conversation or two, or whatever.
The people who are distinguished by more details, such as a donor to Harris’ presidential bid and a supporter and people who are pestering the Second Gentlemen all sound like the sort of people it makes sense to avoid.
And a personal red flag in this type of article is a dearth of these things “”. The reporter gets to paragraph 14 before he has a direct quote and that was from someone who praised Flournoy. Who the fuck else is he citing? Screaming heads in a vat of burning acid? The ghosts of people who died in the Eisenhower Building? (Knock once if Tina Flournoy is letting everyone talk to Harris, knock twice if she isn’t!) Eccentric professors who communicate through dance?
Jesus. Anyway, the root of this non-problem is also the article’s only redeeming feature: CoS Flournoy has the unmitigated gall to be good at what she was hired to do and it is putting a knot in the pants of the persons familiar with the knowledge of the matter of the situation and pissy supporters and donors who are such douchecanoes they thought it was worth repeating to a reporter.
A person familiar with Flournoy’s handling of incoming communication with these associates says she sometimes starts a conversation asking, “What is it that you want from the vice president?”
We all make choices, but attributing a quote to a person based on one other person’s say so is not one I would make.
If the person wants to just say hello and have a brief conversation, Flournoy says that time will come at future private events.
OK, who the fuck is calling Harris at work just to chat? I bet Emhoff doesn’t do that shit.
And it could well be that Harris gave Flournoy a list of people to whom she is never, ever available to talk to, even to stop the planet from crashing into the sun. That would have been something for the reporter to check on if he as actually doing any reporting.
If a person wants to speak to Harris about where she stands on policy, Flournoy will, at times, say they can’t speak to the vice president about policy and will make an introduction to one of her policy advisors.
A moment of silence please for the 1s and 0s that were sacrificed to inform the world that various randos aren’t allowed to ring VP Harris and ask policy questions. Five minutes for the ones that were used to rehash non-scandals such as Bill Clinton’s meeting with Loretta Lynch and a Mister Fantastic level stretch to bring in a mention of Jeffery Epstein. Ugh.
Anyway, here’s a tip for the 21st century that the sources for the article and the reporter might want to jot down: Don’t expect anyone to have the desire or time to talk to you, especially if you’re calling their work number, creeps.
Also, please cry more.