Friday, May 06, 2011

Slobbering Press Feels Wrath of Team Obama

Whatever happened to all that transparency we were promised in the lead up to the 2008 election? Recently stories have been published about the very thin skin worn by this administration, especially as it is now in full blown re-election campaigning mode.

This administration is making it clear - no stories showing the President and the First Lady in a less than flattering light.

Even the very liberal San Francisco newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, is feeling the effects of a true lack of transparency in terms of dealing with the White House press corps - one of their journalists was threatened with denial of credentials for covering future Bay Area events for allegedly violating agreed upon rules of covering a recent Obama campaign event.

The “rule” Marinucci broke was a restriction against print reporters’ use of electronic capture devices. Her punishment (which the White House is now denying—more on which presently) was for this breach and had nothing to do with her having gone viral with a video showing Obama in a less-than-flattering posture.

The irrefutable details of the story, which broke yesterday, include the fact that Chronicle staffer Carla Marinucci captured on videophone a group of supporters breaking into song at an Obama rally. The problem for the president, who loves being serenaded as long as the lyrics include Mmm-mmm-mmm, was the closing couplet of the ditty: “We paid our dues,/where’s our change?”

Got that? The administration made possible due to video and electronic dominance during the 2008 election cycle is now demanding journalists covering local events in the re-election bid of this president do not use electronic recording devices. Priceless.

The newspaper blames it on the communications staff working for Team Obama.

The White House communications operation has a credibility problem. On Thursday, key people in that office told The Chronicle in plain language that reporter Carla Marinucci would be banished as a pool reporter for future presidential visits because she shot video of a protest inside an Obama fund-raising event in San Francisco. The White House further threatened "retaliation to Chronicle and Hearst reporters if we reported on the ban," said Editor Ward Bushee.On Friday, the White House flat-out denied that such exchanges took place.

And, for equal time, those offering a less than glowing observation of the First Lady in a newspaper piece will also be sanctioned.

A small weekly paper in California claims that a White House official asked it to remove a sentence from a “benign” feature about Marine One because it reflected poorly on first lady Michelle Obama.

In an email to The Daily Caller, Gina Channell-Allen, president of the Pleasanton Weekly in Pleasanton, California, said that her paper “received a call from the White House asking us to take out part of the story because it reflected poorly on the First Lady.”The story in question was a soft feature about Marine One titled, “Inside Marine One, President Obama’s helicopter,” that ran in the paper on April 20. Pleasanton staffer Amory Gutierrez “didn’t get to ride in ‘Marine One,’” she wrote in her story, “but I did get the VIP tour and took photographs of the otherwise unseen aircraft.”

She also wrote a sentence that the White House thought made FLOTUS look snooty.

“Basically the reporter said that the First Lady didn’t speak to the pilots but acknowledged them by making eye contact,” Allen wrote in her email.

Those Chicago politicians play for keeps, don't they? They are desperate for the gauzy, fuzzy, hope and changey stories that produced a solid win in 2008 for Barack Obama. The media willingly and enthusiastically helped in that mission. Now some of the glow has faded and our country is in an economic mess, with little light at the end of the tunnel. The very candidate they refused to fully vet as he came out of nowhere to run for president has now turned on them.

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