Patterico's Pontifications


The Most Transparent Administration …

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:23 am


56 Responses to “The Most Transparent Administration …”

  1. My question to Phil Bronstein would be this: did his reporter agree to a set of ground rules, then flout them? The wisdom of any particular set of ground rules can certainly be questioned, but I’d like to believe we still live in a world where people are expected to keep their word.

    angeleno (2ffd38)

  2. And people thought Joe Wilson was exaggerating when he said, “You Lie!”.

    As it turns out, he was only speaking trooooooooof! to pow-ah…

    And more folks are starting to take notice.

    Bob Reed (5f2db5)

  3. The Chronicle knew that Barcky’s people were going to lie. They knew it.

    Angeleno – there was no rule against a print journlist taking pics or video.

    JD (306f5d)

  4. Phil Bronstein was married to Sharon Stone

    also he was bitten by a komodo dragon once

    ouch ouch

    happyfeet (760ba3)

  5. Angeleno: You’re comment does not particularly address this post. Any group or individual touting itself as ‘Transparent’ wouldn’t attempt to make or enforce such a ridiculous, and frankly unenforceable, rule.

    Regardless of Carla’s Mannucci’s actions, this is a charge against the Administration, and frankly it is, or should be, devastating.

    Spike (4573c4)

  6. [T]his is a charge against the Administration, and frankly it is…devastating.

    Misguided and probably unrealistic, as well. “Devastating” seems a bit much.

    My question came from my own experiences working with the press (and Phil in particular).

    angeleno (2ffd38)

  7. bronstein well known guy
    twin peaks tavern in Castro
    ask me how I know

    ColonelHaiku (cdd0f9)

  8. _____________________________________________

    where people are expected to keep their word.

    That I can live with, make excuses for, or rationalize away—although this nation’s current presidency doesn’t deserve it. OTOH, this I cannot accept…

    What’s worse: more than a few journalists familiar with this story are aware of some implied threats from the White House of additional and wider punishment if Carla’s spanking became public.

    Welcome to the Banana Republic of America.

    Mark (411533)

  9. “I’d like to believe we still live in a world where people are expected to keep their word.”

    I live in a world where Gitmo is still open.

    Dave Surls (ce9055)

  10. Just waiting for the trolls to say the woman had it coming.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  11. Any group or individual touting itself as ‘Transparent’ wouldn’t attempt to make or enforce such a ridiculous, and frankly unenforceable, rule.

    Comment by Spike — 4/30/2011 @ 8:54 am

    As an aside, another thing they wouldn’t attempt to do is sit on an easily-obtained record like a B/C for nearly 3 yr.s. Not if they had an ounce of integrity and actually intended to live up to the standards that a certain unnamed individual claimed he would during his inauguration address. Something about “transparency and information will be the hallmark of my administration” and that if the American people want to know something, whether he or any prior president wanted to withold it, if it is legal to release he would do so.

    Now, back to your regularly scheduled comment thread.

    This isn’t the first time BHO has punished reporters. If you recall, during the campaign he kicked reporters from the Dallas Morning News & the WaPo out of the press pool because their papers endorsed McCain.

    This, bye the bye, is why it’s so ominous that the administration is demanding by regulation that companies with federal business disclose the individual campaign contributions of its directors and executives. So they can disbar them from doing business with the feds if they’re backing the wrong horse.

    The Obama admin is transparent.

    Steve (95c09f)

  12. ‘A 2009 blog by the White House Director of New Media states that “President Obama is committed to making his administration the most open and transparent in history.”‘

    This can easily be explained:

    Lefties are pathological liars. They’ll lie anytime, anywhere for any reason, or no reason at all.

    Dave Surls (ce9055)

  13. This has absolutely nothing to do with “rules”. This is about the fact that there were protesters–very loud lefist protesters–at the Obama event, who directly confronted the president of the United States. Carla witnessed it, and, as a journalist she reported it. Doesn’t fit the Dems’ meme. (Only Republicans get protested at their events, don’t you know?) If this had been a usual love fest and Carla had used the same exact technology to report it, would there be a stink from the WH? Obviously not.

    Maybe her courage and professionalism will give any remaining reporters out there with a spine and some personal pride the inspiration to follow suit. Report the facts, not the narrative, journalists.

    elissa (b7ea05)

  14. The most transparent thin-skinned administration . . . evah!!!

    Icy Texan (37fb48)

  15. 10. Just waiting for the trolls to say the woman had it coming.
    Comment by DohBiden — 4/30/2011 @ 9:26 am

    — Did you not read comment #1?

    Icy Texan (37fb48)

  16. Where was SF Gate when slow Joe’s staff locked that FL reporter in a closet a few weeks back? Were they outraged? I truly don’t know/remember.

    Chris (eafa5f)

  17. “Barack Obama sold himself successfully as a fresh wind for the 21st century.”

    When his is, in fact, the stale fart of 19th century buttinski elitist socialism.

    C. S. P. Schofield (8b1968)

  18. Greetings:

    My father came to this country from southwest Ireland back in 1927. He lived in northern Manhattan on Edgecombe Avenue, not far from the Polo Grounds, the home field of the then New York Giants major league baseball team. As part of his assimilation process, he became a great fan of the team and attended many of its games especially before the arrival of television. When I arrived and gained sufficient control of my biology, he would take me to games more than several times a year. (There was a special “shuttle” subway train from our part of the Bronx over to the stadium on game days.) When the Giants and the Dodgers absconded in 1958, both teams earned my father’s eternal animosity for their disloyalty. We both would kid each other that, when the Giants played the Dodgers, we couldn’t lose.

    That’s pretty much my overall assessment of this crisis of the nation.

    It seems to me that the SF Chronicle-ers don’t really want to answer the question about whether their reporter agreed to the no filming restriction. They do the usual song and dance routine that we have come to know every time those on the left come up against a standard that they intend to disregard or define downward. So, we get the not unusual references to “but everyone’s doing it” and pen and paper is just so “Stone Age”. But really, the issue seems to me to be did the reporter agree to the condition. My father spent a good deal of his time explaining and reinforcing his concept of hospitality to me. When in someone else’s home, their rules govern; if you don’t like them leave. Similarly, if people don’t like the rules of our home they are both free and expected to leave. Now, I can certainly understand how, if this is not “Stone Age” thinking it certainly seems like “Roman Age” thinking not much unlike that whole “a man’s word is his bond” thing. And some people are just so much more equal that their requirement of flexibility from others is to always be both expected and granted.

    Now, the Chronicle-ers failure to accept any punishment should not really be any more surprising than say having your leg chewed on by a co-located Komodo Dragon. Far be it for me to defend the current regime, but apparently all those “Digital Age” wunderkinder in the White House Communication Office didn’t get the Twitter about not getting into a letter-writing campaign with an organization that buys its ink by the barrel. (Perhaps, it only circulates as a hardcopy memo?) So, another little episode of “gangster government” goes awry, but to the aggrieved at the Chronicle, this is, if not another Middle East war, a middling left war. “Lips were moving!” they cry, or not moving, or whatever. A couple of the glorious Obama’s chicken’s roost at the Chronicle and it’s a First Amendment Apocalypse. Panties were knotting in all the bathrooms in the building. My God, the Horror.

    Hee, hee, hee, how happy I be.

    11B40 (b3720b)

  19. Angeleno fails to disappoint.

    And to the planned parenthood worshipping lefturds on this site and many others no one gives a flying leap about your silliness about bush committing 9-11.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  20. Report the facts, not the narrative, journalists.

    Agree. The dispute, however, seems not to be over the fact that it was reported, but that it was reported via video. This is the sort of thing frequently addressed by “ground rules.”

    Do I know for sure that this is what the dispute is about? No. Frankly, I’m speculating. I’m trying to read between the lines of Bronstein’s column, drawing on my own experience.

    I think Phil makes a good case that limiting print reporters to print reporting only, given the technology we all carry around these days, is futile and silly

    I would add that sometimes ground rules of this kind reflect tensions between print and broadcast outlets. There’s frequently a lot of tension related to who gets to be in the pool and who gets to do what. The motivation for imposing ground rules sometimes comes from attempts to mediate that tension.

    But, yes, the motivation is often to try to control the message.

    Has the Obama administration lived up to its transparency rhetoric from the campaign. No, I don’t think it has, certainly not fully. I just have some doubts about the significance of the particular event Phil Bronstein addresses in the column our host linked to.

    angeleno (2ffd38)

  21. Doh – that is way over the top for angeleno.

    JD (6e25b4)

  22. _____________________________________________

    It’s deja vu all over again. However, this time the laser beam of the current White House was aimed at people of the left (ie, SF Chronicle and its staffers), or people and organizations closer to Obama’s side (ie, ultra-liberal) of the political spectrum., October 2009:

    The Obama administration on Thursday failed in its attempt to exclude Fox News from participating in an interview of an administration official, as Republicans on Capitol Hill stepped up their criticism of the hardball tactics employed by the White House.

    The Treasury Department on Thursday tried to make “pay czar” Kenneth Feinberg available for interviews to every member of the network pool except Fox News…. But the Washington bureau chiefs of the five TV networks consulted and decided that none of their reporters would interview Feinberg unless Fox News was included.

    The pushback came after White House senior adviser David Axelrod told ABC News’ “This Week” on Sunday that Fox News is not a real news organization and other news networks “ought not to treat them that way.”

    “I’m really cheered by the other members saying “No, if Fox can’t be part of it, we won’t be part of it,'” said Baltimore Sun TV critic David Zurawik, calling the move to limit Feinberg’s availability “outrageous.”

    “I think that what our advisers simply said is, is that we are going to take media as it comes,” Obama said when asked about his advisers targeting the network openly. “And if media is operating, basically, as a talk radio format, then that’s one thing. And if it’s operating as a news outlet, then that’s another. But it’s not something I’m losing a lot of sleep over.”

    Mark (411533)

  23. I find it funny how the left insists fascism is a right wing ideology but they go ahead and ban people who don’t kiss their rings.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  24. Not sure about the significance? They ran out a reporter, and threatened the media outlet with worse if they spoke of the reporter being run out, just because she committed an act of journalism. It typifies the heavy and ham-handed control Barcky tries to exert. The only thing about it that is striking is that the MFM called him out on it. How many times has this happened where the MFM just submitted? Given thei willingness to throw around threats, is seems to be common. Hell, the Chronicle knew they were going to lie.

    JD (822109)

  25. The idea that there are any ground rules at all in our new 21st century digital society sort of went out the window for most of us with wikileaks. Angeleno may be right that small part of the kerfuffle is petty tension between different kinds of reporters. But that is minuscule when reflected against the White House’s attempts to manage the news and the embarrassment to them when they were caught at it red handed. Freedom of the press indeed.

    elissa (b7ea05)

  26. Exactly mark any lefty who dares to criticize obama is branded a far-right sellout and banned.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  27. “Do I know for sure that this is what the dispute is about? No. Frankly, I’m speculating. I’m trying to read between the lines of Bronstein’s column, drawing on my own experience.”

    angeleno – Does it matter what the dispute is about?

    To me the issue is simple. Did the White House punish a reporter and news organization and then lie about it. Those are simple questions to answer.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  28. transparency is for elections.

    tommy mc donnell (397858)

  29. #2: Yes, Joe Wilson was the only one with the nerve to call Obama a liar to his face, but then he weaseled out and apologized. The only thing he should have said was, “I’m sorry you are a liar”.

    I saw something yesterday about the Chronicle covering for Obama in 2008 by not releasing some info, but I can’t remember all the details. So, guess Obama and the Chronicle are even now. If I could remember where I saw it, I would link it. I read too much.

    PatAZ (81cf34)

  30. daley, it matters if press relations is your livelihood.

    But I agree with you that the WH shouldn’t deny something they said or did, even when it’s revealed through a breach of a promise of confidentiality. A spokesman should never say anything he knows to be untrue.

    angeleno (2ffd38)

  31. It wasn’t revealed because of a breach, angeleno. You seem to want to focus on the writer taing a video rather than the admin’s attempts to coerce the MFM after the fact. They threatened to ban a writer, and a media outlet. There was no agreement to not reveal the strong arm tactics of Obambi’s brownshirts.

    JD (109425)

  32. [The White House response] follows a day of off-the-record exchanges with key people in the White House communications office who told us they would remove our reporter…

    Elissa’s right, ground rules are increasingly problematic these days. Personally, I avoid going off-the-record as much as possible and always have.

    BTW, my understanding of Mussolini and his party is that they would beat up or kill people who resisted their will. Unless the WH press office is stockpiling Komodo dragons, Phil and his folks are probably physically safe, at least.

    angeleno (2ffd38)

  33. “daley, it matters if press relations is your livelihood.”

    angeleno – I disagree. I think honesty and integrity come first. Did the White House press relations people try to strong arm the media and then lie about it. If so, their careers in press relations are damaged.

    The White House has been caught using strong arm tactics with the media before as others have noted above. Trying to obtain favorable coverage for your client is one thing, but not the way this administration has gone about it.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  34. I wonder how many times they have been able to strong arm the compliant MFM.

    JD (29e1cd)

  35. daley, I certainly agree with you that honesty and integrity come first. It works both ways, of course. If the WH people denied threatening to bounce the Chronicle from the pool, even though that’s in fact what they threatened (whether or not this took place off-the-record), then their credibility will suffer, with all the consequences that entails. By the same token, if Phil and his people develop a reputation for not keeping their word, they will poison a well they depend on.

    angeleno (2ffd38)

  36. I think the takeaway is that the Chronicle knew the WH would lie about what they did, and called them on it.

    JD (3ad5b9)

  37. Well, I think angelino has a practical point, but mainly that’s true because the rest of the media is not doing their jobs.

    Obama can easily blacklist noncompliant reporters who fail to sufficiently shill for democrats, or have the integrity to film something newsworthy that democrats don’t want the public to see.

    In other words, the journalism profession did this to themselves. In a sane world Obama strongarming one journalist would be terrible politics, because that would lead to wall to wall coverage throughout media, with all competitors discussing his corrupt administration instead of lining up to be lapdogs. CNN was a lapdog to murdering despots, so ABC being a lapdog to Obama is small potatoes these days.

    So in this world, you have to play ball, obey the ‘rules’ Obama sets for you (as though that is an uncoerced deal worth honoring), or you have no access.

    And if a network shows a pattern of being fair and balanced in their treatment of both sides of a political battle, why they are outright attacked by the government as not a real news outlet. The voters see this, and a lot of them seem to be cool with it.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  38. if Phil and his people develop a reputation for not keeping their word, they will poison a well they depend on.

    That’s one way to say it.

    The administration says ‘you are not allowed to film something that would embarrass democrats, and by showing up you have obliged yourself to be our lapdog in this way’.

    And if journalists dare to ignore this obviously dishonorable demand, they have poisoned a well that the depend on. And they wouldn’t really depend on this at all, if all reputable journalists refused to comply. Then what would Obama do?

    And let’s take a second and consider the fact that the democrat government works for the people, not the other way around. How dare they make deals to limit our awareness of their meetings? How dare they refuse a single FOIA, or say we don’t need to know something, or blacklist a journalist for telling the truth?

    A journalist poisons another well when they break their implicit deal with the people to tell them the full story, even about democrats who have coerced special favors.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  39. ” if Phil and his people develop a reputation for not keeping their word, they will poison a well they depend on.

    That’s one way to say it.”

    Dustin – Yup. Swallow, wipe chin, repeat.

    People saw how testy Obama got with that Texan interviewer who corrected him. Teh narrative must not be challenged.

    Calling in to the Morning Schmo show to correct them live, nothing odd about that.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  40. I know that I tend to harp on this, but this is what worries me about Obama more than anything else; the spoiled brat way he reacts when threatened, crossed, or challenged.

    Imagine that we have just suffered a major terrorist attack. Say, a large fuel-air explosion in the central downtown of a major city. Death toll at least ten times that of 9/11. Can you imagine Obama NOT overreacting? Not lashing out with remote weapon systems? Can you honestly tell me that you don’t think that, revealed as a fool and knowing that the American People expect him to Do Something, Obama wouldn’t at least think about nuking Mecca? Might not do it out of simple fear and rage?

    Mind you, I thought that McCain was also a good candidate for a nuclear temper tantrum. I like The Donald for it too. These Egos in search of an Office strike me as very unstable.

    C. S. P. Schofield (8b1968)

  41. That was a theory I had heard about Hillary on defense matters, that she would over-react to prove how tough she could be. I would rather we not elect idiots so we don’t have to worry about that 😉

    JD (0d2ffc)

  42. JD,

    The problem with that is that, while you don’t actually HAVE to be an idiot to subject yourself to a modern political campaign, it helps.

    C. S. P. Schofield (8b1968)

  43. From talk about a flap involving a handful of reporters and PR people, to musings about Obama nuking Mecca — I’ve gotta say, discussions here sometimes take an astonishing turn.

    angeleno (f3c408)

  44. Organic free-flowing conversations rock.

    JD (822109)

  45. You’re assuming a Fowler like response, from Clear and Present Danger, I figure a more obsequious attack against any who would dare impugn Islam as
    the motivation, for such an incident

    narciso (79ddc3)

  46. Pesticide-free, even.

    angeleno (f3c408)

  47. Nothing like an obsequious attack…

    angeleno (f3c408)

  48. Obsequious to the perpetrators and their supporters,
    recall the DHS memo that flagged veterans, pro lifers, gun rights activists

    narciso (79ddc3)

  49. angeleno – It is the integrative complexity of the comment section that makes this blog interesting.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  50. Ah, Milbank is never going to live that down,

    narciso (79ddc3)

  51. So nuke Coeur D’Alene?

    angeleno (f3c408)

  52. Looks like Gaddafi’s youngest son and 3 grandchildren died in NATO bombing today. Big G. who was in the same compond didn’t.

    elissa (b7ea05)

  53. Why would you want to nuke awesome golf and skiing, angeleno? What is your malfunction?

    JD (306f5d)

  54. Hey, I’m just trying to interpret “obsequious attack.”

    Don’t golf (or ski), but I do think Coeur D’Alene is mighty pretty. So are other parts of Idaho. Once, when I was a younger man, I drove down Highway 95 (if memory serves) for hours and hours along the Salmon River. Some of the most beautiful country I’ve ever seen in my life. May it never suffer any attack, obsequious or otherwise…

    angeleno (2ffd38)

  55. Seen somewhere on the Web (and now I can’t find it. NOT having a good day with the Magic Elf Box);

    “If you voted for Obama in ’08 to prove you’re not a racist, then you have to vote against him in ’12 to prove you’re not an idiot.”

    I disagree with the emphasis; If you voted for Obama in ’08 to prove you’re not a racist, you proved you’re a racist AND an idiot.


    C. S. P. Schofield (8b1968)

  56. C. S. P. Schofield at 9:36pm


    6:35 AM on April 30, 2011

    If you voted for Mr Hopey McChange back in 2008 to prove that you were not a racist, you will have to vote for someone else in 2012 to prove that you are not an idiot.
    Recommend (8)
    Disapprove (0)
    Popularity: 8

    This version of the comment is from the comment thread at the SF Gate site on the story about the reporter being threatened by the White House press office. I have seen it quoted other places also, either here or at Ace’s.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

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