The White House and some in the media have pushed back against a Government Accountability Institute (GAI) study that shows President Obama met only once with Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius in the three-and-a-half years after the passage of ObamaCare. What the Administration has still not pushed back with (and its media defenders have not requested) are the details surrounding the “frequent” meetings the Administration claims took place.
Thus far, White House spokesman Jay Carney has only responded to the GAI study with double talk about how some cabinet official meetings with the president are recorded on some calendars, and others are not. Carney claims, though, that Sebelius and Obama met “often.” This same defense came from White House spokeswoman Joanne Peters, who claimed the two met “frequently.”
Wednesday, Sebelius had almost all day to detail her meetings with Obama while testifying before a Congressional committee on the roll-out of ObamaCare. As of this writing, she has not.
Neither White House response, though, can explain the bizarre happenstance that resulted in presidential calendars recording dozens, and in the case of Hillary Clinton, hundreds of meetings between Obama and individual members of his cabinet, but only one with Sebelieus.
Just as frustrating is the fact that those in the media who criticized the GAI report seem perfectly content to accept the government’s word over actual reporting and documentation.
Time Magazine went so far as to claim that Joanne Peter’s statement was a “fact-check” that debunked the GAI report. Over at The Washington Post, media reporter Erik Wemple ripped the GAI report as a “hybrid of opinion and news” and seemed content to rely upon Administration denials and the “non-comprehensiveness” of the recording of presidential meetings.
Neither Time nor The Washington Post have even bothered to suggest that the “most transparent administration in history” release documentation of the meetings. Nor did they seem to want to take on the inexplicable fact that a number of other cabinet official meetings managed to not get lost in “non-comprehensiveness.”
The GAI report was not an accusation, a smear, or rumor-based. The report was comprehensive and based on all available documentation. Therefore it is outrageous for the most transparent administration in history and the media to claim that a “nyuh-uh” as a response is good enough.
For some reason, the White House doesn’t want to release the truth about the Obama-Sebelius meetings. That alone should whet every reporter’s appetite.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC