Skip to comments.White House uses Twitter to bully critics
Posted on 07/06/2011 5:19:11 AM PDT by markomalley
President Obamas director of progressive media is obsessed with one particular conservative provocateur. Jesse Lees duties at the White House include online response and there has been no shortage of responses to one person who routinely communicates with him on Twitter.
Of the 267 tweets written by Lee in just over a month, a stunning 40 of them have been directed at Kevin Eder, a prolific Twitter user with more than 83,000 tweets to his credit. That means 15 percent of Lees tweets from an official White House account no less have been with Eder.
One such example happened last week in a dispute over the budget.
Eder posted this tweet: Hmm it cant be true that @SenateDems havent passed a budget in 790 days and the only plan Obama has is a speech. Right, @jesseclee44?
To which Lee responded: @keder @SenateDems Plan is keep negotiating w/ Rs & Ds, not default & trash economy, not voucherize Medicare to fund more tax cuts for rich.
Lees obsession has impressed Eder, even if hes a bit baffled by the White Houses decision to engage with him so aggressively.
I like going back and forth with him, Eder said of Lee. But if you engage your fiercest critics on new media, youre doing two things: On the one hand, youre showing that you take their opinion seriously. Thats good for the non-influencer public to watch whats happening. But on the other hand, the White House is legitimizing me. And quite literally, Im a nobody.
Lee, who is paid $72,500, didnt respond to a phone call, email message or tweet to talk about his job and this new direction for the White House. Prior to his appointment in May, the White House didnt have such a position. Neither did any previous administration for that matter.
Before joining the Obama transition team and then the White House in 2009, Lee worked for the Democratic National Committee, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (under the direction of Rahm Emanuel).
His new job coincides with the more aggressive tone adopted in recent months by the White House, highlighted by Obamas own press conference last week. Targets include journalists, conservatives and, most recently, the global management consulting firm McKinsey & Co.
The Heritage Foundation was on the receiving end last week from both Lee and White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, both of whom maintain official White House accounts on Twitter that are subject to archival under the Presidential Records Act.
The pattern of Lees behavior and the aggressive nature of the White House communications office hasnt gone unnoticed by the press.
Veteran reporter Keith Koffler, who writes for White House Dossier, noted recently the Obama White House has long practiced the tactic of bullying reporters who write stories it doesnt like. When Lee first got the job in May, Koffler predicted it would formalize the strategy and signals that such behavior is likely to escalate as the campaign begins.
And thats exactly what has happened. Over the past three months, there has been a high-profile incident involving the White House and journalists on at least three occasions.
In April, White House officials threatened to exclude The San Francisco Chronicle from press pool coverage of events in the Bay Area after the papers senior political reporter, Carla Marinucci, allegedly violated White House rules at an event with Obama. Marinucci filmed protesters heckling Obama, prompting the White House complaint.
In May, the White House denied The Boston Herald full access to an Obama event in Boston because it had previously run a front-page op-ed by former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA). I think that raises a fair question about whether the paper is unbiased in its coverage of the Presidents visits, said White House spokesman Matt Lehrich.
And just last week, White House press secretary Jay Carney called MSNBC to complain about Time senior political analyst Mark Halperins unsavory description of Obama. The network swiftly suspended Halperin indefinitely.
White House uses Twitter to spread it’s anti American agenda.
Time to start bullying back. We know what this agit-prop SOB’s account is - @jesseclee44 - so it’s time to start hitting it back, hard. Every time he sends something out, he needs to get slammed, hard.
Have we ever had such an immature person at the head of our country? I thought Clinton was ridiculous but this guy is just embarrassing. The rest of the world is laughing at the USA for being so stupid.
I’m sure the Twitter “online response” person is only one of many. I have no doubt that there are certain posters here who have been planted by the WH, mostly to monitor, but also sometimes to act as agents provocateurs (rather than actually contesting anything on the forum itself). They stir up anger and I think attempt to get people to make outrageous statements or to disintegrate into internecine warfare.
Theyve always used the net to spin their web.
Sounds to me like the regime is attacking private citizens again.
Joe Bite-Me bullied those dumbass teachers and union members by THREATENING them if they didn’t vote LOCKSTEP for Democrats......it’s what Democrats do best....BULLY.
It wouldn’t surprise this reader if the Fox Twitter feed was hacked by one of these hacks.
And yet the press still salivates at his feet.
It hasn't just been since Bambi has been hiding behind his desk in the Oval Office. He behaved the same when on the campaign trail in 2007-08 and often got all wee-weed up when anyone in any media reported or said something negative about him. Obama has always been a scared, thin-skinned little boy and has never able to endure the slightest criticism like a man. He is such a cry baby that I bet he has to wear Depends.
No surprise. Goebbels learned about using radio from FDR’s broadcasts.
Dude (Eder)! You are SOOO audited!
It’s a propaganda event. How many besides his hired flacks and cult followers are going to actually take part or even be able to access the twitter feed? This is going to be a tightly controlled and staged circle-jerk that will close out or preclude any serious questions.
FUBO & FAD
Socialist Networking Tools at work...
Lenin and Mao would salivate at the thought.
Since when has "unbiased coverage" been a requirement for the press?
You realize just how insane it is to be compelled to respond to every criticism? The responses themselves give power to the critic. This is just some guy with a computer. Yet the WH is obsessed with trying to silence everyone.
The Twitter circle jerk was attended by only the DU crowd in the first place.
What critic would join that brain-dead parade?
As far as the participants goes, they bully critics no more oand no less than if the non-event never happened.
Where's the beef?