Figures. Obama Admin Censored Press Reports for Years, Lapdog Media Meekly Acquiesced
Guest post by Kristinn Taylor
It has taken five-and-a-half years to learn that the Obama administration has been censoring White House print pool reports—and that the media has quietly acquiesced until now.
The Washington Post’s Paul Farhi reported Tuesday evening that the Obama administration has abused its role as distributor for the print pool reports by exercising prior restraint on the reports. Farhi cites numerous instances where the Obama press office refused to release pool reports until changes demanded by Obama operatives were made. Farhi reports several examples of reporters acquiescing to Obama’s censorship of the media.
Farhi reports on the Washington Post caving twice to Obama—that’s the same Post that stood up Richard Nixon—spokesmen on pool reports by David Nakamura. Incredibly, one pool report censored by the Obama administration was targeted because criticism of Obama’s treatment of the press was juxtaposed against mention of a recent speech by Obama praising freedom of speech.
“On another occasion, in 2011, Carney himself objected to a pool report that included a mention of first lady Michelle Obama working out at a hotel gym during a presidential trip to Asia.
Carney told the pool reporter, David Nakamura of The Washington Post, that the workout was part of the first lady’s personal time and therefore off limits to reporters. Nakamura disagreed but reluctantly deleted the line to ensure that his report would be sent.
“During the same trip, then-deputy press secretary Josh Earnest flagged another of Nakamura’s reports. This one contained a comment juxtaposing a speech Obama had given two days earlier lauding freedom of the press with the administration’s decision to limit access to presidential photo ops on the trip.
“Earnest, who succeeded Carney as press secretary in May, considered Nakamura’s comparison unfair and asked him to take it out, according to Nakamura. After an argument, the reporter acquiesced.”
Farhi downplays the censorship as “(involving) mostly trivial issues and minor matters of fact” and does not use the word ‘censor’ to describe what the Obama administration is doing.
Farhi says the White House Correspondents Association is considering ways to not use the White House to distribute the reports. The new president of the WHCA told Farhi she has received ‘assurances’ the Obama administration will stop censoring the print pool reports.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest declined comment to the Post, instead he had his chief deputy Eric Schultz send a statement that ignored the censorship and could have come from Putin’s Russia or communist China.
“We value the role of the independent press pool, which provides timely, extensive, and important coverage of the president and his activities while at the White House and around the world. That is why, at the request of the White House Correspondents Association, the White House has distributed 20,000 pool reports in the past six years, and we will continue to offer that facilitation for journalists as they work to chronicle the presidency.”
Last Monday night, as The Gateway Pundit reported, the Obama Justice Department barred the press from covering townhall meetings in Ferguson, Missouri. When one reporter was told to leave after he was spotted in one of the townhalls, he meekly left.