A common — and manifestly ineffective — tactic by Republican strategists, says Stacy McCain:
It’s supposed to be about “message discipline,” but it always seems to backfire by turning the media against the candidate. My theory: Most GOP “media strategists” have never worked a day as a reporter, and thus can’t see things from the reporter’s perspective.
It’s very difficult for reporters to cover a campaign if all they get are press releases, scripted speeches and statements from campaign staffers. If they never have a chance to get spontaneous fresh quotes from the candidate, reporters begin to resent the campaign they’re covering and that resentment will inevitably come out in their coverage.
Of course, they can always resort to the time-dishonored tactic of making crap up.