Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Anonymous Obama briefers rankle press

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Anonymous Obama briefers rankle press

James Rainey analyzes the press coverage on the choice of Supreme Court nominee Soto Mayor. The Obama administration as per tradition had the president introduce the judge Soto Mayor in a closed setting, in a room in the White House named the "Roosevelt Room". There were cameras there and a dozen of reporters. The reporters had to promise not to reveal the two "senior administration officials" giving the briefing. The larger question at hand was not why did the Obama administration choose Soto Mayor, but why was the white house holding the identity of the "senior administration officials". This seems to rile feathers because the white house promised a more transparent and open policy on press release. The response as to why the Obama administration chose this form of privacy is that "staffers should anonymous and remain in the background, so as not to distract from the president and the day's news". This has also been common practice seen in the Clinton and Bush administration. The public and James Rainey are concerned how qualified are the "senior administration officals" and what is the accuracy and quality of the information they are presenting. It was leaked out that the "senior administration officials were David Axelrod, senior adviser to the president, and Ron Klain, Vice President Biden's chief of staff and a former Supreme Court clerk. Another question at hand is since the American public does not know their identity or job designation they could be a press aide to a deputy secretary at a federal agency. A common idea in this article is that "Team Obama" should be public with new information and they should set the record straight. When it involves an issue that effects the American people there should be more transparency.
Another train 0f thought is that if information is being censored at this level, what extremes will happen next at these briefings. Maybe journalists will not be allowed in if they are skeptic of the Obama administration in any way. An Obama spokeswoman Obama Jen Psaki's stated the relationship between reporters and staffers at a press office is that ""We provided them with what they asked for and assume the practice is helpful since the requests from the LA Times and countless other papers continue. Washington reporters have long been accepting of anonymous information but this not a reflection of "change". It is concluded at the end of this article that any journalist would be happy to gain access to this briefing rather then peering outside a window. It is unfair to the journalist and the American people that they can not quote "on the record" the source of who they are getting their information from.


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