Is this a preview of the things to come?
President Obama took a surprise tour of the White House press room late Thursday afternoon, startling journalists as he explored their cramped work area. The presidential walk-through touched off what Associated Press writer Ben Feller described as “a wild scene,” as journalists quickly surrounded him…
Mark Knoller of CBS News reported that Obama was asked about the White House basketball court, winning the fight to keep his BlackBerry and his selection of a former lobbyist as deputy defense secretary.
“I can’t come in and shake hands if I’m gonna get grilled every time,” he said in response to the question on the Defense appointment.
Asking about the appointment of the deputy defense secretary is “getting grilled?”
Barack Obama’s administration may be promising the “greatest ethical standard ever administered to an executive branch,” and increased transparency over his predecessor, but it seems to be forgoing at least one transparency practice that was routine in the Bush White House— transcripts of the daily press briefing.
It’s been four days since Press Secretary Robert Gibbs’ first (and widely panned) appearance before the White House press corps, but no transcript, summary, or video of the event has shown up on WhiteHouse.gov. The delay could be forgiven in a less tech-savvy bunch, but given the Obama team’s considerable online skill, the omission of the the transcript is clearly intentional.
In contrast, the Bush White House provided a transcript of every daily briefing, searchable and accessible in its own section on their web site.
The George W. Bush administration provided complete transcripts of every daily briefing. The Clinton administration began doing it in 1999.
The Obama administration? Not so much. There’s a change for ya.
Via Glenn Reynolds, who writes:
Bush wanted transcripts online because he expected the press to filter what he said. Obama doesn’t want transcripts online . . . because he expects the press to filter what he says.
He also points out Pliability Journalism: Change comes to the Associated Press