News Media to White House: Stop Manipulating Us


The mainstream media aren’t biased. They’ve provided undistorted and fair coverage of the Obama Administration for years now.

That’s the line we’ve all been fed, anyway.

So how is it that 38 major journalistic organizations have signed on to a letter to the White House complaining about the way the Administration has twisted and manipulated the news?

The Society for Professional Journalists and 37 other groups wrote that suppression of news has reached a high point under Obama, despite his campaign vow to have the “most transparent” Administration ever. As the White House has cut off access, the journalists said, it has increased avenues for lobbyists and special interest groups.

The resulting cynicism about the Administration is Obama’s own fault, they said.

David Cuillier wrote, “You need look no further than your own administration for a major source of that frustration – politically driven suppression of news and information about federal agencies. We call on you to take a stand to stop the spin and let the sunshine in.”

The letter said that a survey found that around 40 percent of Administration public information officers blacklisted reporters whose coverage they don’t like.

Further, the letter claimed that the Administration regularly blocks access to certain staff members, delays answering questions so reporters miss their deadlines, and its representatives refuse to divulge what should be public information unless reporters promise to keep them anonymous.

“In many cases, this is clearly being done to control what information journalists — and the audience they serve — have access to,” the letter summarizes. “,,, Under this administration, even non-defense agencies have asserted in writing their power to prohibit contact with journalists without surveillance. Meanwhile, agency personnel are free speak to others — lobbyists, special-interest representatives, people with money — without these controls and without public oversight.”

This is all very damning, and the letter’s been billed as “unprecedented” criticism by journalists, but critics of the media will note that there’s something missing from the letter.

Simply put, it takes two to tango.

While the letter complains about the Obama Administration’s efforts to manipulate the news, it’s noteworthy in that there is a total lack of responsibility for the media’s part in catapulting this Administration into power by willingly going along with its propaganda and refusing to investigate or ask questions about Obama, his background or his qualifications for the presidency back when it still would have mattered.

And even without open access to staff members, journalists have it within their skill set and capabilities to cover stories like Benghazi or the border crisis without White House approval, yet except for Sharyl Attkisson, few journalists have shown enough gumption or initiative to even bother asking the most basic questions.

If there are, in fact, journalists out there worried about coverage of news from the White House, they should also be looking at their own houses. The leadership of major media outlets is replete with family members of White House staffers, such as ABC News President Ben Sherwood, who is the brother of one of Obama’s top national security advisers; CBS News Division President David Rhodes, brother to Obama adviser Ben Rhodes; CNN deputy Washington bureau Virginia Moseley, who is married to Tom Nides, deputy secretary of state under Hillary Clinton; ABC reporter Claire Shipman, who is married to former Obama mouthpiece Jay Carney; former NPR White House correspondent Ari Shapiro, who is “married” to White House counsel Michael Gottlieb.

These relationships have obviously affected coverage, such as when CBS clamped down on Attkisson’s scandal reportage and eventually forced her to resign. NPR’s Shapiro was caught on tape during the 2012 presidential election coordinating questions with another journalist in a way that suggested they wanted the Romney campaign to look bad.

The current letter sent to President Obama is a brief list of the way Americans have had their perceptions twisted and played with by this Administration for years.

Yet, here’s an offbeat question. If these journalistic groups think that the White House has so manipulated the news, why isn’t the story behind this letter being plastered on front pages and news feeds across America?

One word: guilt.

 

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