Press Corps to White House: Loosen Up!

Reporters' gripes about Obama pile up
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 28, 2010 8:41 AM CDT
Press Corps to White House: Loosen Up!
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, right, accompanied by White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, gestures during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, April 14, 2010.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – The right likes to say the media is in love with President Obama; if so the affair has gone sour. White House reporters find Obama's administration thin-skinned, vengeful, and unfairly stingy with information, they tell Politico. "The White House seems to imagine that releasing information is like a tap that can be turned on and off at their whim,” the New Yorker's George Packer—one of the few Politico sources willing to be named—said.

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Journalists covering the White House complain that Obama talks to them far less than Bill Clinton or George W. Bush did, and hasn't held a full news conference in almost a year. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs doesn't return emails or phone calls except to a few favorites, reporters say. Favoritism toward the New York Times is another sore spot, with the White House allegedly even pulling a Times correspondent aside for a special scoop in the presence of other reporters. And those who report stories critical of the administration say the press office punitively freezes them out for months.
(Read more White House stories.)

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