Josh Earnest lived up to his name, Monday, by joshing earnestly in response to a letter from a coalition of 42 journalism groups and media organizations condemning the White House’s increasing “politically driven suppression of news and information about federal agencies.”
Mark Tapscott of the Washington Examiner opines that Earnest is “either the most gullible individual ever to serve as White House press secretary or the least concerned with telling the American people the truth.”
Here’s what he wrote that has journalists so annoyed: “The president’s commitment to transparency and the crucial role of the independent press is unwavering. The president has set an historically high standard of transparency that is part of the legacy to which future presidents will aspire …”
Josh Earnest is “a poor man’s Steven Wright,” Jonah Goldberg once quipped because of his habit of “saying humorously unbelievable things in an overly serious way.”
Obama has that same tendency. In fact, the key to understanding Obama, according to Goldberg, is to assume the opposite of what is coming out of his mouth is the truth.
Think about it. “I’m not interested in photo-ops.” Boom. Translation: “I think photo-ops are really, really important. And that’s why I’m not going to have my picture taken with a bunch kids at the border.”
How about “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” Boom. Translation. “If you like your plan, there’s a very good chance you won’t be able to keep your plan.”
“Withdrawal from Iraq wasn’t my decision.” Boom. “I wanted to bring all the troops home by 2012 so I could run for reelection on ending the unpopular war in Iraq.”
“Essentially the bargain that I think any president strikes with the American people is – you give me this office, and in turn, my fears, doubts, insecurities, foibles, need for sleep, family life, vacations, leisure – is gone!” Boom. “When I’m president I am going to take several lavish vacations a year with huge entourages on the taxpayer dime. My goal is to break the record of most golf games in a year by a sitting president. I will hit the links even as world crises unfold, and give the virtual finger to anyone who has a problem with it.”
It’s not just that Obama lies – it’s that the exact opposite of what he says (or his mouthpiece says) is true.
“The president’s commitment to transparency and the crucial role of the independent press is unwavering.”
Boom. From the journalist coalition letter: “Reporters seeking interviews are expected to seek permission, often providing questions in advance. Delays can stretch for days, longer than most deadlines allow.”
You can read the coalition’s entire letter, here.
See also: Accuracy in Media: President Obama’s War on Journalists.