Skip to comments.Helen Thomas: "Obama, Like All Presidents, Tries To Manage The News" [WARNING: HORRIFIC IMAGES]
Posted on 07/10/2009 11:07:33 AM PDT by seanmerc
WASHINGTON -- Its not news when the White House tries to manage the news. That has always been the case.
But it is news when Obama administration officials -- the folks who proclaimed that they would bring unprecedented openness and transparency to government -- fall all over themselves trying to manipulate news briefings and attempting amateurish stagecraft at public meetings.
The president relies on a list of handpicked reporters to call on at his formal news conferences -- and the fortunate few are not necessarily accredited reporters but include new age self-appointed journalists or anyone with a laptop.
The White House staff selects both the professionals and ringers for the call-on list. Some are alerted the night before the news conference that they will be called on. This leaves the impression that the White House is trying to influence the questions the president will be asked-- which may or may not be true.
At his most recent news conference, President Barack Obama recognized a blogger, who had been invited by the Obama staff to attend the briefing and then steered into asking a question about the Iranian election, a topic that Obama was eager to address. Ive heard of planted questions, but this was a planted questioner, an odd addition to the medley of White House feints designed to manipulate the news.
With the White House pulling all the strings, reporters become their puppets. Those not called upon -- well, they are nothing but props or extras at the big show in the East Room of the White House.
The Obama administration, like many of its predecessors, also has adopted the so-called "town meeting" format to give the president a forum that allows him to market the party line without appearing to do so. Access is limited and questioners are carefully selected so that viewers and readers get the purest form of the presidents message, whatever the topic may be.
Spin and propaganda do eventually become transparent, but sometimes the deception can lead to unjustified war -- as we have seen in the recent past. Its as if the message managers become deceived by their own spin.
All of this is particularly unfortunate at a time when the nation needs a free and unfettered news media to scrutinize the new administration and its new policies.
The military keeps us safe but the press -- which informs the American people -- keeps us free.
The importance of a free press is best illustrated by its prominence on the to-do list of would-be dictators. The first move by coup supporters is to seize the news media, take over the local broadcast stations and censor the newspapers.
In the U.S. the term "managed news" was coined in the Kennedy era, giving a handy title to a practice that previous presidents had also attempted. Perhaps this practice reached its high water mark during the Ronald Reagan administration when the former Hollywood actor and Michael Deaver, his deputy chief of staff, collaborated to meticulously construct the presidents image. It seemed that not a Reagan wave went unscripted.
Much as White Houses try to control the news, its not that easy in a free society.
I think of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfelds attempt to set up a "disinformation" office at the Pentagon. When it was quickly exposed and dismantled, Rumsfeld indicated he would spread out the bogus news operations to other agencies of the military.
Its a shame that the Obama administration has discarded his high-sounding rhetoric about transparency and openness. So far, it looks like change we cant believe in.
That’s just mean. Plain, ol’ mean.
Ah, but Zero is the very first one with totally staged “press conferences” ruled by teleprompter.
Thanks for the warning!
Thankyouthankyouthankyou!! I had almost passed out but your antitoxin worked great!
Why are you insulting that beautiful German Shepard! And he’s a war hero, too!
Evidently the software at my office is blocking out the pictures. All I see is white background and your message. I guess I will have to wait until I get home to be horrified.
.... though I support anyone who demands the truth and outs the nasty
“...and the fortunate few are not necessarily accredited reporters but include new age self-appointed journalists or anyone with a laptop.”
Therein lies the crux of the matter. They consider it their good fortune to be called on during a press conference, not their duty to elicit and report the news. The teacher has found some new pets.
After some thought about remarks about this woman’s appearance, I think some have gone overboard on the “ugly” remarks. I have to say I have made some not so kind remarks myself, but remember she was created by GOD in his image and likeness.
He had the shot and didn’t take it...
I’m a closet-admirer of Ms. Thomas for the simple reason that the woman gets up every morning, applies make-up, slips into heeled but sensible shoes that probably hurt and goes to work at an age when most of us will be finger painting (badly) at the Rest Home. Or dead.
Her politics are screwed but, right now, I love Helen.
"But how can you shoot a little old lady like Helen Thomas?"
"Easy, you just don't lead her as much..."
thankfully I arrived at our post in time to avoid having to gougr out my eyes
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