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White House Creates Liberal Damage Control Position

Any press is good press, right? The Obama administration apparently doesn't think so.

The White House has created a new position dedicated to damage control in the media, but it appears the role will focus on spinning negative stories published on left-of-center websites -- or "progressive" blogs as the new job defines them -- not right-wing news outlets.

In an internal personnel memo first obtained by the Huffington Post, itself a liberal-slanted blog, White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer writes that staffer Jesse Lee will head up the new initiative.

"This week, Jesse Lee will move from the new media department into a role in the communications department as Director of Progressive Media & Online Response," Pfeiffer writes.

"For the last two years, Jesse has often worn two hats working in new media and serving as the White House's liaison with the progressive media and online community. Starting this week, Jesse will take on the second role full time working on outreach, strategy and response."

The administration has had to walk a delicate line with its Democratic base since coming to power in 2009. President Obama has faced increasing criticism from the left over issues like its failure to close Guantanamo Bay, sluggish efforts to promote gay rights, and continuation of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Then press secretary Robert Gibbs famously angered what he termed the "professional left," telling The Hill newspaper in August that the group goes too far in its criticism of the president.

"I hear these people saying he's like George Bush. Those people ought to be drug tested ... I mean, it's crazy," Gibbs said.

With the new position, the White House will be directly reaching out to the media and pushing back on negative reports, a politicking role traditionally left to the Democratic National Committee. Lee's background in new media will likely come to bear with quick responses to bad press and direct communication with the online liberal community.