Still think you are living in America with freedom of speech and freedom of the press vs. The Banana Republic States of America? After watching him bow again yesterday and the latest press exclusions, this guy has got to go, and IMMEDIATELY. If I was more of a gambler, I would say that RAP is making headway and/or something bigger than nuclear weapons (like ours, theirs, and your money) is being talked about.
Obama’s disregard for media reaches new heights at nuclear summit
World leaders arriving in Washington for President Obama’s Nuclear Security Summit must have felt for a moment that they had instead been transported to Soviet-era Moscow.
They entered a capital that had become a military encampment, with camo-wearing military police in Humvees and enough Army vehicles to make it look like a May Day parade on New York Avenue, where a bicyclist was killed Monday by a National Guard truck.
In the middle of it all was Obama — occupant of an office once informally known as “leader of the free world” — putting on a clinic for some of the world’s greatest dictators in how to circumvent a free press.
The only part of the summit, other than a post-meeting news conference, that was visible to the public was Obama’s eight-minute opening statement, which ended with the words: “I’m going to ask that we take a few moments to allow the press to exit before our first session.”
Reporters for foreign outlets, many operating in repressive countries, got the impression that the vaunted American freedoms are not all they’re cracked up to be.
Yasmeen Alamiri from the Saudi Press Agency got this lesson in press freedom when trying to cover Obama’s opening remarks as part of a limited press “pool”: “The foreign reporters/cameramen were escorted out in under two minutes, just as the leaders were about to begin, and Obama was going to make remarks. . . . Sorry, it is what it is.”
Alamiri’s counterparts from around the world had similar experiences. Arabic-language MBC TV’s Nadia Bilbassy had this to say of Obama’s meeting with the Jordanian king: “We were there for around 30 seconds, not enough even to notice the color of tie of both presidents. I think blue for the king.”
Lalit K. Jha of the Press Trust of India, at Obama’s meeting with the Pakistani prime minister, reported, “In less than a minute, the pool was asked to leave.” The Yomiuri Shimbun correspondent found that she was “ushered out about 30 seconds” after arriving for Obama’s meeting with the Malaysian prime minister. Emel Bayrak of Turkey’s TRT-Turk went to Obama’s meeting with the president of Armenia but “we had to leave the room again after less than 40 seconds.”
“When you only see the president for 15 or 20 seconds without him asking if you have any questions, it’s very frustrating,” said Laura Haim of France’s Canal+, which persuaded the White House to include foreign outlets in the press pool. “It’s very important for this president, who wants to restore the image of the United States, to have more access.”
Obama’s official schedule for Tuesday would have pleased China’s Central Committee. Excerpts: “The President will attend the Heads of Delegation working lunch. This lunch is closed press . . . The President will meet with Prime Minster Erdogan of Turkey. This meeting is closed press. . . . The President will attend Plenary Session II of the Nuclear Security Summit. This session is closed press.”
Reporters, even those on the White House beat for two decades, said it was the most restrictive set of meetings they had ever seen in Washington. They complained to both the administration and White House Correspondents’ Association, which will discuss the matter Thursday with White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.
The restrictions have become a common practice for the Obama White House. When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to the White House a couple of weeks ago, reporters were kept away. Soon after that, Obama signed an executive order on abortion, again without any coverage.
Over the weekend, Obama broke with years of protocol and slipped off to a soccer game without the “protective” pool that is always in the vicinity of the president in case the unthinkable occurs. Obama joked about it later to Pakistan’s prime minister, saying reporters “were very upset.”
In “bilateral” meetings with foreign leaders, presidents usually take questions, or at least trade statements. But at most of Obama’s, there were only written “readouts”:
Canada: “The president and the prime minister noted the enduring strength of our bilateral partnership.” India: “The two leaders vowed to continue to strengthen the robust relationship between the people of their countries.” Pakistan: “President Obama began by noting that he is very fond of Pakistan.”
Reporters, many in a “filing center” about a quarter-mile away from the leaders’ meetings, relied on dispatches from colleagues allowed in as the press pool. The dispatches, over three days, were uniform: “They were too far away to hear conversation. . . . Again, Obama had nothing to say of substance that pooler heard. . . . We were in for all of 30 seconds. No news; no quotes and again no statements. . . . Same deal folks.”
Finally, Obama walked over to a group of reporters Monday afternoon. Would he give them an account of his meetings? “I’ll let somebody else do it,” he said with a smile.
More change I presume.
Must’ve got his principles from Chris Rock (for the obnoxious rants on what he would do if…, not the color), or worse yet, Robert Mugabe (for the current state of affairs in Zimbabwe and, again, not the color so chill on any epithets relating to racism, etc. It’s all purely coincidental and not intended to demean.)
Read also this jibe from the WP on the Middle East issue. Press are now counting the number of questions he deigns to take.
Also, here’s what poking around the web brought up. Unrelated to this story, but interesting to note more of the liberal reaction to that abomination which we continue to allow to occupy the White House.
BWAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Gunthar? Do you think the liberal base knows they are only 20%? Should we tell them?
Doesn’t matter if they’re 20, 5, or 50 since neither the conservative voters nor the liberal voters have a say in all this. What’s important is the criticism coming from all directions. Outrage is spreading across all people regardless of what believe.
You’re mistaken if you think the republicans are going to swoop in and save the day. I’ll wager they are now enjoying the use of the dems as shields and fodder in this fight for control.
In the end, we’ll still be stuck with healthcare, an abysmal current account, bankrupt departments across the board, debt up the wazoo, a new additional war in Iran and a useless governing body working for their own good.
Meanwhile, the real control under GE, KBR, Monsanto, Carlyle, etc. will continue to plot the course of America no matter who’s in office.
Gotta hand it to the designers of this. They’ve certainly done their due diligence.
Mind the distractions.
Well aware, well aware…thanks for the reminder.
OMG! That is TOOOOOO funny! Thx for the laugh!