Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Obama's Increasing Disdain For The Press

Well, this is a fine how-do-you-do for a press that was completely sycophantic for Obama, did his bidding, published whatever he, Plouffe, or Axelrod claimed about Obama without EVER bothering to look it up (except for a very, very few intrepid reporters, like John Kass and Lynn Sweet, both out of Chicago). The same press that made his attacks for him, groundless and baseless though they may have been, that the Clintons were racist, Hillary* knew nothing about foreign policy since she had only gone from the "airport to the embassy," and watched kids dance whenever she traveled abroad as First Lady, as well as touting the meme that Obama grew up the poor child of a poor single mother.

*Bonus - Obama mentioned in his attack on Clinton's foreign policy experience that he went to Pakistan in college. HOW??? Americans weren't allowed to travel to Pakistan then. Maybe if the press did their jobs, they would have followed up on that little nugget. Newsflash! It's not too late!!!! Sheesh.

The press ran with his lame-ass excuse that he was never all that close to Jeremiah Wright ANYWAY, since we were all learning what kind of pastor and church Obama attended. So, he referred to him as "uncle," acting like he was some wacky relative you couldn't get rid of, yet he CHOSE to sit in his church for over 20 years. And Bill Ayers? Oh, he was just some guy in his neighborhood. Never mind that Obama had known, and worked, with him for years. P-shaw, people - who are you gonna believe, the naysayers or The One?

As they say, the proverbial chickens are coming home to roost. I am surprised it is happening this quickly, actually. Yep - Obama is blowing off the press, international as well as national, including breaking with protocol (oh THERE'S a surprise. The man cares nothing for decorum and protocol, which strutting in to "99 Problems But a Bitch Ain't One" should have told anyone. And if THAT wasn't enough, maybe this photo should have:

Oh, yeah - Jay-Z in the Situation Room at the White House. I think we can assume that Obama is pretty fond of his misogynistic music, wouldn't you?

So, the press may finally be getting that smack upside the head they have needed for the past few years regarding Obama in this Dana Millbank article(I know, right? Maybe he got himself some smelling salts to snap out of it already.):
Obama's Disregard For Media Reaches New Heights At Nuclear Summit.

World leaders arriving in Washington for President Obama's Nuclear Security Summit must have felt for a moment that they had instead been transported to Soviet-era Moscow.

They entered a capital that had become a military encampment, with camo-wearing military police in Humvees and enough Army vehicles to make it look like a May Day parade on New York Avenue, where a bicyclist was killed Monday by a National Guard truck.

In the middle of it all was Obama -- occupant of an office once informally known as "leader of the free world" -- putting on a clinic for some of the world's greatest dictators in how to circumvent a free press.

The only part of the summit, other than a post-meeting news conference, that was visible to the public was Obama's eight-minute opening statement, which ended with the words: "I'm going to ask that we take a few moments to allow the press to exit before our first session."

Reporters for foreign outlets, many operating in repressive countries, got the impression that the vaunted American freedoms are not all they're cracked up to be.

Yasmeen Alamiri from the Saudi Press Agency got this lesson in press freedom when trying to cover Obama's opening remarks as part of a limited press "pool": "The foreign reporters/cameramen were escorted out in under two minutes, just as the leaders were about to begin, and Obama was going to make remarks. . . . Sorry, it is what it is."

Alamiri's counterparts from around the world had similar experiences. Arabic-language MBC TV's Nadia Bilbassy had this to say of Obama's meeting with the Jordanian king: "We were there for around 30 seconds, not enough even to notice the color of tie of both presidents. I think blue for the king."

Ah, yes - repairing the image of the United States around the world, that Obama, isn't he? Sure, right:
Lalit K. Jha of the Press Trust of India, at Obama's meeting with the Pakistani prime minister, reported, "In less than a minute, the pool was asked to leave." The Yomiuri Shimbun correspondent found that she was "ushered out about 30 seconds" after arriving for Obama's meeting with the Malaysian prime minister. Emel Bayrak of Turkey's TRT-Turk went to Obama's meeting with the president of Armenia but "we had to leave the room again after less than 40 seconds."

"When you only see the president for 15 or 20 seconds without him asking if you have any questions, it's very frustrating," said Laura Haim of France's Canal+, which persuaded the White House to include foreign outlets in the press pool. "It's very important for this president, who wants to restore the image of the United States, to have more access."

Obama's official schedule for Tuesday would have pleased China's Central Committee. Excerpts: "The President will attend the Heads of Delegation working lunch. This lunch is closed press . . . The President will meet with Prime Minster Erdogan of Turkey. This meeting is closed press. . . . The President will attend Plenary Session II of the Nuclear Security Summit. This session is closed press."

Hey, maybe THAT'S why he bowed to the Chinese president, Hu Jintao, at the Nuclear Summit he just finished hosting in Washington, DC (no excuses about "cultural expectations" this time, folks). he was thanking him for giving him the rubric for how to run meetings and cut off the press! Yeah, that's the ticket! (and I LOVE that Media Matters refers to Obama's bowing to foreign leaders, who do NOT bow back, as "supposed." Are you kidding me with that kind of dissembling? Please. You know, Media Matters actually used to be a site for which I had respect. I thought it really did work to highlight improper reporting, regardless who was doing it. Nice to get those rose-colored glasses off. Because if they can't accept that Obama has been bowing to other leaders (he was practically scraping the floor meeting the Emperor of Japan), they have zero credibility on this issue. (Photo by Jim Watson, AFP/Getty Images)

Back to Millbank and the reporters being a bit taken aback by the "transparency" and "openness" of this "hopey, changey" president:
Reporters, even those on the White House beat for two decades, said it was the most restrictive set of meetings they had ever seen in Washington. They complained to both the administration and White House Correspondents' Association, which will discuss the matter Thursday with White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.

The restrictions have become a common practice for the Obama White House. When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to the White House a couple of weeks ago, reporters were kept away. Soon after that, Obama signed an executive order on abortion, again without any coverage.

Over the weekend, Obama broke with years of protocol and slipped off to a soccer game without the "protective" pool that is always in the vicinity of the president in case the unthinkable occurs. Obama joked about it later to Pakistan's prime minister, saying reporters "were very upset."

Ahahahaha. Those silly, pesky little reporters! Isn't it amusing that Obama broke with years of protocol (think back to his treatment of Prime Minister Brown, "rudeness personified," press people) by shaking them off and not treating them like professionals trying to do their jobs? Oh, that's a good one. I'm sure they are ALL laughing about it - not.

Back to the Millbank article and the Summit:
In "bilateral" meetings with foreign leaders, presidents usually take questions, or at least trade statements. But at most of Obama's, there were only written "readouts":

Canada: "The president and the prime minister noted the enduring strength of our bilateral partnership." India: "The two leaders vowed to continue to strengthen the robust relationship between the people of their countries." Pakistan: "President Obama began by noting that he is very fond of Pakistan."

Reporters, many in a "filing center" about a quarter-mile away from the leaders' meetings, relied on dispatches from colleagues allowed in as the press pool. The dispatches, over three days, were uniform: "They were too far away to hear conversation. . . . Again, Obama had nothing to say of substance that pooler heard. . . . We were in for all of 30 seconds. No news; no quotes and again no statements. . . . Same deal folks."

Finally, Obama walked over to a group of reporters Monday afternoon. Would he give them an account of his meetings? "I'll let somebody else do it," he said with a smile.

Oh, well, I am sure they all swooned and lapped up the fleeting attention. Right? Let's hope not. Let's hope they are FINALLY going to start looking at this man they helped get into the White House, OUR White House, on half truths, denials of relationships and reality, blessed little investigative reporting on, well, ANYTHING of substance when it came to Obama (remember, they couldn't be bothered to send anyone to the distant lands of CHICAGO, but they could send a whole bunch to Wasilla, Alaska). Maybe now, just maybe, they will start to do their jobs in time to get this charlatan, this egotist, out of our White House in 2012. Actually LOOK at his record, FIND his records, stop buying rumors and innuendos from his people, QUESTION what you are told by this most nontransparent of presidents. Do your jobs. Hop to it already.

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