San Francisco Chronicle: Obama White House Press Policies Are “Nixonian”

The San Francisco Chronicle isn’t very happy with the press restrictions in place during the President’s most recent West Cost swing:

The Obama White House’s restrictions on media access to its fundraising events makes a mockery of its claim to be the most transparent administration in history.

If anything, there is almost a Nixonian quality to the level of control, paranoia – and lack of credibility – this White House has demonstrated on the issue of media access to President Obama’s fundraisers.

Bay Area reporters will not be allowed inside the W Hotel today when the president meets with hundreds of contributors paying $7,500 or more to attend. Only Washington-based journalists were allowed in the pool – continuing a disturbing trend by this White House to severely limit access to fundraisers. Even former President George W. Bush, hardly a champion of transparency, allowed local reporters to cover his fundraising events.

Fundraisers are not private events in this post-Watergate era. Contributions are a matter of public record, and the public has a right to know what is being said to and by the president. Local journalists are better positioned than their Beltway brethren to recognize who is there – and why.

The Chronicle and the White House have a bit of a history here. Earlier this spring, one of their reporters was threatened with being “blacklisted” from future pools because she had shot video during a pool event, which the White House claimed was an “unwritten rule.” That video, you may recall, showed a group of protesters on behalf of Bradley Manning interrupting an Obama fundraiser earlier this year:

After that incident, the White House started barring local reporters from pool coverage as a matter of course. So much for that transparency, I suppose.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Tsar Nicholas says:

    The Chron still is being published? That can’t be right. Last time I read the Chron it had devolved into such a parody of liberal idiocy I caught a raging laughter fit and people on BART actually thought I was crazy.

    In any event, if I were Obama I’d give the media even less access. Hell, I’d impose a total media blackout. For the simple reason there’s no good reason for Obama even to be covered by the press.

    Think about it. What difference does it make if Obama receives media coverage? None, I say. We know who’s going to vote for him. We know who’ll not vote for him. We pretty much know who’ll stay home and not vote. The media itself will vote to reelect him at least by a 90-10 margin. For every Brit Hume there are nine or more David Gregorys, Brian Williamses and Bill Kellers, etc., etc. There’s a small percentage of the body politic that presumably is undecided. From Obama’s standpoint, however, he can reach that audience with paid advertisements on network TV. The media is irrelevant. From his eventual opponent’s standpoint there too will be a mandate for paid ads on the idiot box.

    The media covering Obama is a non-entity covering an empty suit. It’s like a hollow tree falling in a vacant forest. I don’t blame Obama one iota for giving the media the freeze out.

  2. 11B40 says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:


    Actually, my understanding was that it was publishing under the San Francisco Commicle banner now that its editor has recovered from his wounding by a co-located Komodo Dragon that mistook the editor’s leg for some kind of walking hors d’oevre.

  3. Tomboys says:

    About time!

  4. MBunge says:

    I don’t think I’m going out on much of a limb by suggesting that whoever at the Chronicle applied the “Nixonian” label to Obama isn’t old enough to have been alive when Nixon was President.


  5. chekwriter says:

    On those who will VOTE or not VOTE, I suppose makes NO matter. As long as Mr. O has
    his backing by one and all, “The Solid” whatever, we will be stuck with again, runaway
    DEPRESSION and UNEMPLOYMENT. Jobs creation, that is a joke of the highest order.
    I knew from the moment he opened his mouth and went to utter his first word of his speech, that I WAS NOT GOING TO VOTE FOR HIM. I have been proved correct. My decision was the CORRECT ONE. So far, he has bankrupted this country in all respects. Banks. Automobile Companies. Mortgage Loan Companies. Small Mom and Pop Businesses. The Common Man has lost the MOST. Those that voted for him, are those who DO NOT WORK. HAVE NEVER WORKED. AND NEVER WILL as long as he is in office. His Administration has done NOTHING at all toward getting this country back on track. Possibly from what most people I talk with, that is exactly what his agenda was in the first place, from day one. As the old saying goes, “The Bigger They Are, the Harder They FALL” seems to have come true. But from within, not without. This country has let itself be taken over by Socialistic Communists and that was their PLAN from and since before the 1960s. It has come true. This country, its people, have become so soft, they refuse to work, want every thing HANDED them, as FEEL like THEY are OWED a life. The old adage, “You Get What you Work For” seems NO LONGER in vogue. This is NOT the future I had envisioned for myself nor my descendants. I am appalled with how easily it was hoodwinked. It would seem that the FEW have now become the Majority, and the Many are as cows being lead back to the barn. Just following the one ahead of it. Very Very SAD.