Saturday, November 23, 2013

What Are They Hiding?

Recently, as many as thirty-eight news organizations have signed a letter that was sent to the White House complaining about reduced access to the President and his activities.  It seems the White House is adopting a policy of barring the press from meetings and events and doing its own press releases after the fact.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest says the White House press releases are one way President Obama is keeping his administration transparent - because the public is allowed greater access to the administration at times when it wouldn't be logistically possible for the press to be present. 

Oh, OK.  Wait....  huh?  So keeping the national media out and being given only White House approved press releases and photographs after the fact is helping to keep the administration more transparent?  

That explanation defies logic for anyone except the Obama White House and the most blind Obama followers.  Even though the main stream media, for the most part, has fallen victim to Obama worship in the last five years, they're job is supposed to be monitoring and reporting government activities to the American people and the world.  Freedom of the press was set up by the founders so the government could not hide behind their own curtain of secrecy.  

But the Obama administration is cutting them off at the knees.

It must be getting serious.  The letter was addressed to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and has been signed by 38 news organizations.  All major broadcast and cable networks, wire services, Internet news outlets, and newspapers such as The New York Times and Washington Post have included their endorsements. The White House Correspondents' Association and White House News Photographers Association also endorsed the complaint. 

Josh Earnest chalked the complaint up to simple tension that exists between the press and the government. 

"The fact that there is a little bit of disagreement between the press corps and the White House press office about how much access the press corps should have to the president is built into the system," Earnest said at the daily White House news briefing. "If that tension didn't exist, then either you or we aren't doing our jobs."

However, the complaint did not cite private or restricted events.  It specifically mentioned presidential activities that are of a "fundamentally public nature," such as Obama's meetings with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Hillary Clinton and Pakistani human-rights activist Malala Yousafzai.

The Associated Press Media Editors and the American Society of News Editors have sent a letter to their members requesting they not publish the White House press releases or photos.  "We must accept that we, the press, have been enablers," the letter says. "We urge those of you in news organizations to immediately refrain from publishing any of the photographs or videos released by the White House, just as you would refuse to run verbatim a press release from them."

One can't help but wonder what the President is trying to hide by blocking media access to him and his activities.  He is already in hot water stemming from the disastrous turn of events with Obamacare.  And his relationship with the media is already somewhat strained because of the recent spying on the Associated Press.  He has had a majority of the media on his side up to now.  If he loses them he's in big trouble.  I'm not sure why he doesn't understand that.

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