Friday, October 23, 2009

Will "More like this, please" be the response to attempted exclusion of Fox News from White House press pool?

Given these, I have to wonder whether our local bloggers are also applauding the White House attempt to impose its own restrictions on the press pool for network news:

Thursday, CNN, NBC/MSNBC, ABC and CBS all refused to go along with an attempt to toss Fox from a media pool that was supposed to conduct interviews with White House pay czar Kenneth Feinberg, who was unveiling restrictions on pay for executives of companies that accepted bailout money from the government.

Under an arrangement designed to save the networks money, a crew from one network shoots some White House events for all five outlets. The pool camera was supposed to shoot each network’s separate interview with Feinberg, but the networks were notified that Fox, which has been part of the pool arrangement since 1997, would not be allowed to question him.

The Obama administration relented after the other networks, in a gesture of solidarity, said they would take a pass on interviewing Feinberg if Fox was kept out of the mix. (Ironically, the effort to block Fox from covering what was arguably Thursday’s biggest news event came just a day after White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said decisions on who would be included in pools would be left to the media organizations, not his office.)

Unequivocal statement of principle (yes, Dana, it probably is a liberty fetish): The State having the power to restrict the free--even partisan press--is a greater danger to the American republic than anything that press might ever say.


Delaware Watch said...

Funny, I don't recall you complaining a lot when the Bush administration did the same and much worse. And there is no doubt that the Bush administration was very guilty:

Waldo Lydecker's Journal said...

Funny, what I recall is all those years when W refused interviews with the New York Times; gave all those long Oval Office fluffers to conservative writers, paid writers like Armstrong Williams to write puff pieces- with tax money- and put up with that reporter from India, not to mention Jeff Gannon- uh, Guckert- passing the time between escort gigs pitching easy ones to Dana Perino (who admitted she didn't really understand what that whole Cuban Missile Crisis was about).

Steven H. Newton said...

For both Dana and Waldo:
I was publicly and vocally against that when the GOP did it, and I am against it now. I have been completely consistent: it was wrong and dangerous then; it is wrong and dangerous now.

Which pretty much leaves you observing ... what?

Tyler Nixon said...

...that they're non-objection to (and thus, by their own arguments, their own tacit affirmation of) such authoritarian use of the presidency is justified because someone somewhere some time didn't object to Bush's doing it.

You can always tell the hypocrites by their diversionary delving into a litany of past bullshit from their statist counterparts on the other side of the coin.

Incidentally, Dana, why cite MSNBC? How about linking to your objections??

G Rex said...

I objected when GWB had Helen Thomas moved to the back row of the WH Press Room...what, he didn't do that? Anyway, Good for the other pool members for not going along with the Obama silent treatment.

pandora said...

Why would FOX care?

Just askin'

Other than Jeff Gannon being a blogger's easy dream post, did anyone really pitch a fit?

This "outrage" doesn't meet the standard. Unless, you'd care to demonstrate how FOX is "fair and balanced?"

And while several hours of MSNBC may be liberal, how many hours a day is FOX conservative? Which is fine. They seriously need to embrace what they are - and the fact that their viewers fail every basic political test known to man.

FOX has an agenda. Fine. Serious people don't have to play there game. And it is a misleading, lying game. Only a sucker would play by their rules.

But perhaps you can prove me wrong. Perhaps you can show how "fair and balanced" FOX is. Let's start with their health care reform coverage...

Steven H. Newton said...

Nice try in changing the subject. I never claimed Fox was fair and balanced. I think Fox is idiotic and that those who depend on it for news are in trouble.


The State does not have the right to determine or insist on "far and balanced." Period.

I raised the same issues when Dubya was screening out the liberal press, so I am consistent.

A president attempting to determine which news organizations are legitimate is inherently dangerous. Regardless of how bad the news organization is.

Hube said...

pandora: You're simply delusional about Fox. My guess is that you're like most talk radio critics -- you never seriously listen to it.

What "several hours a day" only of MSNBC are liberal? The entire 6-12 midnight line-up is, and please do not seriously argue that its news during the day doesn't have a [liberal] bent.

Do you watch "Special Report" on Fox? You seriously argue that the news segment (the first 40-45 mins.) isn't straight news?

I do absolutely concede that Fox is biased to the right? And you know what? So the f*** what. It is the ONLY news network so tilted. And you poor babies just can't stand it. How "tolerant" of you. This is why "progressive" tolerance is so much bullshit.

And Bush did indeed restrict access a la Obama back in the day. The difference between him and Barack is that he and his cohorts didn't actively seek to delegitimize -- destroy -- a specific news organization.

Thomas L. Knapp said...

I'm not sure what the big deal is. Freedom of the press means that you can publish without fear of suppression. It doesn't mean that anyone has to friggin' talk to you to give you publishable material.

The Obama regime's attempt to marginalize Fox is politically boneheaded because it makes it look like the White House is afraid to entertain pointed questions, reduces the president's ability to reach the largest audience, etc., but I just don't see any "freedom of the press" angle here.

The White House doesn't have to do press conferences/briefings, offer up officials for interviews, etc. at all, and if they choose to do so they don't have to offer those things to all comers.

Does Mother Jones have a guaranteed seat in the press room and get an equal shot at pool opps? How about LaRouche's rags or the Ku Klux Klan Quarterly? Or my wife's nephew's best friend's son's punk fanzine?

There are reasons to treat Fox differently than the four aforementioned (two of them theoretical), but they aren't "freedom of the press" reasons. Fox is no more entitled to White House access than any of those four.

Anonymous said...

"The State having the power to restrict the free--even partisan press--is a greater danger to the American republic than anything that press might ever say."

So, so true.

"And while several hours of MSNBC may be liberal, how many hours a day is FOX conservative? Which is fine."

What is your point here exactly?

"and the fact that their viewers fail every basic political test known to man."

Yea, Olberman is a genius. Oh, that’s right! He must be brilliant because you agree with him, right? I love progressives. People who watch Fox News must be stupid because they don’t agree with Pandora. I’m guessing these same folks are a bunch of rednecks and white trash too right, Pandora? You see, Pandora is a delicate genius who knows all. She knows what people should think and what’s best for them and their families.

Pandora’s box is filled with knowledge and information.

Delaware Watch said...

"A president attempting to determine which news organizations are legitimate is inherently dangerous."

And if the Nazi press wanted to be part of the press pool and attend White House News briefings, then as far as your concerned the White House is OBLIGATED to oblige them?

You are the one who claims to be the constitutionalist. Please point out in the constitution where the President is obligated to recognize just any "news organization" as responsible purveyors of free speech.

Rhymes With Right said...

Dana -- why SHOULDN'T a Nazi-affiliated media outlet that meets all the criteria set for accreditation as members of the White House press corps receive credentials and be permitted to cover the functioning of the US government? Why shouldn't a communist media outlet be allowed to do so? Especially if these were domestic media outlets with high viewership and /or circulation?

And under your argument, should the Executive branch be able to strip unfriendly media outlets of their press credentials and refuse to allow them access to resources generally available to the press based solely upon their unwillingness to conform to the administration line?

Rhymes With Right said...

Oh, and about the Helen Thomas thing -- since when is failure to give the old bat preferential seating a restriction on her ability to do her job? It isn't like she was excluded from the press room.