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Held In Contempt

- May 18, 2011

Today’s Boston Fundraisers Provide Just The Latest Evidence Of Obama’s Contempt For The Media 

“President Obama Is Scheduled To Sweep Through Boston Today For The Second Time In Three Months…” (Donovan Slack, “Cash Brings Obama Back To Town,” The Boston Globe5/18/11)

OBAMA’S TRIP TO BOSTON WILL FEATURE ONE OF HIS CAMPAIGN’S MOST DISTURBING STRATEGIES: BANNING JOURNALISTS THEY DON’T LIKE

Obama’s White House “Has A Special Place For Perceived ‘Unfair’ Media — At Least 500 Feet Away.” “But apparently this White House has a different view. It has a special place for perceived “unfair” media — at least 500 feet away.” (Joe Battenfeld, Op-Ed, “Obama Off The Deep End,” The Boston Herald5/18/11)

Obama Heads To Two Boston Fundraisers Tonight. “Obama plans to attend a fund-raiser this afternoon at the Boston Center for the Arts in the South End and then another at the Brookline residence of advertising mogul Jack Connors, where supporters will pay up to $35,800 per couple to dine on poached shrimp and beef tenderloin with the president.” (Donovan Slack, “Cash Brings Obama Back To Town,” The Boston Globe5/18/11)

But The White House Has Blackballed A Boston Herald Reporter Because They Felt Obama Wasn’t Being Treated “Fairly” By The Newspaper.  “The White House Press Office has refused to give the Boston Herald full access to President Obama’s Boston fund-raiser today, in e-mails objecting to the newspaper’s front page placement of a Mitt Romney op-ed, saying pool reporters are chosen based on whether they cover the news ‘fairly.’” (Hillary Chabot, “White House Shuts Out Herald Scribe,” The Boston Herald5/18/11)

  • The White House Spokesman Said They Considered How Reporters Treat The White House Before Allowing Them Access. “‘I tend to consider the degree to which papers have demonstrated to covering the White House regularly and fairly in determining local pool reporters,’ White House spokesman Matt Lehrich wrote in response to a Herald request for full access to the presidential visit.” (Hillary Chabot, “White House Shuts Out Herald Scribe,” The Boston Herald5/18/11)

Just Last Month, The San Francisco Chronicle’s Carla Marinucci Was Threatened With Banishment For Taking A Video Of Protestors At Obama’s Fundraiser. “White House officials have banished one of the best political reporters in the country from the approved pool of journalists covering presidential visits to the Bay Area for using now-standard multimedia tools to gather the news. The Chronicle's Carla Marinucci - who, like many contemporary reporters, has a phone with video capabilities on her at all times -shot some protesters interrupting an Obama fundraiser at the St. Regis Hotel.” (Phil Bronstein, “Chronicle Responds After Obama Administration Punishes Reporter For Using Multimedia, Then Claims They Didn't,” The San Francisco Chronicle’s “Bronstein At Large” Blog, 4/28/11)

“‘Newspapers Don’t Have To Be Unbiased To Get Access. You Can’t Just Let Only The Newspapers You Want In,’ Said Boston University Journalism Professor Fred Bayles.” (Hillary Chabot, “White House Shuts Out Herald Scribe,” The Boston Herald5/18/11)

OF COURSE, OBAMA’S TEAM SPARRING WITH REPORTERS WHO QUESTION THEIR OFFICIAL LINE IS NOTHING NEW

Obama Said News Outlets Like Fox News Are “Ultimately Destructive For The Long-Term Growth” Of America. “I think Fox is part of that tradition — it is part of the tradition that has a very clear, undeniable point of view. It's a point of view that I disagree with. It's a point of view that I think is ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country that has a vibrant middle class and is competitive in the world.” (Jann S. Wenner, “Obama in Command: The Rolling Stone Interview,” The Rolling Stone9/28/10)

FLASHBACK 2008: “Barack Obama's Campaign Has Booted From Its Airplane Three Reporters Who Work For Newspapers That Have Endorsed John McCain.” (Russell Goldman, “Obama Boots Reporters From Conservative Papers,” ABC News10/31/08)

  • “Eliminated From The Plane's Traveling Press Were The Washington Times, The New York Post And The Dallas Morning News.” (Russell Goldman, “Obama Boots Reporters From Conservative Papers,” ABC News10/31/08)
  • Glamour And Jet Magazines Were Allowed To Remain On Board. “The campaign says that a limited number of seats forced it to make the tough decision of which journalists would be permitted to follow the Democratic presidential candidate in the last four days of the campaign, but the papers are calling foul, claiming they were targeted for their editorial-page positions and kicked off while nonpolitical publications like Glamour and Jet magazines remained on board.” (Russell Goldman, “Obama Boots Reporters From Conservative Papers,” ABC News10/31/08)

AND WHEN IT COMES TO THEIR FUNDRAISING, ALL PRESS IS SHUT OUT

“Pres. Obama Often Trumpets That His White House Is More Transparent And Open Than Any Other. But It's Clear He Does Not Apply That Approach To His Political Fund-Raising.” (Mark Knoller, “Obama Campaign Won't Reveal Fundraising Numbers,” CBS News4/19/11)

“Pres. Obama's Re-Election Campaign Won't Be Disclosing How Much Money Is Taken In At The Individual Fundraising Events Attended By Pres. Obama. Neither Will The Democratic National Committee.” (Mark Knoller, “Obama Campaign Won't Reveal Fundraising Numbers,” CBS News4/19/11)

  • And Won’t Disclose Its Fundraising Goals. “Obama advisers anticipate that the president's campaign will face questions about whether it is on track to meet internal fundraising targets, which have not been disclosed” (Marc Ambinder, “Obama Expects Modest Fundraising Quarter,” National Journal5/18/11)
  • Other Re-Election Campaigns Have Disclosed The Totals From Individual Events. “The Obama Campaign is not the first to adopt such a policy, although Pres. Bush's re-election operation in 2004 freely disclosed how much money was taken in at individual events.” (Mark Knoller, “Obama Campaign Won't Reveal Fundraising Numbers,” CBS News4/19/11) 

Spotty, Partial Access To His Remarks Shouldn't Be The Standard” For The President. “As Knoller notes, Obama is the president and a candidate for reelection. Spotty, partial access to his remarks shouldn't be the standard, and Knoller raised the issue at the briefing.” (Julie Mason, “Knoller’s Lonely Vigil,” Politico,4/26/11)

JUST MORE EVIDENCE THAT OBAMA HAS “GENUINE” CONTEMPT FOR THE PRESS

“The President Hasn't Taken Questions From The Press Since April 5, And Then He Only Called On Four Reporters.” (Julie Mason, “Obama’s One-Way Conversation,” Politico5/17/11)

Obama Has A “Genuine” Disdain For The Media. “While Obama’s disdain for the media has always been, by all accounts, quite genuine, he’s also a proven master of the froth he disdains, skillfully navigating the treacherous questions of race and experience in a presidential campaign that echoed in his appearance Tuesday.” (Ben Smith, “Obama Takes On The Freak Show,” Politico4/27/11)

Obama’s White House Has A Rare “Level Of Anger” Aimed At The Press. “In April 2010, Bloomberg’s Ed Chen, president of the White House Correspondent’s Association, met with then-Press Secretary Robert Gibbs to hash out complaints about limitations on the press, saying, ‘In my 10-plus years at the White House, rarely have I sensed such a level of anger ... over White House practices and attitudes toward the press.’” (Hillary Chabot, “White House Shuts Out Herald Scribe,” The Boston Herald5/18/11)

“Obama, It Seems, Does Not Like The Uncontrolled Q&A.” (Julie Mason, “Obama’s Leeriness Of The Press,” Politico3/2/11)

  • “Why Should You Care? It Goes To Accountability.” (Julie Mason, “Obama’s Leeriness Of The Press,” Politico3/2/11)

Obama Has “An Aversion” To Unscripted Sessions With The Press. “Obama in particular appears to have an aversion to the brief sessions -- typically, featuring the pool in the Oval Office -- that are a stock way for the White House to lead the news, get their message out and do it via the president, without all the angsty prep of a major presser.” (Julie Mason, “Obama’s Leeriness Of The Press,” Politico3/2/11)

The Obama Way: “Government-By-Press-Release.” “It was during the budget impasse, and since then we've seen the birth certificate, the end of Osama bin Laden, a deficit crisis looming, a big immigration reform push, the resignation of his Mideast peace envoy and more -- all without questions, all government-by-press-release.” (Julie Mason, “Obama’s One-Way Conversation,” Politico5/17/11)


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