Courtesy of The FishBowl, Washington, DC.
After being shut out of the President’s Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) appealed to the White House for press corps access to an event that’s been called one of the President’s most important foreign policy priorities for almost a year – the signing of the START Treaty. The letter from the news group reads in part:
On behalf of the White House Correspondents Association we are writing to protest in the strongest possible terms the White House’s decision to close the President’s Cabinet meeting on Tuesday and his signing of the START Treaty today to the full press pool.
Prior to the President’s statement Tuesday night, the press corps had not received a substantive update from the White House all day on the situation in Egypt. In addition, the press corps did not have an on-camera briefing, or an off-camera gaggle, with you yesterday to ask the White House about its decision-making process during this major foreign policy crisis. Now for two straight days the full press pool is being shut out of events that have typically been open and provided opportunities try to ask the President a question.
Obama campaigned on openness. All important hearings were going to be broadcast on CSPAN. He broke that promise. CSPAN was denied access to the most important hearings of the Obama administration’s two years in office. Obama pledged that every bill would be posted on the internet at least 5 days before it was signed to give the public time to read them and and make their opinions known to their representatives. He failed to keep that promise as well. Even members of Congress, Republican members, were denied copies of the final bill in time to analyze what they contained before voting on them.
We have commented before, on the pre-selection process this president uses to choose which members of the press are going to be allowed to present a question when the president concludes his opening remarks. The format retains the appearance of the spontaneity, but spontaneity no longer not exists.
We have seen Fox News barred from a general press event until the other agencies took a strong stance in defense of Fox and the Fourth Estate.
No other president in history of this great nation has been less open and more controlling of the press than Barack Obama.
Houston, we have a problem.