What’s Obama up to? He ditched the press for a phantom soccer game just before the big nuclear summit. Then , in the words of Dana Millbank (of all people) he put on a “clinic for some of the world’s greatest dictators in how to circumvent a free press.”
The only part of the summit, other than a post-meeting news conference, that was visible to the public was Obama’s eight-minute opening statement, which ended with the words: “I’m going to ask that we take a few moments to allow the press to exit before our first session.”
Reporters for foreign outlets, admitted for the first time to the White House press pool, got the impression that the vaunted American freedoms are not all they’re cracked up to be.
Yasmeen Alamiri from the Saudi Press Agency got this lesson in press freedom when trying to cover Obama’s opening remarks as part of a limited press “pool”: “The foreign reporters/cameramen were escorted out in under two minutes, just as the leaders were about to begin, and Obama was going to make remarks. . . . Sorry, it is what it is.”
Nice. Millbank also said world leaders had to have felt like they were transported back to Soviet-era Russia. Gee, that’s how many of us have felt for over a year now.
Exit question: Will the media finally realize they’ve been nothing but tools for Obama since he kicked off his presidential campaign?