Hey, if you had that much to hide, you’d be secretive too.
The Obama White House has clamped down more on the flow of information from the administration to the media – and from the media to the public – than any of its predecessors, a report by a journalism group concluded last week.
“What’s significant here is the very sophisticated, very successful, very determined way they’ve gone about doing this,” said former Washington Post Downie Executive Editor Leonard Downie, the chairman of the Committee to Protect Journalists.
“Most administrations aren’t very successful. This one has been very tightly disciplined.”
The report makes no bones about its findings, opening with the sentence: “In the Obama administration’s Washington, government officials are increasingly afraid to talk to the press.”
Downie was quoted in an interview with The Nation, one of the leftiest rags running in this country, in an article headlined “A Grim Report on Press Freedoms under Obama.”
He’s a veteran of Washington politics and Washington journalism, but he’s got the significance of the report released wrong.
It’s not so much that the White House is so sophisticated and successful that significant, it’s that the report opens the possibility – however slight – that the American media might start to atone for prostituting its profession to put Obama in the White House in the first place.
The media might even rethink how it did so much to keep him there in a re-election campaign against a candidate who was a better man by any measure of the word.
But what’s funny about the report is that it sounds so pathetically naïve. It’s introduction begins: “U.S. President Barack Obama came into office pledging open government, but he has fallen short of his promise.”
But has fallen short of his promise? What is this, a fifth-grade report card?
He might have fallen short of what the media thought he promised. He’s more than lived up to what conservatives knew five years ago and the scandals have barely been covered by the media that’s now crying foul: Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the IRS, Obamacare.
And they’re surprised the White House isn’t forthcoming?
If you had that much to hide, you’d be secretive too.