Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Transparency! White House Shuts Out Boston Herald Writer

The most open and transparent White House ever! Well, except for those reporters who don't march in lockstep.
The White House Press Office has refused to give the Boston Herald full access to President Obama’s Boston fund-raiser today, in e-mails objecting to the newspaper’s front page placement of a Mitt Romney op-ed, saying pool reporters are chosen based on whether they cover the news “fairly.”

“I tend to consider the degree to which papers have demonstrated to covering the White House regularly and fairly in determining local pool reporters,” White House spokesman Matt Lehrich wrote in response to a Herald request for full access to the presidential visit.
So whatever they deem fair is how access is determined. Thanks for the heads up. Those of you covering the White House now know what it takes to get your job done. Bow and scrape before this administration.
“My point about the op-ed was not that you ran it but that it was the full front page, which excluded any coverage of the visit of a sitting US President to Boston. I think that raises a fair question about whether the paper is unbiased in its coverage of the President’s visits,” Lehrich wrote.

But Lehrich said the Herald wasn’t purposefully barred from the press pool, saying local pool duty by the Boston Globe was arranged earlier with the White House Correspondents Association. And Lehrich insisted the Herald may yet be allowed into Obama events.

“As we have in the past — including the multiple occasions on which the Herald has supplied local pool reporters — we will continue to consider the Herald for local pool duty for future visits,” Lehrich wrote.
Gee, that's very nice of them. Determining news, opinion and ad placement is now a function of the executive branch, apparently.
Glenn Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor who has followed White House-press relations at right-leaning, said a pattern appears to be developing.

“It’s all about control,” Reynolds said. “At some point this will blow back on them. Most presidents behave in a more refined fashion. Experience has shown that acting presidential is good politics and to their advantage.”

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