Following a testy exchange during today’s briefing with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas told CNSNews.com that not even Richard Nixon tried to control the press the way President Obama is trying to control the press.
“Nixon didn’t try to do that,” Thomas said. “They couldn’t control (the media). They didn’t try.
“What the hell do they think we are, puppets?” Thomas said. “They’re supposed to stay out of our business. They are our public servants. We pay them.”
Thomas said she was especially concerned about the arrangement between the Obama Administration and a writer from the liberal Huffington Post Web site. The writer was invited by the White House to President Obama’s press conference last week on the understanding that he would ask Obama a question about Iran from among questions that had been sent to him by people in Iran.
“When you call the reporter the night before you know damn well what they are going to ask to control you,” Thomas said.
“I’m not saying there has never been managed news before, but this is carried to fare-thee-well—for the town halls, for the press conferences,” she said. “It’s blatant. They don’t give a damn if you know it or not. They ought to be hanging their heads in shame.”
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Obama Faces the Wrath of Helen Thomas
Helen Thomas is an institution in Washington politics. She has been attending White House press conferences for UPI since the mid part of the twentieth century. And she is not a woman to get on the wrong side of. President Obama seems to have done that, according to THIS story on the National Review Corner. She accuses him of trying to manage the media and control it in a way that Richard Nixon never did. Clearly Obama has been attending the same school of media management as New Labour...