During Thursday’s White House press briefing, the press corps erupted in protest over the Obama administration’s lack of transparency and media access. The press corps seemed to be in complete agreement that the Obama White House has been less transparent than the Bush White House. Quite a condemnation for the self-described “most transparent administration in history.”
Lately, tensions have been simmering between the White House and the media over access and transparency, especially as it pertains to photographers. Late last month, a number of elite news organizations submitted a letter of protest to White House press secretary Jay Carney demanding more access for photojournalists and less reliance on White House photographs. Things appeared to boil over today due to the fact that no photojournalists were allowed on Air Force One during the president’s trip to South Africa earlier this week.
As he usually does whenever the media get upset, Carney attempted to soothe the corps through assurances that the president shared their concerns and that something would be done about it. That pablum did not sit very well with CNN’s Brianna Keilar, who argued Obama was not meeting his own transparency standard and that the Bush White House was more accessible.
Carney shot back with, “Did you cover the Bush?” Keilar assured him she had.
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