This would be the complaint in question:
Manifestly undemocratic […] is the way Mr. Obama’s administration — in hypocritical defiance of the principles of openness and transparency he campaigned on — has systematically tried to bypass the media by releasing a sanitized visual record of his activities through official photographs and videos, at the expense of independent journalistic access.
The White House-based press corps was prohibited from photographing Mr. Obama on his first day at work in January 2009. Instead, a set of carefully vetted images was released. Since then the press has been allowed to photograph him alone in the Oval Office only twice: in 2009 and in 2010, both times when he was speaking on the phone. Pictures of him at work with his staff in the Oval Office — activities to which previous administrations routinely granted access — have never been allowed.
The Associated Press wants the same kind of access from this administration for its photographers that they enjoyed under previous administrations. And the Obama administration will not give it to them. Why? For the simplest of reasons: what’s in it for the Obama administration?
Contemplate, for a moment, this article (H/T: Hot Air Headlines) generated by the Associated Press about a truly horrific (for the Obama administration) AP-GfK poll on public reactions to Obamacare. Note the following passages (bolding mine):
- “In the survey, nearly half of those with job-based or other private coverage say their policies will be changing next year — mostly for the worse. Nearly 4 in 5 (77 percent) blame the changes on the Affordable Care Act, even though the trend toward leaner coverage predates the law’s passage.“
- “Only 21 percent of those with private coverage said their plan is expanding to cover more types of medical care, though coverage of preventive care at no charge to the patient has been required by the law for the past couple of years.”
- “The White House had hoped that the Oct. 1 launch of open enrollment season for the uninsured would become a teaching moment, a showcase of the president’s philosophy that government can help smooth out the rough edges of life in the modern economy for working people.”
- “At the same time, a cresting wave of cancellation notices hit millions who buy their policy directly from an insurer. That undercut one of Obama’s central promises — that you can keep the coverage you have if you like it. The White House never clearly communicated the many caveats to that promise.”
The bolding, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, represents the Associated Press’s editorializing on its own poll. Actually, to be more accurate: the bolding represents the AP’s defending the Obama administration from the implications of its own poll. And it’s why the administration will happily pat the AP’s photo department on the head and tell them to go play. Because what is the AP going to do about it, really?
My advice to the Associated Press is this. Call in the authors of this piece and their immediate bosses. Scream at them that the AP is not the [expletive deleted] cheerleading squad for Barack [expletive deleted] Obama. Threaten their jobs if they ever publish a piece of [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted] under the AP’s name, ever again. Fire as many people as necessary to drive home the point. Then start publishing articles that do not read as if they were written by the hacks* over at the Democratic National Committee. When the White House calls to complain, hang up the phone on them. What are they going to do, secretly bug and investigate the AP?
I mean, they already tried that trick, right?
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*Not that there’s anything wrong with being a hack, per se. I mean, I’m a hack.