According to the Daily Caller,
In an email to The Daily Caller, Gina Channell-Allen, president of the Pleasanton Weekly in Pleasanton, California, said that her paper “received a call from the White House asking us to take out part of the story because it reflected poorly on the First Lady.”
Of course, the White House denies it. They deny everything.
Allahpundit notes that if the WH had ignored it, so would most of the rest of the country, even in this Googliest of ages. But noooo, they asked for a retraction and now the news is spreading.
The weirdest part of this, of course, is that the WH ended up increasing the odds that the story would get picked up by bigger media when it decided to contact the publisher to complain. She was probably shocked to find that someone so high up was paying attention to a small paper 3,000 miles away and was itching to tell someone about it. And in fact, according to Daily Caller reporter Mike Riggs, she volunteered the info to the DC after reading their story about the latest White House tantrum over its press coverage. So why’d they go ahead and tip her off that her paper’s story had irked them? The answer, I assume, is that they’ve become highly attuned to how modern media, especially online media, gets its content. I’ve never heard of the Pleasanton Weekly and doubt we’ve ever received a tip about one of its stories, but it turns out that its articles are searchable on Google News. Presumably the White House feared that some blogger or bored Politico beat reporter would be searching “Michelle Obama” for unrelated reasons and end up stumbling across the item about Marine One. Before you know it, shazam — a new “FLOTUS is an elitist!” news bubble floats into the media mainstream. In fact, I’m sure that’s how the White House found the article too, doing some daily news crawl of “Michelle Obama” items on Google or Lexis or whatever.
We don’t need any new “news” story to tell America what it already knows.