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Everything you need to know about President Obama's latest "town hall" meeting

On Wednesday of this week, President Obama held a "town hall" meeting before an audience of about 200 people at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale. The focus of the meeting was health care reform, and the photo-op moment came when the President hugged 53 year old Debby Smith, after she tearfully described how difficult it has been for her to get treatment for a recently-discovered tumor.

All in all, it was yet another Obama White House stage production, complete with pre-screened questions and an audience hand-picked from groups generally considered to be supportive of the President's political agenda.

From The Washington Post.

The president called randomly on three audience members. All turned out to be members of groups with close ties to his administration: the Service Employees International Union, Health Care for America Now, and Organizing for America, which is a part of the Democratic National Committee. White House officials said that was a coincidence.

Uh-huh. Funny how often those "coincidences" seem to happen at Democrat-orchestrated events, isn't it?


And speaking of The Washington Post, The Politico learned yesterday that the Post had planned an exclusive "salon" meeting at the home of the newspaper's publisher, Katharine Weymouth, for lobbyists and association executives interested in meeting face-to-face with "those powerful few" who oil the wheels of the DC bureaucracy, including Obama administration officials, members of Congress, and the Post's own "health care reporting and editorial staff." The price? A mere $25,000 to $250,000 "sponsorship" of the event.

Weymouth said the paper had planned a series of dinners with participation from the newsroom "but with parameters such that we did not in any way compromise our integrity. Sponsorship of events, like advertising in the newspaper, must be at arm's length and cannot imply control over the content or access to our journalists. At this juncture, we will not be holding the planned July dinner and we will not hold salon dinners involving the newsroom. "

She made it clear however, that The Post, which lost $19.5 million in the first quarter, sees bringing together Washington figures as a future revenue source. "We do believe that there is a viable way to expand our expertise into live conferences and events that simply enhances what we do - cover Washington for Washingtonians and those interested in Washington," she said. " And we will begin to do live events in ways that enhance our reputation and in no way call into question our integrity."

After serving as today's laughingstock for bloggers, Twitterers, and other newspapers, the Post finally announced that the upcoming salon dinner would be canceled.

Oh well ... at least JournoList is still free, and still running.


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Comments (7)

There's stacking a deck, an... (Below threshold)

There's stacking a deck, and then there's using one that's so damn cold it'd give you frostbite.

Is Obama so afraid of random questions that he's got to resort to not only stacking the deck, but soaking the damn thing in liquid nitrogen before the camera lights turn on and the game starts?

Man, what a joke. What a BAD joke this President's turning out to be. Most transparent - if you think a slab of lead is translucent. Ready to hit the ground running - if that means running out the door after a smash and grab. Most ethical - as long as you overlook the overt payoffs with the Stimulus bill and the tax cheats in his cabinet.

Hope and change, baby! Well, I guess we can HOPE he'll CHANGE - but I'm hoping we'll still have some change left after he FUBARs the economy.

Factor in the story earlier... (Below threshold)
DanM Author Profile Page:

Factor in the story earlier this year Politico ran on the virtually daily coordination call between White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, James Carville, Paul Begala, and ABC News's George Stephanopoulos and it appears Toto has pulled back the curtain on the great Oz, the supposedly objective, ethical MSM.

What little shred of credib... (Below threshold)

What little shred of credibility thy had now lies on the floor, soiled and ruined. The Post is the new Pravda, a house organ for the socialists in charge.

duh... must jam caffeine dr... (Below threshold)

duh... must jam caffeine drip in prior to hitting submit. "thy" is "the"

Town Hall meetings for show... (Below threshold)

Town Hall meetings for show and propaganda purposes now, show trials to put the blame of economic failure on "the wreckers*" later.
*(greedy capitalist "Kulak" exploiters)

I believe in coincidence li... (Below threshold)

I believe in coincidence like I believe in God. But I have never seen either one.

The Ministry of Truth is no... (Below threshold)
Thomas Jackson:

The Ministry of Truth is not amused.






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