The “most open and transparent administration in history” already has quite the reputation for stonewalling and bullying the press. It's little surprise that the president was also in the practice of secretly cajoling the Daily Show into plugging his agenda.

A new Politico report reveals that Barack Obama twice called Jon Stewart to the White House for secret meetings—a process Stewart jokingly compared to being sent to the “principal’s office."

The first, a coffee meeting in 2011, came in the midst of controversial budget negotiations, while the second occurred in 2014, during the Ukraine crisis. Shortly after that meeting, Stewart aired a segment mocking Vladimir Putin.

The story emphasizes just how much weight the Obama administration gave to Stewart’s opinions. Top aide Austan Goolsbee candidly described the president's eagerness to court favor with the comedian:
Like Axelrod, Goolsbee acknowledged he would stay in touch with The Daily Show staff: He emailed with his former Yale classmate and improv comedy partner Scott Bodow, who joined The Daily Show as a writer in 2002 and now is an executive producer. That work-the-umps strategy also involved the president, who used his two Oval Office meetings with Stewart as a chance to sell the administration’s ideas. At the 2011 sit-down, Goolsbee said, the president wanted to counter his critics on the left and lay the groundwork for his 2012 re-election campaign. “The White House itself was quite interested in at least explaining its side of the story to Jon Stewart,” Goolsbee said, “up to and including the president.”

No wonder the president is so sad to see Stewart go.