Obama Hires Another Reporter for Government Post

Critics say newest White House flack wrote love notes from campaign trail

President Obama has snatched up another reporter for a government job, prompting further criticism that the press is a bit too chummy with the administration.

Newsweek's Daren Briscoe, who shot hoops with Obama during his presidential campaign and contributed to the Obama book,  "A Long Time Coming," will start his new job as the deputy assistant director of public affairs for the Office of National Drug Control Policy, on Monday, according to a leaked e-mail.

The Columbia School of Journalism alum was congratulated in an e-mail sent to all graduates of his 2001 class, including Philip Klein, who broke the news on The American Spectator.

"Despite his multiple basketball games with our commander-in-chief, he always brought a skeptical eye to his work and in conversations about the candidate," Jay Newton-Small, Time reporter and fellow Columbia grad wrote in the e-mail.

Not everyone agrees.

In 2007, commentator Brent Bozell blasted Briscoe for salivating over the man he was supposed to be scrutinizing.

"Reporters Richard Wolffe and Daren Briscoe apply all the usual goo to the Obama cause," he complained citing the following Wolffe/Briscoe line as an example: "Many of Obama’s supporters are enthralled by the content of his character – by his earnest desire to heal the nation’s political divisions and to restore America’s reputation in the world."

“On the campaign trail, Obama doesn’t seek sympathy: he evokes hope,'" was another line Bozell quoted from a Briscoe article as showing bias toward his future boss. 

Briscoe will join the ranks of Obama reporters-turned-employees, including the Los Angeles Times' Peter Gosselin who is now Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's speech writer, The Chicago Tribune's Jill Zuckman who is now the director of public affairs for the Department of Transportation, Time Magazine's Jay Carney, who is Vice President Joe Biden's communication director, and about a dozen others.

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