Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Fourth Estate awakens

"Right on cue," writes Eric Boehlert, "the White House press awakens from its Bush slumber."

Having hammered Bill Clinton for eight years over everything from haircuts to blowjobs, the press handled George W. Bush with kid gloves from day one. Pundits at the time noted that it was about time the press gave the new guy a break.

Then, having slept through eight years of outrageous deceit and secrecy, not to mention open contempt of the press, on the part of the Republican regime, the press has suddenly reawakened and decided to play hardball with the Obama administration. ABC News' executive producer says he doesn't think there is a honeymoon, and the Daily Beast exults "Game on!"

Some of the issues that have the press in such an uproar include misspelled names of press staffers and phone lines that weren't properly connected on the first day, and - gasp! - the White House handing out official photos of the Presidential Oath of Office do-over rather than letting the AP photogs in to snap their own pix. This was deemed such a slight that the AP, Reuters, and Agence France-Presse refused to move the images, and CNN's Ed Henry complained to Wolf Blitzer that on the very same day Obama was talking about transparency, "we were not let in."

Politico noted how the Clinton administration had also run into trouble with the press over issues of access. Noticeably absent from the Politico article was any mention of how the Bush administration dramatically limited media access, regularly cordoned off information from the press, and warned reporters that edgy questions posed at the daily sessions were "noted in the building." That's all been tossed down the memory hole. It's only new Democratic presidents who are asked to play nice with the press and get badgered when they do not.

That's the damned liberal media for you.

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