Belmont Club

Let loose the dogs of words

The New York Post says that “print reporters have posted a sign in the desk area of the White House press room reading, ‘Blog-Free Zone.'” (Hat tip: James Linville). I wonder what that’s supposed to mean?

Maybe it means that you have to have a professional card to write or speak out ‘legitimately’. Glenn Reynolds notices allegations that the Obama administration is threatening to unleash the Press on its enemies as retribution. He notes one allegation without necessarily vouching for it: a lawyer claimed “one of my clients was directly threatened by the White House and in essence compelled to withdraw its opposition to the deal under the threat that the full force of the White House Press Corps would destroy its reputation if it continued to fight.” That, if true, would explain the “Blog-Free Zone”.

In addition, Hot Air says Fox reporter Major Garrett wasn’t called during a White House press conference by Barack Obama in retribution for the networks refusal to carry his press conference live, so maybe you need the right kind of professional card to ply your trade.

Partisanship might actually be a good thing because it would bring the bias to the surface. That way the reader will have the choice of consciously reading the pro-Obama media or the anti-Obama media and anything they might care to identify in between. That could be better than picking up the “papers” and assuming the contents in it were truth instead of processed fact.

Jake Tapper says the White House denies it has threatened to loose its journalists on investors who won’t toe its line in the Chrysler bankruptcy settlement. The antagonists are a group of investors represented by Tom Lauria and Barack Obama who is said to have referred to Lauria’s clients in a recent statement.

While many stakeholders made sacrifices and worked constructively, I have to tell you some did not. In particular, a group of investment firms and hedge funds decided to hold out for the prospect of an unjustified taxpayer-funded bailout. They were hoping that everybody else would make sacrifices, and they would have to make none. Some demanded twice the return that other lenders were getting. I don’t stand with them. I stand with Chrysler’s employees and their families and communities. I stand with Chrysler’s management, its dealers, and its suppliers. I stand with the millions of Americans who own and want to buy Chrysler cars. I don’t stand with those who held out when everybody else is making sacrifices. And that’s why I’m supporting Chrysler’s plans to use our bankruptcy laws to clear away its remaining obligations so the company can get back on its feet and onto a path of success.

I suppose that if Obama is entitled to use publicity to persuade certain persons to get into line then they can return the favor. It’s hardly an equal contest. Lauria fired back at the President on a radio interview but that platform is utterly dwarfed by the kind of publicity that Obama can command: despite the fact that Fox News held back from covering one of his press conferences, BHO can get many times the coverage that Tom Lauria ever could. Incidentally, Power Line says that Tom Lauria was a Democrat who had made substantial contributions to the Obama campaign. There’s a moral in there somewhere, though I’m not sure what it is.