Skip to comments.CBS's Bill Plante: Obama Administration 'Undercutting First Amendment,' 'It's State-Run Media'
Posted on 02/24/2013 5:02:49 PM PST by Sub-Driver
CBS's Bill Plante: Obama Administration 'Undercutting First Amendment,' 'It's State-Run Media' By Noel Sheppard Created 02/24/2013 - 4:01pm
Bill Plante, CBS News Senior White House Correspondent, made a rather shocking statement Sunday about the Obama administration's media strategy.
Appearing on CNN's Reliable Sources, Plante said that to the extent the White House is able to "put out their own material" without the Washington press corps, "they're undercutting the First Amendment...it's state-run media" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
HOWARD KURTZ, HOST: Bill Plante, you've been patrolling that building since Ronald Reagan. Does the White House press look a little self-involved, a little whiny as I said earlier, complaining about this Tiger incident?
BILL PLANTE, CBS NEWS SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: We've gotten used to being called whiny lapdogs. I've heard it for 30 years. But this is not about a picture of Tiger Woods. This is about access to the president. And access to the president has been cut and pushed and curtailed over every administration I've covered.
And here's the nub of it, Howie: this administration has the tools to reach people on their own. They don't need us as much. And to the extent that they're able to do that, they're undercutting the First Amendment, which guarantees a free press through many voices. If they put out their own material, it's state-run media.
Conservative radio hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Mark Levin have been talking about state-run media since Obama was elected. It's nevertheless extraordinary to hear this from someone at CBS News.
Of course, it would have been nice for Plante to say this before Election Day.
Regardless, it's going to be interesting to see whether more in the media begin making this case or if the lapdogs will just continue lapping.
Plante is right in his conclusions (state-run media), but his reasoning is completely wrong.
The administration -- or any other political voice (e.g., Sarah Palin seems to know how to do this) -- is perfectly free to work around the self-appointed gatekeepers to put out the message they want to spread. The job of a free press would be to analyze and critique such information and to frame it in a newsworthy fashion.
But we don't have a free press, at least among the traditional main players. They have willingly put on the yoke of being nothing more than a mouthpiece for the Democrat party in exchange for recognition as the proper gatekeepers of information. An actual free press -- the so-called "new media" is a threat to them because it disrupts their status as part of the self-annointed elite.
What Plante is whining about really isn't the White House doing anything to the 1st Amendment, it's complaining that the priesthood is being bypassed by one of the deacons, so to speak. This is nothing more than Pravda calling TASS state-run media -- of course it was, but so was Pravda.
I actually approve of this, and hope that future Repub administrations do the same. If there's an official White House web site from which official statements are issued, and which host the president's videos of his positions, then it's that much harder for the MSM to distort his positions, and much easier for people to point out such distortions by pointing to the original material.
No worries. Great minds have similar thoughts.