It was weird enough when Holy Joe took the time to get pissy on Connecticut talk radio with a host who had been openly critical of him, but now according to Editor & Publisher it’s raining cats and dogs:

In an apparent effort to mend his relationship with the press, President George Bush has been holding off-the-record meetings with White House reporters for the past few days, an apparent first since he took office.

Several correspondents confirmed to E&P either participating in such meetings or being invited to them, noting that at least two have been held in the past week, with one scheduled for Tuesday. Most have lasted more than an hour and at least one took place in Bush’s private residence.

"It was very pleasant, he seemed very thoughtful and frank," said Stephan Dinan, a Washington Times reporter and one of about six reporters who took part in a session Monday afternoon. "It was on a wide range of stuff."

Monday’s gathering also included reporters from the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, and Cox Newspapers, according to sources.

These sound about as bold as Dick Cheney’s canned hunts.  In what world does George Bush need to shore up his relationship with the Wall Street Journal?  Even the obedient Deborah Howell is doing her best to enforce Happy Time Iraq News on the Washington Post.

I suppose it’s the typical response of an Administration who thinks the war is won in the pages of the press,  but still.  Does he really think those poll numbers are going to shoot up if the Moonie Times is just a bit more servile?

(photo by Ahmad of Candide’s  Notebooks)