This marks twice in a week the Obama White House has played hardball with the press and had the tale exposed. The first was last week, when a SF Chronicle reporter got banned for thinking fast, whipping out her cell phone and capturing video of an anti-Obama protest at a fundraiser. The second is even more petty. The Obama WH went after a newspaper hardly anyone’s ever heard of, to get it to scrub a single line from a story hardly anyone would have read about the First Lady.
The reporter, Gina Channell-Allen of the Pleasanton (CA) Weekly, complied with the WH request and removed the offending sentence (which is a shame). The Obama WH has since put in a call to the Daily Caller to deny any of this ever happened. In both this case and the Chronicle, the press members have come back and said, yes, the White House is lying.
Will the rest of the press catch on to what’s going on here? That the White House is heavy handedly working the refs to get better calls? And that they may be operating with the intent to get stories like this out there, to intimidate other reporters?
Speculating here a bit, but all this may be the Obama WH response to the Brad Watson interview in Dallas, in which the WFAA TV reporter had the gumption to do his job and ask tough questions that caused the president to get uncomfortable, say unhelpful things and eventually pop off his mouth. The WH’s comms director did hint that Watson and other reporters would be punished for that sort of thing. And here we are: One reporter banned, another getting unexpected attention from the high and mighty.