Only Fox News Hits 'Spectacular Failure' of Obama Transparency Claim; Networks Yawn
Despite Barack Obama's self-congratulatory claim in 2013 that he is running the "most transparent administration in history," several watchdog groups this week have hit the President for restricting information. Yet, so far, the networks have skipped the bad news. The Associated Press on Sunday reported, "The Obama administration more often than ever censored government files or outright denied access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act..."
The Washington Post on Tuesday reported, "A separate report this week from the National Security Archives found that 54 percent of all agencies have ignored directives that Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder issued in 2009 calling for a 'presumption of disclosure' with FOIA requests." The Center for Effective Government gave failing grades to seven Obama-era agencies, including State, Defense and Labor. Although the networks have avoided this topic, Fox News on highlighted the "spectacular failure." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Happening Now anchor Jon Scott on Tuesday talked to Ellison Barber of the Washington Free Beacon. She asserted:
ELLISON BARBER: I think it's certainly fair to say at this point it seems hypocritical, because you do remember of course this administration has been one not only promised the most transparent but has made a big show out of it. President Obama has released multiple memos to that effect as has Eric Holder. And what we're seeing is that they have the highest rate of FOIA requests being denied right now than they have in their presidency. And that is a big deal and it's not a very good sign for democracy.
Post writer Josh Hicks explained, "In a third analysis, the Center for Effective Government released its annual government-transparency report card on Monday, handing out failing grades to seven of the 15 agencies it reviewed. The scores are based on three metrics: processing requests for information, establishing rules for answering requests and creating user-friendly Web sites."
In addition to the failing agencies, the Departments of Transportation, Treasury, Health and Human Services, as well as Securities and Exchanges all received grades of a D for being open and free with information.
Yet, on February 14, 2013, The Hill reported:
President Obama on Thursday hailed his administration for its transparency.
“This is the most transparent administration in history,” Obama said during a Google Plus “Fireside” Hangout.
“I can document that this is the case,” he continued.
Wouldn't investigative journalists at least be interested in pointing out this apparent contradiction? Not, ABC, NBC or CBS.
On Monday, the same networks ignored the fact that the Obama administration has given away control of the internet.
— Scott Whitlock is Senior News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Scott Whitlock on Twitter.