Ari Shapiro (@arishapiro) May 21, 2013
This seems to be escalating quickly. Just two weeks ago, as several brewing Obama administration scandals were set to hit the newspapers, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough appeared in the White House press room with a big box of doughnuts to thank the press corps for doing such a bang-up job keeping the president honest. Who knows, then, what tasty treats await a group of liberal columnists and bloggers who were spotted today heading to the West Wing.
The idea of lefty journalists being summoned quietly to the White House for a private briefing would seem unbelievable if it hadn’t happened before. Soon after last year’s election, several MSNBC personalities and “progressive journalists” were spied heading into the West Wing, though they were awfully tight-lipped about the whole thing, both before and after. Rachel Maddow joked that she was there for the “hippie cabal,” so what’s the purpose of today’s meeting?
Here’s a theory, and we’re not sure if it’s funny or scary.
Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren just posted an interesting piece on that very subject.
[Carney] has the very important job of being the person communicating with the American people on behalf of President Obama. If he is getting thrown under the bus, and being set up by others senior to him, I suggest it is time he throw them under the bus – let us know what is going on and why the evolving stories – because his credibility is tarnished.
Chris “Tingles” Matthews was curiously absent from December’s West Wing love-fest; maybe they’d just installed new carpet or something and were worried about, um, press leaks. So who wasn’t spotted today?
Obama and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney managed to alienate a good portion of the White House press corps by leaving them out of that special “deep background” meeting that was by special invitation only. Add the Justice Department snooping on the AP, Fox News’ James Rosen, (maybe) Sharyl Attkisson and who knows who else, and the relationship between President Boyfriend and his fan club can only get rockier.
We’ve been dealing with a quasi-journalistic press corps for a long time now. If anyone would like to step up and demand transparency, now is the time.