The White House is becoming increasingly Nixonian with tactics which amount to something resembling an enemies list, seeming to consist of Rush Limbaugh, Fox News and now the United States Chamber of Commerce. The list grows by the month as any entity which dares question the administration with facts and reason is immediately portrayed as some kind of Obama-hating discredited outlet.
In an amazing show of unity and decency, four major news agencies including CBS, NBC, ABC and CNN all stood up for Fox News and refused to go along with the White House’s unconstitutional demands. The report on this from the DC Examiner:
The Obama administration today tried to exclude Fox News from the White House press pool. This attempted act contradicted the spirit and letter of the First Amendment, and the press fought back.
Thursday the White House made “pay czar” Kenneth Feinberg available for interviews to every member of the White House pool except Fox News. The pool is the five-network group that shared the costs and duties of daily coverage of the presidency and has done so for decades.
But in a surprising show of decency, the four other members of the pool — ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN — told the White House if Fox were barred none of them would participate in the interview session.
The administration caved and made Feinberg available for Fox News.
This underscores something often misunderstood about the Free Press clause of the First Amendment. The provision is not in the Constitution to benefit reporters. It is there to benefit the public. The right of a free press is necessary to preserve the public’s right to know what is going on with their government.
This was a victory for America and the First Amendment, everyone should be proud of what happened on Thursday. The White House went out of it’s way in an attempt to marginalize a legitimate news organization and the other mainstream press organizations would have none of it, good for them.
I have to ask, just so that it is on the record, what would be said if the Bush administration had a similar directive specifically singling out NBC or CNN the way the White House is vociferously bashing Fox News. It would still be a New York Times page-one story today.
In the same line of Obama’s pettiness, the United States Chamber of Commerce is now in the White House sights ever since it decided to speak out in favor of capitalism and the free-market economic system which made this country great.
Report on this from Fox News, the White House’s blacklisted news agency:
The uneasy relationship between the Obama White House and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has steadily eroded over the past several months, with the business group’s opposition to health care and climate change legislation triggering an all-fronts backlash from the administration.
The administration is now trying to neutralize the Chamber by doing an end-run around the group and dealing directly with its members.
During remarks in early October, President Obama named and shamed the Chamber for opposing a consumer protection agency.
And the White House again criticized the group Tuesday, telling Fox News in an e-mail that the group’s opposition to reform efforts gives the administration pause.
“We have an open door to the ideas and suggestions of the business community including the Chamber,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, noting that administration “representatives” met with Chamber representatives last week. “But it does give us pause that they continue to throw millions of dollars against productive efforts under way to reform the regulatory structure, provide access to affordable health insurance for more Americans and reduce the impact of greenhouse gas emissions — all plans essential to the continued growth and recovery of our economy.”
Obama and top aides quietly have met with 50 to 60 big-time corporate CEOs over the past few months in an effort to cultivate their support on key issues — the White House denies that it has encouraged any companies to sever ties with the Chamber.
A few companies, like Apple Inc., have left the Chamber principally due to disagreements over how to tackle climate change. Others, like Nike, have simply left the board of directors.
But Chamber executives told Fox News that since word of open warfare with the White House began to surface, membership has spiked. They warned White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel not to imagine the Chamber will retreat from spending heavily in the mid-term election cycle.
Video report on this story, also from Fox:
The Chamber of Commerce is pro-business, pro-capitalism, anti-taxes and anti-regulation, all positions which are exactly the opposite of what President Obama believes and espouses. Therefore, the White House isn’t too pleased, once again, that an organization is exercising it’s First Amendment rights to speak out against policies which will kill jobs and stifle productivity.
Moderate Democrats are also becoming disgusted with President Obama’s tactics, check this Politico story for more on that.
Again though, the Chamber said they’re having a spike in membership since landing on President Obama’s enemies list. Therefore, I call that a victory for the Chamber since it shows that freedom-loving pro-capitalist business owners refuse to go quietly in the night under Obama’s socialist sword.