March 14, 2003
Proof That the Washington Post and the White House Press Corps Wear Knee Pads: Breathe Deeply and Swallow
BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
Poynter.Org is well known among journalists as a place to keep themselves updated about the latest best practices and inside information about the media. It is a site with a lot of integrity. In quality, it's many cuts above most of the journalism it covers.
Which brings us to an astounding admission by a Washington Post writer who revealed the truth to Poynter.Org columnist Jim Romenesko: White House reporters have to have quotes that they publish, after "background" interviews, approved by the Stalinist censors in the Rove/Fleischer office of White House Communications. Not only do the so-called reporters have to get approval before including the quotes in an article, the White House can alter the quotations and demand that they be printed as though they were the original quotations.
As a strategy, Rove and Fleischer have White House Staff provide many interviews on "background" so that then they can force the reporters to submit to the White House censors any quotations that they want to actually print.
This admission by the Post Reporter (printed below from http://www.poynter.org/forum/?id=letters#whitehouse) further confirms that we have, in essence, a government controlled media operation mistakenly labeled as the White House Press Corps.
If the Washington Post, New York Times, television network news and other major media had even an ounce of integrity -- just an ounce -- they would pull their reporters out of the White House at once. They are providing the Bush Administration with a cloak of legitimacy, when the reporting is really only censored pablum. This is something out of the Stalinist Soviet Union, not America.
The Washington Post, in particular, has taken an editorial turn into the dark side in the last few years. If the Post truly believed in a free press, it would shutter its White House operations right now, until such time as the Rove/Fleischer Pravda operation accepted the ground rules for a free press.
But we won't hold our breath. Just as Rove and Fleischer need the Stepford/collusionist White House Press Corps, the Post and other "news" outlets need to give their readers and viewers the appearance that they are covering the White House. Of course, they aren't really "covering" anything. So-called "journalists" are paid six figure salaries to be stenographers for Ari and Karl.
We just wonder who passes out the knee pads as the White House Press Corps files into the briefing room.
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Reportedly, for the infamous March 6th Bush "Xanax" news conference, "reporters" were not allowed to enter the room on their own. They were "escorted in" two at a time by White House staff. This is just further evidence of how the White House both totally controls the press corps and has disdainful contempt for them. The press corps members should be paid as actors, not journalists. After all, they are really just "extras" serving as props for each day's Ari briefing. They could just as well watch Ari do his daily obfuscation and lying on C-Span.
If there is any respect for a free press left among the media covering the White House, they should simply pull out their "correspondents" from the "Propaganda on the Potomac" Rove/Fleischer manufactured "news" operation.
BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
otherwise noted, all original