Friday, May 22, 2009


Do You Want Your OTV?

On April 27, President Obama welcomed the University of Connecticut Lady Huskies, who had just won the NCAA women's basketball championship.

After the event, President Obama went to the White House basketball court to shoot hoop with the Lady Huskies. The White House press corps was not allowed to attend.

My even mentioning this may seem a little petty, but the Obama administration has done this before and it's becoming an unnerving habit; this obsession with media control.

It's perfectly fine, of course, for the White House to put out its own version of events -- but is it right to do so by preventing actual reporters from covering something? (Even something like a pickup basketball game).

Do Obama White House officials think their media coverage isn't flattering enough?

No, I don't think it's right to prevent reporters from, well, reporting. And yes, it would appear that the White House feels that their coverage is not quite as flattering as it should be; clearly, they're not "feeling the love" though the love is, has been, and continues to be clearly abundant.

This is not the first time this has happened. In March, "Mr. Transparency" was honored as "Newsmaker of the Year" by the National Newspaper Publishers Association:

We are not making this up:

Barack Obama was elected commander in chief promising to run the most transparent presidential administration in American history.

This achievement and the overall promise of his historic administration caused the National Newspaper Publishers Assn. to name him "Newsmaker of the Year."

The president is to receive the award from the federation of black community newspapers in a White House ceremony this afternoon.

The Obama White House has closed the press award ceremony to the press.

So, the President is given an award by the press and the White House closes the ceremony to the press?

There is one similarity between these two instances of press exclusion. The fact that the UConn Women's Basketball Team is predominately black, and the press award was given by the Federation of Black Community Newspapers, might lead one to think that Obama, or the White House, could be sensitive to the President being seen with groups of black people. I sincerely hope that is not the case for it would be insulting to the American people.

Perhaps the administration is seeing just how far they can go in their control of the President's media image. Considering that the media have been obedient lap dogs through the campaign and the first four months of the administration, it appears that the boundary has not yet been reached and the drooling worship from the media seems to continue, largely unabated.

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