Monday, February 18, 2013

White House Press Corps laments lack of access

Did I call it last night, or what? Sure enough, as White House Correspondents Association President, Ed Henry lodged an official complaint about access, or lack thereof:
"Speaking on behalf of the White House Correspondents Association, I can say a broad cross section of our members from print, radio, online and TV have today expressed extreme frustration to me about having absolutely no access to the President of the United States this entire weekend,” said Henry. “There is a very simple but important principle we will continue to fight for today and in the days ahead: transparency."
And Scott Wilson's lament was especially heartbreaking. Loved this part:
For much of this outing, the small contingent of the White House press corps accompanying Obama has lobbied with little success for more information about where precisely on the Floridian grounds the president is staying, who he is staying with, and how much contact he has with other people on the grounds.
Because, America needs to know what POTUS is doing every single second of a three day vacation. Maybe they would like his bathroom schedule too?

Indeed, all our super elite insider DC Media were wailing about this egregious affront to the public's right to know. To which I say bullshit. This isn't about their concern over transparency. It's about access and the status that comes with it. Boohoo. They don't get to be all cool and gain special entry to a private club. And horrors! Some golf site reporter gets to be there and tweet all the insidery details. And he's not even in the White House press corps.

Have to love the White House's response. Which was basically: fuck you. We told you that he wasn't going to be made available before you tagged along. And frankly, I don't blame them.

I'm all about the First Amendment and holding the President accountable. But Obama works hard and he takes very little time off. He deserves a couple of days outside of the fishbowl. Pretty sure the republic will survive without knowing his golf score or seeing a photo of him with Tiger Woods until Pete Souza releases one.

The WHPC doesn't treat Obama with any respect. They don't report the substance of what he says. They're always looking for an easy gaffe or gossipy trivia that drives traffic but most often derails the actual debate over policy he is trying to have with the electorate. They snipe at and snark about him on the social nets. They uncritically transcribe every lie told by his opponents about his proposals without context that would expose the deceits. And then they wonder why he wants to escape them for a few hours?

Having come to know them a bit as people through the twitter, I actually like some of the reporters on this beat. But this over the top whining about something so inconsequential makes them look childish, and churlish. In fact, it gives the impression that what is really bothering the WHPC is their aimless haunting of the perimeter of the club this weekend made them look pretty damn irrelevant.

[Big thanks to Pete Weber at The Week for the name check and the link.]

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Blogger Daro said...

You called it!
(felt sorry you had 0 comments..)

9:58:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Ha! Thanks for the encouragement.

10:36:00 AM  

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