Now we have an answer: being shut out of the golfing weekend President Barack Obama spent with Tiger Woods.
To be fair, that seems to have been the last straw, not an awakening. But even the left-leaning Politico website says enough is enough. The site has an interesting take on the matter, blaming the perpetual softball questions and interviews the president gets not on bias but on the miserly access the White House grants.
“President Barack Obama is a master at limiting, shaping and manipulating media coverage of himself and his White House,” Politico reports. “Not for the reason that conservatives suspect: namely, that a liberal press willingly and eagerly allows itself to get manipulated. Instead, the mastery mostly flows from a White House that has taken old tricks for shaping coverage (staged leaks, friendly interviews) and put them on steroids using new ones (social media, content creation, precision targeting). And it’s an equal opportunity strategy: Media across the ideological spectrum are left scrambling for access.”
The White House is so stingy with access that many reporters are simply afraid to ask tough questions — knowing they’ll be blacklisted if they do.
That’s why even the New York Times hasn’t been granted an interview since 2010.
“Obama gives frequent interviews (an astonishing 674 in his first term, compared with 217 for President George W. Bush), but they are often with network anchors or local TV stations, and rarely with the reporters who cover the White House day to day,” the article explains.
Amazingly, Obama himself claimed over the weekend, “This is the most transparent administration in history.”
But that wasn’t in an interview with real reporters; that was in a tightly screen online chat with “everyday Americans.”
“The way the president’s availability to the press has shrunk in the last two years is a disgrace,” claims veteran ABC News White House reporter Ann Compton. “The president’s day-to-day policy development — on immigration, on guns — is almost totally opaque to the reporters trying to do a responsible job of covering it. This is different from every president I covered. This White House goes to extreme lengths to keep the press away.”
This is a good sign, not just for conservatives but for the nation as a whole. The media is finally finding its muzzle to be uncomfortable.