May 18th, 2010
(PaulWatson) – President Obama’s plummeting approval ratings have coincided with his increasing disdain for talking to the media, a trend embarrassingly highlighted yesterday during Obama’s signing of the Press Freedom Act, after which he refused to answer any questions from the press.
The new law Obama signed mandates the State Department to include a breakdown of press freedoms in their annual human rights report detailing the situation country by country.
But Obama’s reaction to being asked questions by the U.S. media served only to highlight the decline in American standards of press freedom.
Watch the clip.
“Recall that last Friday the president refused to take any questions after delivering his angry statement on the oil spill in the Rose Garden. And he has not held a prime-time White House news conference in many months, despite much pleading from pundits and members of the media,” reports CBS News’ Chip Reid.
In a follow up video interview, Reid said “the irony was too rich to resist” asking Obama questions about the BP oil spill. Reid said he expected Obama to refuse questions but asked anyway.
“In the interest of press freedom, might you consider a couple of question on BP,” said Reid, adding that Obama gave a wry smile but refused to answer.
Obama responded that Reid could ask questions but when someone asked Obama if he would answer he said, “well this is not a press conference today, we’ll be getting back to you later in the week”.
Reid added that the press corps were frustrated that Obama has done so few press conferences and refuses to take questions that are impromptu and not pre-scripted.
Obama campaigned on the promise of making government open and transparent and yet he is increasingly becoming one of the most closeted and secretive Presidents in U.S. history.
“What’s ironic is that the self-proclaimed “most transparent” administration in history has violated this bill many times through censorship and limiting access to news organizations that don’t share the same radical ideology,” points out the Habledash blog. “As recently as last week, the White House announced it would be using their website and other social media sites to release information, instead of through the mainstream press. The purpose of this is so the White House can release its own propaganda directly to the American people without any criticism or evaluation by a third party – the press in this situation.”