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After Sunday Media Blitz, Obama Goes Golfing With NYT Columnist Thomas Friedman

Friedman joins a small, elite list of opinion journalists from traditional outlets who have been granted private -- and largely off the record -- audiences with the President.
 
 
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After his big five television interviews on Sunday, President Obama carved out an even larger slice of time for one print journalist, hitting the links for 18 holes of golf with New York Times columnist Tom Friedman.

The only other players, according to a pool report, were Ray Lahood, the Transportation Secretary, and Marvin Nicholson, a White House aide who previously worked on the Obama and Kerry campaigns.

Friedman joins a small, elite list of opinion journalists from traditional outlets who have been granted private -- and largely off the record -- audiences with the President. Back in January, Obama spent about 75 minutes with Friedman's Times colleagues Maureen Dowd and Frank Rich, along with National Journal's Ron Brownstein, Atlantic blogger Andrew Sullivan, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne and Eugene Robinson. That meeting balanced out a longer dinner for conservative opinion journalists from traditional outlets like The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, such as George Will, Bill Kristol, David Brooks, Charles Krauthammer, Peggy Noonan and Paul Gigot.