Since the day he became President Barack Obama has been denying the press access to him as he goes about his business in the White House, on Air Force One, and at events outside those areas. After five years, the White House press corps is finally starting to say something. But White House Press Secretary Jay Carney just laughed off Obama’s imperial decree that the media isn’t allowed in.
During the December 12 press conference in the White House, Carney blew off concerns that the press have over the historic lack of access to Obama. No other president in modern times has denied the press access like Obama has but as the reporters spoke up, Carney didn’t seem to much interested in their complaints.
In today’s presser, Carney was peppered by an unruly press corps sick of this president ignoring them and denying them access. But instead of answering to their concerns, Carney continued to mischaracterize the arguments that the reporters were making and blithely kept claiming “we’re working on improving access” without telling anyone what that actually meant.
First of all, Carney insisted on saying “no one will have total access” and “no one will be 100% happy” with the access they have. But that wasn’t what the media was asking for. They weren’t demanding “perfect” access. They were just asking for as much access as every other modern president has allowed them.
Carney also kept saying over and over again that he intends to “work on that” as if he intended to actually do something to put Obama in line with other presidents in this respect. But he never once defined what that even meant and the press fully understood that Carney was just blowing meaningless smoke up their computer keyboards.
Oddly, Carney kept acting as if the “Internet” is to blame for Obama’s refusal to allow the press the normal access that every other president has.
What that has to do with anything is anyone’s guess.
Logically, the reporters there weren’t at all convinced that Carney’s words had any meaning whatsoever. But what was most interesting is how Carney laughed off their concerns and dismissed the truly American concept of press access to our highest leaders.
Also, remember, this is a media that is almost slavishly in love with Barack Obama. It has taken them five years to get upset enough with his imperial attitude to finally say something to Carney. If a Republican president had denied them access as much as Obama has we’d have heard these complaints in the first few months of the term, not five years in. But it is nice to see that even this sold-out, slavish, lap dog press has its limits.