Thursday, July 2, 2009

Media Controlling Obama Administration Anything but "Transparent"

Veteran White House Correspondent Helen Thomas and White House Correspondent Chip Reid grill White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on how Obama preselected reporters (namely from the liberal Huffington Post) to ask specific questions at what should be an open public forum town hall meeting:

Obama's "Town Hall" John McCain-style meeting apparently was not as open as the public forum is designed. Obama is all about IMAGE not substance. When Obama calls a good o'le fashioned open "town hall meeting" then the night before telephones reporters crafting their questions for him, then this amounts to state-run media. According to a report, veteran White House Correspondent Helen Thomas stated that 'Not even Nixon tried to control the media like Obama.' Thomas, 89, has covered the White House during every presidency since John F. Kennedy’s.

Helen said, “Nixon didn’t try to do that. They couldn’t control (the media). They didn’t try. What the hell do they think we are, puppets? They’re supposed to stay out of our business. They are our public servants. We pay them.”

In case you couldn't hear it all, the exchange (compliments to CNSNews) went like this:

Gibbs: “… But, again, let's--How about we do this? I promise we will interrupt the AP's tradition of asking the first question. I will let you [Chip Reid] ask me a question tomorrow as to whether you thought the questions at the town hall meeting that the President conducted in Annandale—“

Chip Reid: “I'm perfectly happy to—”

Helen Thomas: “That's not his point. The point is the control--”

Reid: “Exactly.”

Thomas: “We have never had that in the White House. And we have had some, but not-- This White House.”

Gibbs: “Yes, I was going to say, I'll let you amend her question.”

Thomas: “I'm amazed. I'm amazed at you people who call for openness and transparency and—”

Gibbs: “Helen, you haven't even heard the questions.”

Reid: “It doesn't matter. It's the process.”

Thomas: “You have left open—”

Reid: “Even if there's a tough question, it's a question coming from somebody who was invited or was screened, or the question was screened.”

Thomas: “It's shocking. It's really shocking.”

Gibbs: “Chip, let's have this discussion at the conclusion of the town hall meeting. How about that?”

Reid: “Okay.”

Gibbs: “I think—“

Thomas: “No, no, no, we're having it now--”

Gibbs: “Well, I'd be happy to have it now.”

Thomas: “It's a pattern.”

Gibbs: “Which question did you object to at the town hall meeting, Helen?”

Thomas: “It's a pattern. It isn't the question—”

Gibbs: “What's a pattern?”

Thomas: “It's a pattern of controlling the press.”

Gibbs: “How so? Is there any evidence currently going on that I'm controlling the press--poorly, I might add.”

Thomas: “Your formal engagements are pre-packaged.”

Gibbs: “How so?”

Reid: “Well, and controlling the public—”

Thomas: “How so? By calling reporters the night before to tell them they're going to be called on. That is shocking.”

Gibbs: “We had this discussion ad nauseam and—”

Thomas: “Of course you would, because you don't have any answers.”

Gibbs: “Well, because I didn't know you were going to ask a question, Helen.
Go ahead.”

Thomas: “Well, you should have.”

Reporter: Thank you for your support.

Gibbs: “That's good. Have you e-mailed your question today?”

Thomas: “I don't have to e-mail it. I can tell you right now what I want to ask.”

Gibbs: “I don't doubt that at all, Helen. I don't doubt that at all.”

Gibbs couldn't even treat an 89 year old veteran White House correspondent with respect, how do we expect the White House to treat its common citizens? Answer: look at how the Obama administration conducted their "open forum public town-hall" meeting. We are being controlled and manipulated. It is how Obama got 53 percent of the vote - by B.S.-ing his way into power just as he is B.S.-ing us through his term as president.

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