The White House Scrambles to Tame the News Cyclone

Obama's advisers are trying to rewrite the rules of presidential p.r. to stay ahead of an unforgiving, 24/7 news swirl

Stephen Crowley / The New York Times / Redux

White House Press Sec. Robert Gibbs takes questions.

Here are a few scenes from a revolution: In early February, Barack Obama ended a six-month press-conference drought by taking questions from YouTube. When a madman crashed his plane into a Texas office building a couple of weeks later, the White House responded on its blog. And during the bipartisan summit on health reform, press secretary Robert Gibbs used Twitter to keep score.

The news cycle that once defined the day at the White House has given way to a more ferocious beast. Call it the news cyclone, a massive force without beginning or end that churns...

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