08 May 2009

Obama Administration Continues to Brow-beat the Media Into Submission

Baghdad Bob and Bob Gibbs, Separated at Birth? (courtesy Free Republic)

How hard a concept is it to grasp that public officials have a responsibility to answer questions from the media and not manipulate it to their own ends like some Ba'athist mouthpiece? The US Military understands this, most law enforcement institutions understand this, and dare I say congress might even understand this. But the Obama administration, ever in permanent campaign mode, seems obsessed with getting the media to heap praise upon them and not dare criticize The One's decisions. It's not like the White House press corps has been very critical in the first 100 days, but the President is unsatisfied that every front page article doesn't read like a press release.

Fox News recently got shut out of a Q&A session with the White House because they didn't broadcast the damn thing. Robert Gibbs started heckling NBC today when a straight-forward question from Chuck Todd was asked about Obama's sorry attempt at fiscal restraint. And now, Obama is just going straight to the reporters to tell them how to phrase his monstrous budget. From CBS:
In his remarks today, the president sought to change that tenor of that coverage. He mocked the notion that smaller savings are considered "trivial" in Washington and stressed that "these savings, large and small, add up."

And he told journalists directly that they should stress the fact that the cuts are "significant" – a surprisingly direct appeal to reporters concerning which angle they should take in their coverage.

"It is important, though, for all of you, as you're writing up these stories, to recognize that $17 billion taken out of our discretionary, non-defense budget, as well as portions of our defense budget, are significant," he said. "They mean something." (Here's the White House report on the cuts.)
And you thought the term "Banana Republic" was just some right-wing meme, mwahaha.


subrookie said...

It's important for the Obama administration to note that when I took a 5% pay cut in November, I considered it "discretionary", but when told I would take a further 20% pay cut last week (i.e., 25% of my total salary) I then considered it "significant".

In addition to my pay cut I no longer receive matching 401K contributions, have 3 less holidays a year, and am expected to work more for less.

Now, I ask The One, as I have said before, how significant is a less than 1% cut in the federal budget? Did you take a pay cut last or this year? Do you still get retirement money?

How does government gain the trust of the public? The one true responsibility of the federal government is the funding of the armed forces, outside of that most of the government spending is discretionary. 17 billion is the equivalant of one less day of pay for me at my job.

The inability of the press to pose simple, direct questions to the new administration is pathetic. If he doesn't answer them, then don't cover his press conferences. Stop treating this like a campaign.