What this act does is it sends a strong message from the United States government and from the State Department that we are paying attention to how other governments are operating when it comes to the press. It has the State Department each year chronicling how press freedom is operating as one component of our human rights assessment, but it also looks at countries that are -- governments that are specifically condoning or facilitating this kind of press repression, singles them out and subjects them to the gaze of world opinion in ways that I think are extraordinarily important.
OK, so is this bill just another David Axelrod / Barack Obama joke on the American people? This must really have had them snickering up their sleeves.
Barack Hussein Obama, he of the most open and transparent administration evah, hasn't had a press conference since July 22, 2009. That's 307 days. Those who defend him would say that he answers lots of questions from reporters--just not in the traditional news conference setting. Right. He's done many one-on-one interviews, mostly with completely sycophantic "reporters"--a venue which he can control. One-on-ones aren't press conferences. The reason he stays away from unscripted events is because he can't go off the teleprompter without making a buffoon of himself--and his handlers know that. But BushChimpy was so stuuuupid. Right.
After Obama signed the press freedom bill, Chip Reid of CBS News asked the president if he still has confidence in BP in the wake of the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Obama ignored the question. Reid tried again: "In the interest of press freedom, would you take a couple of questions on BP?"
Obama: "You're certainly free to ask them, Chip."
Reporter: "Will you answer them? How about a question on Iran?
Obama: "This isn't a press conference today, but we'll be seeing you guys during the course of this week. OK?"
Reid said he asked the question, knowing Obama wouldn't answer him, "because the irony was just too rich to ignore."
Of course, if you go to the White House website to view the signing of this bill, the exchange between Obama and the reporter has been edited out.
Some of these leftist so-called "journalists" are actually starting to wake up to the fact that Obama holds them in complete disdain--despite their sycophancy. Even Chuck-y Todd, NBC's White House correspondent, acknowledges the lack of access to Obama: "Obama himself is the one who doesn't like dealing with the press. You can't even do shouted questions." For the love of God--says who? Imagine the press saying that about any other president.
Although I guess most reporters have decided not to waste their breath with "shout out" questions to Obama. Here's the result of one recent attempt last week.
Why does Obama ignore the press? Says Byron York, Because he can. Hey, Jurassic Journalists--you created this monster. Now what are you going to do about it?
Rasmussen Obama Disapproval Index for May 25, 2010
According to Rasmussen, Obama's "approval" rating with the American people has hit a new low: -20. Way to go, champ. And Rasmussen says that, at least for the moment, these downward numbers aren't reflecting his handling of the Gulf spill. So I guess that means that if people finally catch on to the abysmal job that ObamaTeam has been doing with the Gulf oil spill, then Barry's numbers may go even lower. Huh.
Update. Just as a comparison, President George H.W. Bush had nearly three press conferences a month. Bill Clinton and Lyndon Johnson averaged about two a month. Ronald Reagan had less than one every two months. Richard Nixon averaged one every seven weeks.
This quote is from Howard Kurtz of The Washington Post: “The White House has to use the covert threat of a cutoff in White House access for networks that refuse to play ball. The alphabet networks all know that the Obama White House has largely frozen Fox’s access to administration officials. They know that Obama grants his friends access while cutting off his enemies. This endangers the independence of the press in a catastrophic way . . . .With Obama openly pressuring the networks to accede to its requests or face a reportorial cutoff, we are witnessing the hijacking of the First Amendment in toto.”