-By Warner Todd Huston
Apparently the Obama White House is not so fond of the Boston Herald. Well, maybe "not so fond" is too mild. More like furious. So mad, in fact, that the paper was banned by the White House from covering local visits by Obama and crew. The Boston Herald said "pretty please" and Big Brother O's crew said, "not allowed!" And Orwell would be saying, "I told ya so."
As Politico explained, the White House designates local pool reporters to augment the traveling pool of reporters covering events on the road. Usually a request is all it takes to get added to the pool. But when the Herald contacted the White House to get its reporters added to the pool the paper was denied access.
Apparently the water in Obama's pool is too warm for the Boston Herald! So, what is the deal? How did the White House explain this banning of the Herald? They actually didn't bother to explain it at all, haughtily ignoring the question. However, a White House press staffer told the Herald that it was because the president was not happy that the paper dared to print an op ed by Mitt Romney.
The White House Press Office yesterday refused to address its policy on choosing local reporters for pool coverage, after the Herald was denied full access to the president's Boston visit this week in part because the administration didn't like the newspaper's coverage. A press staffer's e-mails cited a Mitt Romney op-ed that ran March 8 on the front page, challenging Obama's policies the same day the president came to town for a fund-raiser.
I wonder if that staffer is now in the White House dungeon, or shoved in a closet like Obama's minions treats reporters?
According to the Herald, many in the Old Media are starting to get fed up with the restricted access and the adversarial relationship that Obama has with the national media.
What an ingrate Obama is. After all, the Old Media got him elected!
"The White House briefing room is getting increasingly absurd," [PressThink.com's Jay] Rosen said. "With Obama, it seems more like indifference. He probably thinks he doesn't need the correspondents but he should engage with them more because it's a way of explaining yourself to the American people -- which he should do much more."
Of course, the Boston Herald isn't the only news source Obama has banned from being allowed to cover him. Only two weeks ago Carla Marinucci of the San Francisco Chronicle was banned by Obama's White House because she used her cell phone to make a short video during a presser so that she could refer to it later. What made it worse was that Team Obama tried to lie about it afterward.
It is a bit hard to take the carping by the press seriously, though. This pattern was clear even as he ran for president in 2007 and has continued unabated since the day he was elected. It was a willful suspension of disbelief by the press for their Obammessiah to imagine he always loved them as much as they loved him. They love him too much to seriously highlight his tendency toward dictatorial behavior, sadly. Even the left leaning Washington Post's Deborah Howell was shocked in 2008 at her paper's sycophancy for Obama.
But even as they constantly pumped up Obama as a Jesus-like figure with propagandistic imagery, some hints of Obama's dislike of the press has poked through the wall of slobbering media support of The One.
Back in 2008, for instance, Members of Obama's campaign HQ tried to shut down a local radio show by harassing the host and the guest both. CNN worried in December of 2008 that no one really knew Obama. In January of 2009, the Chicago Sun Times was shut out by Obama. In January of 2009 reporters were beginning to worry that Obama ruled them with an iron fist. In May of 2009, ABC's Jake Tapper worried that Obama was "preventing actual reporters form covering the White House."
Heck, in December of 2009, Obama didn't even invite the requisite number Old Media mavens to his Christmas Party. Then he wouldn't let the ones that did get an invite have photos taken with him as per usual. Ouch.
Obama has showed over and over again that he does not respect the press and that he intends to control them. Obama is not their friend. And yet, they still fall over backwards for him, excusing away all his faults.
Like a battered woman, the press cannot help themselves.