The Obama White House's restrictions on media access to its fundraising events makes a mockery of its claim to be the most transparent administration in history.Who'd have thought, the notroiously liberal San Francisco Chronicle would call the Obama Regime "Nixonian" when it came to press access.
If anything, there is almost a Nixonian quality to the level of control, paranoia - and lack of credibility - this White House has demonstrated on the issue of media access to President Obama's fundraisers.
Bay Area reporters will not be allowed inside the W Hotel today when the president meets with hundreds of contributors paying $7,500 or more to attend. Only Washington-based journalists were allowed in the pool - continuing a disturbing trend by this White House to severely limit access to fundraisers. Even former President George W. Bush, hardly a champion of transparency, allowed local reporters to cover his fundraising events.
Fundraisers are not private events in this post-Watergate era. Contributions are a matter of public record, and the public has a right to know what is being said to and by the president. Local journalists are better positioned than their Beltway brethren to recognize who is there - and why.
The White House press office seems to have missed the transparency memo. Earlier this spring, it threatened to blacklist The Chronicle's Carla Marinucci from future pools after she broke what the White House claimed was an unwritten rule against print reporters shooting video. It threatened further retaliation if the paper reported on the threat - which it did. Incredibly, the White House press office denied making the threats. Now it has cut all local reporters out of the pool.
Most transparent administration in history? We'll see. Right now, we'd settle for straight answers and the opportunity to do our jobs.
But that doesn't mean they'll become members of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy any time soon.